Thursday, December 3, 2009
I read this good article online tonight and thought I'd share it here:
Suffering for Christ’s sake must be a great gift, or else God wouldn’t grant us the gracious privilege. I’m referring to Philippians 2:29: "For to you it is graciously granted, for Christ’s sake, not only to be believing on Him, but to be suffering for His sake also."
Believing is graciously granted, we all concede. But what of this other? To be suffering for His sake. Yes. This, too, is graciously granted. What? You mean it’s not a sign of divine indignation? Not a cosmic accident? Not a bad day? No. Rather, it’s grace. If we’re suffering for Him, it means that we’re doing something right; He’s doing us a favor. It means that He has chosen us in grace for a high privilege. What privilege? To enjoy an even higher reward of glory.
"(We are) joint enjoyers of Christ’s allotment, if so be that we are suffering together, that we should be glorified together also" (Rom. 8:17).
This life isn’t all there is. If there were no resurrection, we would be the laughingstock of all people. But since there is a resurrection, we are the laughingstock of all people.
"For the momentary lightness of our affliction is producing for us a transcendently transcendent eonian burden of glory..." (2 Cor. 4:17).
"Transcendent" isn’t a mystical word. In the Greek it means, "over-cast." This is not a meteorological term, but means, "cast up over all else." It’s something incredibly high, higher than the highest thing. The apostle wants to emphasize this, so he calls the glory "transcendently transcendent." This sounds like ridiculous redundancy, and it is. Paul had nothing in his language to describe it, so he does the best he can with what he has. When he runs out of words, he simply repeats the best one he has.
Note that our afflictions are what produce the burden of eonian glory. (Note: "eonian" is a transliteration of the Greek aionion. It means, "having to do with eons." Our glory will last forever—everyone knows that—but how wonderful to know that it pulsates as well through the following two glorious eons. Not everyone enjoys the privilege of eonian glory. Billions of people will be dead during the two glorious eons ahead. We enjoy eonian glory because Christ favors us.) There is still glory without heavy suffering. That is, we don’t need to bear heavy crosses here to enjoy resurrection life there. Salvation is free. But we won’t know the transcendent depths of glory unless we suffer for His sake. Often, this includes crosses.
Someone is elbowing into the text, saying: "Average glory is good enough for me. Keep the cross out of my life." I understand that. I can relate to that. I don’t like crosses, either. If this is how you feel, then a crossless life is perfect for you. Live your life and worship God however you can.
Others want to taste everything. They want to taste glory to the dregs, and our Lord Jesus Christ knows who they are. To accommodate them, He graciously grants that they should taste suffering to the dregs as well. This suffering has to be graciously granted, because no one can start up a suffering program to win glory. Men and women can’t whip themselves, starve themselves or seclude themselves into glory. Our sufferings, in order to count, must be graciously granted by God; God is up to the task. So just keep living, try to have a good time without breaking the law, and leave the "graciously granted" part to Him. What I’m telling you is: don’t become the author of your own trials. He thinks up good enough ones without you helping Him.
Note that the trials are called "light," while the glory is a "burden." Paul had a healthy perspective here. We often suppose that these trials are weighty and that the glory could never eclipse the pain. This is so wrong.
Our bodies need to be changed. Why? Because we can’t carry so much glory in these frames. Without new bodies, we couldn’t bear the glory ahead. It would be like asking a light bulb filament to channel a nuclear explosion.
Comparatively, then, our present burdens are light. This is hard to understand now, in the heat of battle. But one day soon, when you feel the glory, you are going to thank God for every tear. You are going to thank God for every minute of every trial you were ever called upon to endure. And then you’re going to say, "Oh, God. So this is why I had to go through that."
And then you’re going to wish you had gone through more. For real.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
This is a very ridiculous question, but nevertheless, many people continue to ask it in light of the salvation of all men. Our answer is to be found from Romans 10:14,15. We must understand that the preaching ( and teