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irishman

Independent Fundamental Baptist
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  1. irishman

    The Tithe

    The Tithe (13 references in the Bible) Gen 14:18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. Gen 14:19 And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: Gen 14:20 And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all. I suppose, when it comes to discussing the tithe, that we must start at the beginning. In Gen 14, we see two things that should be of interest to us: 1. That Melchizedek initiated the “bread and wine” of communion in honor of Abraham. 2. That Abraham gave a tithe of all that he had taken, lest some claim to have favored Abraham, and made him rich through the tithe. The “tithe” in Gen. 14 was given in response to the communion of victory that Melchizedek initiated. It was also in response to the blessing that Melchizedek bestowed upon him. The picture here is that the Lord blesses us, and we give to him that which we know He has given to us! It seems, to the human mind, a bit redundant to give from what He gives us, but the beauty of the whole scene is the communion that we have with Christ. The Lord shows, in many ways, that a little bit can do a lot when it is given with a pure heart. So, here one might see the establishment of the tithe, and the “why” behind it. Everything the Lord does has reason, and that includes the tithe. Sometimes the reason is for teaching; sometimes it is for celebration (as here); and sometimes it for reasons perhaps unknown to us, but not without merit. The tithe was for Israel, God’s chosen people. It was an important part of their worship, showing that God is greater than man, and is worthy of all our attentions. This is the first reference to the tithe in the Bible. It foreshadowed things to come in the structure of the church. The next reference is in Leviticus 27:30: Lev 27:30 And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD'S: it is holy unto the LORD. Here we find that God has sanctified the tithe, and “It is holy”. Abraham seems to have impressed God greatly with the tithe, and the Lord adapted it into His law; it remains a tribute to the righteousness of God, and the subjection of man to His will. Verse 32 carries it a little further: Lev 27:32 And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the LORD. The tithe covered everything that is important to man, the fruit of the land, and the wealth of the livestock. It becomes a sacrifice. Mans sustenance, all that he has, (Gen. 14:20) was what the Lord has allowed him, and the tithe the Lord kept for Himself. Some refute the tithe because our God owns the cattle on a thousand hills, and He has no need of a tithe, but in so doing, they question the veracity of the Lord, and His Word, and dishonor Him by holding back that which is holy unto Him. Though they tithed of crops and livestock, our culture today tithes of monetary gain, as well as the proper stewardship of all we have. In Numbers 18:26 we have another reference to the tithe: “Thus speak unto the Levites, and say unto them, When ye take of the children of Israel the tithes which I have given you from them for your inheritance, then ye shall offer up an heave offering of it for the LORD, even a tenth part of the tithe.” First, we have here an explanation of what the tithe was for. God had given it to the Levites instead of an inheritance in Israel. He demanded a tithe from the people, and passed it on to the Levites, much of what we do today in the church. Remember the Old Testament was a shadow of things to come, it was a picture of God dealing with His people, and today, if we are born from above, we are His people. In Numbers 18:23, we have the duty of the Levites, and the expression that they shall have no inheritance among the children of Israel. Several verses in that text reiterate the purpose of the tithe. Here is a reference that deserves consideration in Deut. 12:11 : Then there shall be a place which the LORD your God shall choose to cause his name to dwell there; thither shall ye bring all that I command you; your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, your tithes, and the heave offering of your hand, and all your choice vows which ye vow unto the LORD: Doesn’t this sound as if it could also refer to the church? Is not the church a “place which the LORD your God shall choose to cause His name to dwell there”? He is providing a place for us today also called “the church“ and is specific in what we are to bring there. Now that is not “smoking gun” proof, I realize, but let us continue our study: Deuteronomy 14:22: “And thou shalt eat before the LORD thy God, in the place which he shall choose to place his name there, the tithe of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the firstlings of thy herds and of thy flocks; that thou mayest learn to fear the LORD thy God always.” An interesting verse indeed; here, the Lord is again very specific as to what the tithe is, and more so He offers the real and best reason behind the tithe--“That thou mayest learn to fear the LORD thy God always” (Note the word “always”) The tithe is to glorify the Lord always. “Always” means forever, every generation, till the end of time; it was given to the Jew, because the Gentiles were heathen and had no part in the things of God, but it was for all of God’s children everywhere, and in every age. If this were not true, we make God a liar in saying that it is “forever”, do we not? We must all ask ourselves why we don’t want to tithe, or rather why we don’t believe the tithe is God’s forever. Giving back 10% is not easy for any of us, but the investment is well worth the sacrifice. In the text of Deut. 14, we see more about the blessing of the tithe (v. 29), and verse 28 speaks of a special tithe of the land to be brought every third year. If the tithe is too much to be easily transported, the Levites were to exchange it for money, but money was only conditional concerning the tithe. Most of the “average” people were poor, and lived off the land and the livestock that the Lord had supplied them, so money was not as prominent in their societies as it is in our culture today, but a tithe is still a tithe. In 2 Chronicles 31:5 we read as follows: “And as soon as the commandment came abroad, the children of Israel brought in abundance the firstfruits of corn, wine, and oil, and honey, and of all the increase of the field; and the tithe of all things brought they in abundantly.” The command here spoken of referred to the portion of the tithe that was to be given to the priests and Levites. The abundance of the peoples first-fruits was given insomuch as they had far more than was needed. God had blessed them abundantly, and they in turn were to be a blessing to the priests and Levites so that they might be encouraged in the law of the Lord. “Moreover he commanded the people that dwelt in Jerusalem to give the portion of the priests and the Levites, that they might be encouraged in the law of the LORD” (v. 4). So, the tithe was also given for encouraging the full time workers of the Lord. Nehemiah dealt with the tithe also: Neh 10:35 And to bring the firstfruits of our ground, and the firstfruits of all fruit of all trees, year by year, unto the house of the LORD: Neh 10:36 Also the firstborn of our sons, and of our cattle, as it is written in the law, and the firstlings of our herds and of our flocks, to bring to the house of our God, unto the priests that minister in the house of our God: Neh 10:37 And that we should bring the firstfruits of our dough, and our offerings, and the fruit of all manner of trees, of wine and of oil, unto the priests, to the chambers of the house of our God; and the tithes of our ground unto the Levites, that the same Levites might have the tithes in all the cities of our tillage. Neh 10:38 And the priest the son of Aaron shall be with the Levites, when the Levites take tithes: and the Levites shall bring up the tithe of the tithes unto the house of our God, to the chambers, into the treasure house. The Levites were not exempt from tithing, they were to tithe from the tithe they received from the people of God. The church follows this same pattern today, that the tithe would not be ignored, but remain in perpetuity as the Lord commanded Israel. The dispensationalists of today have a prOBlem with this, and separate the nation of Israel from the children of God today, but we are all spiritual Jews in the eyes of the Lord (read Galatians 3). The Levites did not tithe to themselves, but to the Lord that His work might continue without interruption. New Testament Tithing As already mentioned several times, the tithe was perpetual, an everlasting honor, if you will, to the Lord as well as a token of thanksgiving and an encouragement to those who live off the tithes and offerings of the congregations. They continue to supply the needs that otherwise would overwhelm the church, and the gates of hell then could prevail against it. Thirteen times in the Old Testament we have seen the tithe mentioned, and only two mentions in the Gospels, but they are not without significance until you throw out the instruction and principle of the Old Testament, which is what the dispensationalist seems to want to do. In Matt. 23:23 we have one of two references to tithing in the New Testament. Here and Luke 11:42 say virtually the same thing: Mat 23:23 “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.” Luk 11:42 “But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.” The last line says it all, “…And not left the other undone.” Our Lord is admonishing them to keep on tithing of the things mentioned, and not to leave them undone. The Pharisee’s still paid tithes, and they were not rebuked for doing so, the fact is, they were encouraged to keep doing it! I know that to some, the New Testament grace has not yet been ushered in, but again, the dispensationalist must interpret this in a way to make it fit because many do not want to tithe! The lack of any mention other than this is not a valid argument. Since the church is different than the tabernacle, and functions differently in some areas, the lack of the word “tithe” becomes questionable to many. In 1 Cor. 8 we find some interesting evidences of giving by percentage. 2Co 8:13 For I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened: 2Co 8:14 But by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want: that there may be equality: So that one brother is not overburdened, the Lord does not ask them to give excessively, but equally. The only way they can give equally is to give a percentage. Ten percent is ten percent for everyone, and is no more of a burden for a rich man than for a poorer man. Verse 15, the next verse, shows us that the Old testament principles are applicable in the New Testament too. Here is what v. 15 says: 2Co 8:15 As it is written, He that had gathered much had nothing over; and he that had gathered little had no lack. You may recall that this statement was made concerning the Israelites and the gathering of manna, as the Lord provided. (Exodus 16, read entire text) Note that the last verse qualifies the matter with “an omer is the tenth part of an ephah” (That which they used to dole it out). The tenth part, this is the meaning of “tithe” it means “tenth”. They measured out a tenth of an ephah for each man, and double on the day before the Sabbath. If any of us would have applied this verse the way that Paul did, we would hear from a dozen people that we took it out of context! Again, let me say, the Old testament supports the New. Though the eighth chapter of 2 Corinthians is speaking of charitable giving and not tithing specifically, we can glean some information from these instances. They gave out of love; love should be the reason we give also. They gave in faith; faith must apply to tithing as well. If we cannot trust God to keep His promises to us, we are of all men most miserable. We should see the need of the church, and understand that it takes money to make things happen as they should, and out of love for the work, we ought to tithe. I believe that those who do not tithe are too self-centered to exercise faith in giving, and do not fully trust their Lord as they might think they do. Most of us know that you will not find a “chapter and verse” for New Testament tithing, but there are very strong implications, for instance: Paul said he could take pay as a full time worker, but chose not to (1 Cor. 9:6). How could he have been paid if the church did not tithe? 1Co 9:9 For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen? I find it strange that Paul would apply this Old testament verse to New Testament support, don’t you? We finish this passage with the following: 1Co 9:10 Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope. 1Co 9:11 If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things? 1Co 9:12 If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ. 1Co 9:13 Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar? 1Co 9:14 Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel. 1Co 9:15 But I have used none of these things: neither have I written these things, that it should be so done unto me: for it were better for me to die, than that any man should make my glorying void. If the church was not expected to tithe, Paul’s words would be meaningless. This idea of giving according to your own whim would not work because most of us do not easily part with our “hard earned” money. Most non-tithers do not give enough to support the ministry in any fashion. His heart is not on tithing: Psa. 23:7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee. The non-tither is doing things his way, and not God’s way: Pro 14:12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. Though the verses immediately above have little, or nothing to do with tithing, they do show human nature, which often dictates what we want, and not necessarily what we should do. I think you get my point. Take a look at this verse: 2Co 8:12 For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not. Our giving is not according to whether we have the money or not, but to equal giving, which, as stated before, demands a percentage giving. Ten percent it what the Lord has commanded in the past, and it is carried over into the church age, or present. (reference given earlier) The command and promise of Luke 6:38 still applies today: Luk 6:38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. What would a discourse on tithing be without quoting that time-tested verse, MalachI 3:10? “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” The promise is for tithers, and is just as valid as any promise that the Lord gives unto man. Many refute this verse, and say it does not apply to the church, but as we have seen, the church is the “storehouse” where the tithe is brought and distributed from, it is the direct image of things to come. Prove God, and see if it isn’t so. He has opened the windows of heaven, and poured out many blessings in my life, and I am convinced that He will do the same in yours. The New Testament reference in 2 Corinthians 9, though it has more to do with charitable giving, proves the accuracy of this verse. 2Co 9:6 But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. 2Co 9:7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. 2Co 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work: Some take issue with the phrase “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart. So let him give”, they allow this to be the standard for giving of tithes, and any other means of giving. Don’t we know that the “heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked” (Jer. 17:9) and none can really know how much? The purpose if their heart in this verse means having the right attitude for giving, as the last part of the verse clarifies. We are to give out of a good motive, a motive of love, and not necessarily out of command or any other rule or emotion. It does not mean let him give whatever he wants to give for that week or month, else he would always find excuse not to tithe. We need to quit looking for “loopholes” in the law, and in the commands of God; a loophole is merely unbelief in disguise, and affords many excuses to go contrary to the Lord’s will and the Word of God. Finally, cultures change; methods change, but Principle does not change, it stands firm, as the rock of Gibraltar, because it is founded on The Rock, Christ. Though our culture is different, and our tithe different, the principle remains the same; ten percent (at least) belongs to God, and we ought to be glad that we have it to give.
  2. irishman

    The Church

    The invincible church “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Mt. 18:16) Did Christ die for the church, or for the work of the church? We must ponder that question in our hearts, each one of us. He came and ministered unto men as an example of our work as a Christian, but did he die for the work? Those who are “church builders” would be interested to know. We see an invincible church, and not an invisible church. In Matt. 16:18, He told Peter “…Upon this Rock I will build my church…” and for ages, good men have asked “What Rock is Jesus speaking of?” My friends, we have all heard different ideas as to what this means, but letting the Bible explain itself is always the interpretation. In the verses previous to this, we see the answer as to what is “The rock?” It begins in verse 13, where Jesus questions the disciples as to who he is. Peter responds with a wonderful answer, and a great truth for each of us to remember: “And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. “ (Mt. 16: 16) My friends, this is the rock that Christ built his church on, that Christ is the Son of the Living God. It is built on principle, and not on persons. The fact that Christ is the Son of God, yea, God Himself, is our Rock; it is as solid as you can get. The winds of time, trials, or tempests will not prevail against it, because it is built on a rock. That, my friends, is what the church is built on. There are 79 references to the church in the New testament, and all but a few were written to a local church; this includes the seven churches of Asia, in the Book of Revelation. A few of those seventy-nine churches were spoken of before the day of Pentecost, including the common passage we use for church discipline in Mt. 18 17. What did Christ mean when He said to take it before the church? The church was not established at Pentecost. The Inception of the Church The dispensationalist says that when Christ said “Upon this rock will I build my church”, that He meant He would build it (future tenses) at Pentecost. They focus on the words “will I” being a future act, which it was, partially. The church was not yet established, but at Calvary He also said “It is finished”, meaning that work which he set out to do, which could include the building of His church. To claim Pentecost as the inception of the church is a haphazard guess at most; we do not know for sure when the church actually was finished, although we do know from Scripture, that it began with Christ. As I have already stated, Mt. 16:18 was a future event at the time Jesus spoke it. He could not have built His church before the redemption of man at Calvary lest it be built of unbelievers! “Pentecost” means “fifty”, or, some say “fifty days” which we believe took place fifty days after Christ’s resurrection. If the church did not come into being until Pentecost where was the body of Christ for those fifty days? Where was the “bride” of Christ? There would have to be a gap of fifty days in the building of the church to make that possible. No, the church was “born” at Calvary, when Christ said “It is finished” so was the foundation of the church. What gives the dispensationalist the right to predict when the church began at Pentecost just because it was a future event? They apply it to Pentecost, with no scriptural support, except that there was “added to the church daily such as should be saved” (Acts 2: 47); you cannot add to something until it already exists! The church needed to precede Pentecost before it could be “added to”. It does not take much thinking to realize that the church had to come into being sometime between Mt. 16:18 and Acts 2; the greatest event in history took place between these times--Calvary. I believe that the church was finished at Calvary, and in full swing going into the Book of Acts. In Acts, men added to the church, but the church itself was already established on Christ and Calvary. The work of men was not finished as of yet, but it was “in the making” in the Book of Acts. This is where the controversy lies, I believe, in the establishment of the church according to mans view of it. Mans work in, and on the church is never done until we all get to glory, but the foundation has been laid, and the true church has been built, on the precept that “And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Two verse later, Jesus told Him that He would build His church on this--the rock of truth, and the fact that Jesus is the Christ, Son of the living God. A universal, invisible church has no shepherd. A church must have a leader. Someone must step up and take the reins, and God has seen to it that it will be so. He provided men for the task; men of His choosing, pastors, evangelists, teachers, etc. (Eph. 4:11) for the edifying of the church. Without a shepherd we are as sheep having no shepherd. Isa. 53:6 comes to mind: “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Without a shepherd, we have chaos, and anarchy; we will have “turned every one to his own way”, and found the way of destruction. Where is the leader of the “invisible” church? Who can lead them as one body? (See Acts 28:28) A church must have unity How can a universal, invisible church be one unit? They do not have fellowship with one another; they have no inkling of the existence of the other, no personal communication or communion; they cannot be “one body in Christ”. the arm may be in one place, and the leg in another; the nose may be sniffing out souls, but the feet are not led to go to them. Even though one may sow and another may water, they are not unified in the effort, they are as one person doing whatever suits them. An invisible church has no authority: Again, who is the leader of the invisible church? Name him if you can. God has established authority, and set guidelines for us to follow within the confines of His will, but the universal church has no one to unify them, none to exercise authority over them. You are prOBably thinking, “they answer only to God“, but I again remind you that each man will do “that which is right in his own sight“, and there will be chaos. There are some though who supposed themselves to be members of this “mystery” church, and we can read about them in Matthew 7; 22: “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?” Jesus attests that He "never knew them". The epistles were written to local churches--real churches that were active in their community. Theses “local” churches, are local to their own vicinity; they are not a universal nor invisible church of all believers everywhere, because all believers everywhere are already the true church! The Body of Christ is wide spread, but not everyone who claims to be “of the body” can rightly say they are of “the church”. If all we did was ask the Lord to save us, then we could have an invisible universal church, but we must ask, believing. Truly the Bible says that “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Rom. 10:13), but isn’t that preceded by vs. 9-10 “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.? Are there not many who, perhaps, had fooled themselves into thinking they were saved? Of course there are! (Mt. 7:22). These examples in Matthew have even prophesied in Christ’s name; they have cast out devils, which seems to be a privilege of the elect of God, and done “many wonderful works”, but they did not have the heart for Christ. Though they shined as premier Christians among the brethren for their works, they were lost, and Christ had to tell them to depart from Him, attesting that He never knew them. They were not of the church. They no doubt could have furnished witnesses to great deeds they did; no doubt they had a time that they verbally called upon the name of the Lord, but they had an evil heart of unbelief which no man could see. They were not a part of the church; the universal church could claim them, because it has no shepherd; it could claim them because it has no authority; it could claim them because they had met the qualifications of the “church”, but they were lost, they were not of the true church. The Unified Church What is the church? The “Body of Christ” (1 Cor. 12:27) The “Bride of Christ” The “House of God”. (1 Tim. 3:15) The “General assembly” (Heb. 12:23) One body (Rom. 12:5) (1 Cor. 12:20) Who makes up the church? Believers. All believers, everywhere. (1 Cor. 12:13, 14) Jewish believers in Christ (Eph. 2:16) Facts to consider: 79 mentions of “church” in the New testament; Nearly the entire New testament speaks of local churches; Almost all the Epistles were written to local assemblies. Church is “in God” and “In Christ“ (1 Thess. 1:1 and 2Thess. 1:1) “Church” means “called out assembly”; (assembly can also be translated as “church”) The church is the “Pillar and ground of the Truth” (1 Tim. 3:15) Churches sometimes met in houses; (Philemon 1:2) --Out in the open; (Acts 7:38) --In regular buildings. (Rev. Chapters 2,3) Church established before Pentecost. (Mt. 16: 18) The church had to exist before Pentecost, else there was no church between the crucifixion and the introduction of the Holy Spirit. Twice Christ mentions the church during His earthly ministry, (Mt. 16:18 and 18:17) and goes as far as establishing the order for discipline in the New Testament church. (Spoken in present tense). Every church was a “local assembly”. “Unto the church of God which is at Corinth”…1 Cor. 1:2~ 2 Cor 1:1 “Unto the churches of Galatia”…Gal. 1:2, and etc. Seven churches of revelation, etc. Every church has a shepherd: (Eph. 4:11) They are as sheep which have no shepherd, scattered and confused. They have no leadership, no authority. There must be authority in the church, for it is God-ordained. Every church has ordinances: Who does the Baptizing in the “invisible” church? Who takes the communion supper, and who passes it out?
  3. irishman

    Jonah 4

    “And he prayed unto the LORD, and said, I pray thee, O LORD, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil.” (v. 2) This seems to be the reason that Jonah did not want to go in the first place! He wanted Nineveh to fry! He, no doubt, was a bit of a “Pharisee” at least in spirit, and his self righteousness demanded attention from God. Jonah knew that there was a chance that Nineveh would repent, and suffer no harsh judgment for their evil ways, and he did not want that to happen. He definitely did not have the heart of a soul-conscience believer. Yet, how often do we hear of something in the news and wish God’s severest judgment on them? A heinous crime brings out the devil in us, it seems, and we relish in the judgment of God upon those involved. Why do we not weep for their souls? I, unfortunately, ask this of myself most of all! Though some seem so wicked and heartless, they are still a living soul, and need to be saved. That is the answer to the prOBlems of society, getting wicked men saved and doing right. It is not in legislation; it is not in the penal system, but in changing them from within, which only Jesus can do. In Nineveh we see the hope of the Gospel and the hope of the soul-winner, that the entire city would be saved. God truly is gracious and full of mercy, but we forget that it is given to us too, as well as those very wicked men and women we would condemn. Read our text verse, and know a little more about the nature of God. He is very kind; gracious; slow to anger, and merciful. He is an Almighty, loving God, and loves the souls of the wicked in the same way that he loved us while we were yet in our sin. Our God loves sinners, rather, He loves to redeem them! God used an illustration to teach Jonah that if it were him in Nineveh, he would be happy about the warning, and about God changing His mind too. Jonah seems to care more about himself, and a silly old gourd, than he did about a multitude of souls in hell. Shame on him, and on us who know better when we find ourselves emulating Jonah in our attitudes.
  4. irishman

    Jonah 3

    So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them. (v. 5) Jonah was sent with a particular message to a particular people. One must be careful to always speak that which the Lord gives them, nothing less, and nothing more. Remember, it was the Word that Jonah preached that brought repentance, and not the man himself, or his delivery. We put too much stock in methods! The Lord cautioned him to preach the “preaching that I bid thee” (v.2) and Jonah was careful to say exactly that. We do not know all that God told him, but he did tell them that they would be destroyed shortly, in forty days. It was a message of doom. The Bible says that the people of Nineveh “believed God” and repented. Folks, men always were saved by faith. Their faith led them to repentance. Look at how they prayed “mightily unto God” and turned from their wicked ways, (2 Chron. 7:14), and found mercy in the eyes of the Lord: But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands. (v. 8) These folks were serious in their repentance! Not only did they pray, but they also fasted. Now I am not sure how potent a forced fast is with the Lord, but He seems to have honored the faith of the people each time a public fast was proclaimed. True fasting seems to contain a certain element of sorrow. Always when we see a people fasting in the Bible, it is not for wisdom, or financial needs, but for sorrow of heart. It is the sorrowful heart that compels a compassionate God to move on our behalf. Nineveh was definitely sorrowful to think that they would all be destroyed in forty days, but they were also afraid. Great fear compels great fasting, and prayer unto our Great God. Any time we read about “sackcloth” the theme is great sorrow. In foreign countries when the king was sorrowful, the entire country was to be sorrowful; when he fasted, the people fasted, whether they understood the prOBlem or not. Though I do no like to compare the preacher to the king, when he proclaims a fast, we all need to participate. He is our leader in spiritual things.
  5. irishman

    Jonah 2

    “When my soul fainted within me I remembered the LORD: and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple.” (2:7) Too often it takes tragedy in our lives before we will “remember the Lord” and call upon Him in prayer. Nonetheless, God hears the prayer of the desperate. Jonah said he prayed “out of the belly of hell” and God heard Him, He will hear us when we think we are in the belly of hell too. I am reminded of my year in Viet Nam. Many men, in the face of death or danger, call upon the Lord, and find deliverance. Often though they, soon forget the fear and the desperation they once knew, and revert back to their “old selves” when the situation is resolved. Many “fox-hole professions” have wound up being idle words, spoken out of a fearful heart. The desperation does not make dedication, but God will often honor the cry of the desolate. He did it with Israel many times! They cried out of bondage and rigorous servitude, and God sent a deliverer! Oh why can’t we “remember the Lord” when things are going well too? Jonah ran from the Lord, but he knew how to get right and what to do about it, and God did honor his prayer. Jonah “cried” out of the belly of the whale. When was the last time you cried unto the Lord, and wept bitterly for the soul of another? Or when did you last cry about a great need, one that was so desperate that you could do nothing but wail? This is the prayer that shakes Heavens foundation, and moves God to action on our behalf. Was there ever a time that you felt like Jonah must have felt in chapter two, when “the floods compassed me about: all thy billows and thy waves passed over me. The waters compassed me about, even to the soul: the depth closed me round about, the weeds were wrapped about my head. I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me for ever: yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O LORD my God.” Jonah decided that he would pay what he had vowed, and would sacrifice and be thankful unto the Lord. I hope your commitment is not soon forgotten friend, lest you too end up in the bottom of the mountains, or in the belly of a whale!
  6. irishman

    Jonah And The Whale

    Jonah 1 “Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.” (v. 17) It looks as if Jonah had a “whale” of a prOBlem! First let us clear the air about something; Men say that a whale’s throat is not big enough to swallow a man, but my God is big enough to make it happen! Furthermore, if anyone takes issue with this, let him take issue with Christ, who said “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.” (Mt 12:40). Even Jesus says it was a whale! Whether it was a whale, or simply a large fish, is not the key issue here, it is actually irrelevant to the story, but the Truth must always prevail for Truth’s sake. More importantly though, we need to keep one thought in mind as we read through these pages, and that is that Jonah had a rotten attitude all the way through, and God used him anyhow! This is somewhat amazing to me. It tells me there is still hope for me! There is also a sign here for us, a picture of Christ’s death and resurrection, which He Himself alludes to in the aforementioned verse. This is a beautiful picture of a resurrected Savior coming to a lost and dying world, but the type stops there! Jonah’s attitude was horrific! He did not rejoice when Nineveh repented, but wanted to see God’s wrath spewed upon them! He complained all the while about going; about the heat, and then about the gourd! The amazing thing is that God used him in spite of his attitude! We hear that God will not use a dirty vessel, but He did it here! God can use ANY vessel to promote His kingdom and glorify His name. I do not recommend, nor condone backsliding, it just isn’t healthy spiritually or physically, but if and when you do, God can still use you for His glory! Don’t put yourself on the shelf if you have fallen under a bad attitude, and think that God can no longer use you. He can use anyone that will go. Yes, someone has said “God’s grace is greater than all my sin” and I believe it is; another has said “God will not go against our will, but He’ll sure make us willing to go!” and that is what happened with Jonah. Don’t wait until God makes you willing, go now, and save yourself a multitude of troubles.
  7. There are a few written sermons on hell in the "sermon" section of this forum. Take a look at them, it can't hurt.
  8. You guys are making light of a serious situation. We need to pray for America and her leaders.
  9. Ukelele, I like your answer, but is it feasible that God would work through mysticism? It would seem as if He put His approval on her methods wouldn't it?
  10. "And when the woman saw Samuel, she cried with a loud voice: and the woman spake to Saul, saying, Why hast thou deceived me? for thou art Saul." (1 Samuel 28:12) Does any one believe that a medium could have called Samuel back from the dead? It appears that the "witch of Endor" did. What doe you make of it?
  11. I spoke up against it on this forum, and was verbally "beaten" nearly to death when it first came out. AWANA was big too, but they have fallen by the wayside. All this "recovery" stuff is no different than the change that comes from accepting Christ and learning the Word of God. Mel Trotter was a drunk to the utmost, (sold his dead babies shoes for another drink!) and he stumbled (drunk) into the Pacific Gardens Mission in Chicago, and was gloriously saved--even without a man made "recovery" program. He went on to found missions in Grand Rapids Mi, and several all over the country, and became a dynamic evangelist. Somehow all this happened without RU (if you can believe it!)
  12. can something be done about the "What's on your mind" postings? It looks as if one may need to be removed. Thank you
  13. Hosea 4 “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.” (v. 6) I thank God that He gave the New Testament church a special promise; that he would never leave us nor forsake us (Heb. 13: 5 c), which is an indirect quote from Joshua 1: 5. Our God is “there” for us all the time. The first part of this is still true today, (of course) we are destroyed for lack of knowledge. We do not hear enough “truth” and when we do, we do no believe it easily. We need to be convinced. God’s Word is truth, from the beginning to the end; it is true all the way through, word by word in the King James Bible, so that that Book is all we need of truth. Yet, God’s people die because of a lack of knowing it. Sure, we all die anyway, but there are several promises in the Bible for longevity and God cannot lie or trick us by deceit, if only we would believe His Word, the people of God would not, and could not be destroyed. To have the Lord reject us would lead to very dire consequences, and we would be “of all men, most miserable”. As the Lord withdrew Himself from Israel at times, He has promised never to do so with us. Heb. 13 :5, the latter part, tells us so, and we can believe it, and rest assured that it is so. What a joy to know that He will never leave us for a moment, nor forsake us altogether; we can walk in the assurance of His eternal presence. In Israel, God withdrew Himself from them for the purpose of judgment; He removed His blessings from them. They were disOBedient to His Word, and He had to turn from them, just as they had from Him, but, thank God today for Jesus, He is the King of grace unto us. Grace allows God to remain with us, for Jesus’ sake, and continue to abide in us, in spite of our foolishness. He does not condone our sin, nor accept it in any way, but He allows us to continue in Him, and He in us. He no longer needs to judge us, that has been taken care of at Calvary, but now He is there to comfort; to guide; to bless us in a multitude of ways, for Jesus’ sake, and only for Jesus’ sake. It is not because of us, but because of Jesus that He does so; we would do well to remember that. Take comfort in the fact the our Lord will never, ever leave us, no, not for a second, but mostly, thank God that he will never abandon us altogether and leave us to perish in the pits of hell forever. I shudder to think of what life might be like if He ever decided to leave us, and turn His back on our sin and grief. Thank God mightily for the King of grace, Jesus Christ, by whom is the promise given unto us.
  14. The longest I have fasted was three days, but I did not do it for the right reasons then. I believe there is an element of sorrow in fasting; the Biblical accounts (Pharisee's excepted) almost always express a great need and a great sorrow. Esther is a good example. Isaiah makes it practical: Isa 58:6 Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Isa 58:7 Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? A word search on fasting can be enlightening.
  15. You mean they have indians in the background running this thing?
  16. The Beauty and the Beast I’m sure all of us have heard the story of the “Beauty and the beast”, but I’d like to tell you about the Biblical version of it. It begins first with: The beast of oppression The oppression of sin; we are slaves to evil, the captors of sin. There is little deliverance if any, from our captor, the devil. If we are delivered in one area, we are enslaved in another, there is no escape among men. Turning over a new leaf will not deliver us; Doing good deeds will not deliver us; nothing in this life will deliver us, except Jesus. We are captivated by the oppression of sin. Rom 3:23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” Jer 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” We are oppressed by habits; a bad habit is hard to break. Man is drawn to sin, it is his innate nature to sin. (Rom. 5:12) We can sometimes change the habit; we can even change the environment, but we cannot change the heart. Only our Lord Jesus Christ can do that. We are captive to the beast of oppression. The beast of tribulations Trials and tribulations plague us, and we are at the mercy of “chance”. For the most part, we have no chance against the winds of trials that come our way; we are often overwhelmed by temptations and trials, and tribulation. Again, there is no relief--no “rest for the weary“, no hope among men. The weather defeats us; time is often against us; the flesh is always warring against our spirit. Joh 16:33 “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” Act 14:22 “Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.” Tribulation comes in the form of trials; our patience is tried, our faith is tried and our love is often tried by man and by God, but thank God that He sent His Son that we might be victorious over sin and death--and along with that, many trials leave us, and we are made free. Tribulation will come--if you love the Lord, and serve Him, tribulation will come upon you; it is inevitable; it is necessary that it come to you, but the Lord will lighten the burden of trials and afflictions, and give us the victory in Christ over all these malady’s. Jesus is the cure for what ails us! He will carry our burdens through the storm. The beast of hunger Hunger is never satisfied here on earth. As soon as we are filled, we begin to hunger again. We hunger for many things; riches, glory, food, and every lust that man can perceive; again I say, hunger is never quenched in this life. We are slaves to our lusts; we seek only to gratify the flesh; we glut ourselves with food and luxuries. Mat 25:35 “For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Mat 25:36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.” Hunger is a devastating enemy, able to slowly melt us down, and grind at our spirit; hunger fulfilled is temporary, for tomorrow we hunger again. This beast has defeated many a good man, and it could easily get us too, except that Jesus won’t allow it. The beast of disease and pestilence Even the air we breathe can be a detriment to us. Germs are everywhere, and disease runs rampant in the streets. The water we drink must be purified for fear of disease, and the body itself is easily susceptible to every illness known to man. It is almost as if the beasts are all about us, and on every side, yet there is hope. We need not fret, Jesus is our stay. Psa. 91: 3 “Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.” Psa 91:7 “A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.” The Beastliness of Man The “Maniac of Gadara” (Mk. 5:1-20) was such a man. He was a beast at his best, but the love of the Lord tamed the beast, and this “wild man” became a gentle-man. He was at his worst when Jesus made him better. Every man has a little of the beast in Him, but our Lord makes the difference, and tames the wild, wondering soul. Jesus found us at our worst, and yet He nurtured us and guided us, and led us unto Himself; in Him we have hope at last! Sin is a beast--a dreadful, deadly beast. It’ll leave you in a mangled heap of despair, and laugh at your final demise. It is a mocker; a deceitful enemy, which poses as a true friend. None that love the beast will find true beauty. There are many “beasts” existent today among men, but ahh, there is also beauty. There is: Beauty The Beauty of Salvation “In that day shall the LORD of hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of his people,” (Isa. 28:5). I know that this may not be referring to salvation, but it clearly tells us that The Lord Himself is a crown of beauty to His people, whether Jew or Christian. There is no greater gift given to man than the salvation of his soul. Jer 8:20 “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.” But…“Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Rom. 10:13) The Beauty of Comfort And Joy True joy comes from knowing Christ as our Savior; true peace comes from knowing our sins are gone, and we are no longer condemned. We can take comfort in these things, they are beauty to the wretched soul, and honor to the depraved. This is “joy unspeakable and full of glory.” To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified. (Isa. 61:3) Great gifts from a greater God. Let the scriptures speak! 1Pe 1:8 “Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:” The Beauty of Holiness “O worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth.” (Psa. 96:9) Holiness is beauty in the eyes of the Lord. Beauty, as we know it, is flesh and worldly, but a sweet spirit is most precious; holiness and purity are the real beauty of men, and pleasing unto God. Holiness is beautified in man; it is his delight. A holy life is well-pleasing unto God and man, and will lead us in the paths of righteousness. Holiness protects us from the beast of sin. “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:” (Heb. 12:14) The Beauty of His Sanctuary “Honour and majesty are before him: strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.” (Psa. 96: 6) The sanctuary of God, the church, is a beauty and strength for God’s children. Christ died for the church, and made her His bride, what a beautiful reunion we will have with Him in glory some day soon. Then the beast will be defeated completely, and the Beauty shall reign forevermore. There is also sanctuary in His presence. The eternal presence of God is a strong sanctuary for man, the answer to all that ails him. He is a tower of strength for all that call on Him. The Beauty of the Lord Jesus is the beauty of our souls. It is He that turns the beast into the beauty; only Jesus can do so. In all Hs splendor and grace, we see a heart of beauty, a life of beautiful things, and it is given for, and to, us. Our God, Jesus, is altogether lovely; He is the bright and morning Star; the lily of the valley; the rose of Sharon, and the balm of Gilead. He is our Savior, and His grace is our beauty too. We are adorned with the beauty of His love, and His grace is sufficient for all men. He makes the ugly beautiful, and the despondent cheerful; this is an inner beauty, the beauty of the soul. His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem. (Song of Solomon 5:16)
  17. The Book, "Things to Come" by J. Dwight Pentecost is an excellent book that shows the different beliefs concerning the Great Tribulation. Dr. Pentecost was the president of Dallas Theological Seminary (Or is it now "cemetery") I believe it is still available. He is called an "expert" of Eschatology. A very good book to keep in your library. Edited: had wrong title for the book.
  18. irishman

    Moderation

    Philippians 4 “Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.” (v. 5) To use a naval term, let us be "even keeled" or steadfast in all endeavors. This is a restraint of passions and indulgences of appetites; it is to control rage, and extinguish anger. Moderation is the "middle of the road", so to speak, and not drastic swings to the right or left. It is no extreme or excess in any direction or practice. When we allow others to anger us, we are not practicing moderation. If we are not angry all the time, we should not get angry any time! This is a very hard thing to practice, but the Word never changes, only circumstances change. When we react to circumstances, we are no longer acting on the Word of God. So, why should we do this? Because "the Lord is at hand." The Lord demands an evenness in our person, a moderation of temper and appetites. Overindulgence most always leads to trouble in some respect, as well as extreme swings in attitudes and moods. If I find myself in adverse circumstances, and perhaps someone strikes me, am I still to remain moderate in temper? Is retaliation justified at such times? Let me ask, in answer to that, does the Bible change with each situation? No. It still says, every time we read it, “Let your moderation be known unto all men…” even if the situation is not a pleasant one. This does not mean that I have have attained to this height yet, please don’t get me wrong. I have struck out at adversity, and, no doubt, I will again, but know when I do it I am not doing what the Bible says to do. My point is, we too often allow the circumstances in life to dictate our actions, and ignore, at times, the Word and principles of God. We then become a child of circumstance, and at the whim of every evil that comes along. A great man once said that “if you anger a man, you have conquered him already”, or something to that effect, and I see that it is a true statement. Let’s endeavor to be of moderate temper, at least, and that alone will be quite an improvement for most of us; and, along the way, let us also be moderate in our actions, and appetites, and we will have accomplished a great deal toward godliness.
  19. yes bro. Jerry, I red your post, I was only kidding in mine. We will (many of us, if not all) meet in heaven on the Lord's terms someday anyway, after we spend years getting to know our Savior face-to-face.
  20. What? No one wants to meet me? I am a wonderful fellow, just ask me if you have any doubt, I will be glad to tell you.
  21. At the risk of sounding too pious, I would like to met the invisible presence here...Jesus! I am sure you would all second the motion.
  22. Mt 13 The Sower “But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.” (20,21) We have the parable of the sower in this passage. Here, the peculiar phrase “Yet he hath not root in himself” seems to throw the focus of the passage in a different direction. Note that this guy received the Word with joy, but it did not produce fruit in him. One wonders why. We can glean a few things from these few verses that will help us to see why this might be. First, in v. 19, we see that this guy did not understand the Word as he received it; he had the seed in his heart, but not in his head. The sowing is not enough in the heart, but one needs it in the head too. Then, in v. 21, we see the guy that has it in his head, but not in his heart; exactly the opposite of the man in v. 19. In verse 22, we see the guy that neither has it in his head, (understanding) nor in his heart (Believing), but is a carnal, lost man, and in v.23, the man that has it in his head and in his heart. This “ground” is the heart of man that is either so hard and brittle that nothing good can grow from it, or so soft that nothing will take root in it either. Just as some types of trees grow better in sand, and some in clay, few grow in the hard, brittle dirt, a dry seabed, or a barren wasteland. The soil must be worked in all cases, and made conducive to the tree. This is why some seeds of faith take root, and others wither away, the condition of the soil. Both often have water (the Word) and sun (the Son, which “lighteth every man that cometh into the world.”), but the soil has not been prepared. It is barren ground. Yes, the water of the Word is the same for both; the sun (Son) is shining on them both, but the one takes hold of the words of life, while the other wilts and dies for lack of root. He that hath not “root in himself” is that one of which we speak negatively, the dying one. He has the seed, he has the will to receive it, but it has not rooted itself in him, he has not allowed it to, he is hard hearted, as well as hard headed! He does not have it within himself, but endures for awhile in his own power. Oh, I am afraid we see many of this type in the church today, as well as the others. Take heed to the Word, and allow the Seed to root itself in you, and grow in the garden of faith that you might be fruitful and productive in the Lord and unto others. Remember, the Bible commands us to be kind, and tenderhearted…which is to tenderize our soil for the growth of the seed. The Sower (Mt. 13:3-23) “A sower went forth to sow…” He did his jOB--he merely strewed the seed in all directions. He did not look for the most fertile soil; He did not consider the stony ground; He did not examine the seed before he spread it, He merely sowed. The sower did not worry about some of the seed falling by the wayside; He did not spend time chasing the fowl away that came to devour the seed. He merely sowed the seed. He allowed the Lord to determine the effect. “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” (Isa. 55:11) In each illustration, the seed had an effect. (vs. 4-8) God’s Word will produce! If man’s heart (soil) has been prepared, it produces good; If his heart has been hardened, it produces unbelief, and he does evil; But the planted seed will produce some sort of result; it will not return void. Gypsy Martindale
  23. irishman

    “Heroes”?

    “All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again. “ (Eccl. 3:20) “Yea, though he live a thousand years twice told, yet hath he seen no good: do not all go to one place?” (Eccl. 6: 6) Both of these verses teach us an important truth, that death is the same for all men. The “great ones” that we exalt in sports today, those who have given their lives and hearts to the game, even they will ultimately end up in the same place as the sluggard and the slouch. Though they may spend hours away from their families, and sacrifice many meals and much quality time with friends and loved ones, they will have the same end as those who did not sacrifice any of these things. It is all vanity. Though many enjoy fame and fortune for a time, and give their “all” for success in business or in sports, or whatever they wish to excel in, they all end in the same grave, and all turn to mere dust. Greatness only lasts for awhile when it is OBtained by worldly means. Riches give us a little respect here on earth, and often gain the envy of others, but what are they when death comes our way? Can you see the futility of these things? Do you see the irony of it? Solomon did. He knew it was all “vanity and vexation of the spirit.” It almost seems unfair that those who excel so much, who give their entire lives to success, should end up the same as those who did nothing, but that is the way it is when we build our hope on the things of this world and not on Christ. Though many of these athletes or millionaires, or even soldiers are thought of as “heroes” they die the same as the pauper and the coward. No matter what contribution they made to society, or what they had achieved, they build their houses on sand, and it does not stand against the storm. They live in a house of paper, and the foundation is as unstable as the waves of the sea. The only thing that really matters is whether they know Christ as their Savior or not. The saint who dies in Christ is assured of a happy “forever”. His end is not as futile as theirs, he has treasure untold, and CAN take it with him. Our “heroes” ought to be men and women of God that spiritually “move mountains” in the Lord’s work, and make a real difference in the lives of others. They do not have to all be preachers, but faithful servants unto whom the Lord will say “Well done thou good and faithful servant.” Any one of us can hear those words from the lips of our Savior; then we will be “heroes” indeed. Let’s make our “heroes” those who seek the Lord with the same tenacity that the sports figures, politicians, and all those others seek after their goal, and we will share in the fame and glory of God and men.
  24. irishman

    Clothing

    Genesis 3 “And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.” (2:25) “And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.” (3:10) In this chapter, and in the last verse of the previous chapter, we see the main reason for clothing. Did you ever wonder why you wear what you wear? Clothing is basically to cover our shame (nakedness). In verse 7 of chapter 3, we see that they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves, because they were naked. They did not know what it meant to be naked before this, and had no shame because of their innocence. Even after the Lord confronted them, they needed to cover their shame, and He provided the skin of the animal, the innocent one, to cover their shame. We see in this a picture of the sacrifice of Christ on Calvary. He too died to cover our shame, and in Him we are made whole again, and OBtain eternal life. The point I would like to make is that our clothing need not be ostentatious, but simple, as long as it covers us. Anything more than covering our nakedness is pride. Do we need to be adorned with the nicest apparel? Do we need diamond-studded outfits to cover our shame? Of course not. Something much more simple will do. Of course women need to dress modestly, as in Titus 2:9, but even this seems to be speaking of avoiding the showy, attention drawing, and pride building clothing that we often like to wear. It is linked to “gold or pearls, or costly array”, and speaks of dressing “humbly” as much as decently. To “feel good about ourselves” is the worlds’ desire, and ought not to be our desire when it comes to dressing. This thinking is based on pride, which is the bane of all good men and women in every generation. Back to our verses: the shame did not come until the knowledge came. They were not ashamed until after “their eyes were opened” and they became “as gods, knowing good and evil” (3:5). It is the knowledge then that brought the fear. The knowledge of what? Of good and evil: of the ability to discern between the two. This remains the crux of the matter. When we seek out the flashy, sexy, or showy type apparel, we are merely feeding our ego. This may be hard to swallow, but it is true, nonetheless. We like to offer excuses at to why we dress the way we do, we even try to make it “spiritual”, but the bottom line is pride. For our own satisfaction we want to “look nice”, when we ought to be concerned with covering ourselves. I must be fair, and say that we dress for warmth too, but that is not all the time, and even that should fit the guidelines of “modesty” and humility. Did not our Savior dress “humbly” He deserved spectacular a rOBe of purple, but wore a simple rOBe of white. Folks, be sure your pride shows in the way you dress, and in your appearance in this world; yes, others can see it, even if you will not. It’s for men and women alike. (Note: The word “modest” in Titus 2:9 means both in a moral aspect, and in a humble aspect. Here is the Dictionary definition of “modest: “ 1. Properly, restrained by a sense of propriety; hence, not forward or bold; not presumptuous or arrogant; not boastful; as a modest youth; a modest man. 2. Not bold or forward; as a modest maid. The word may be thus used without reference to chastity. 3. Not loose; not lewd.
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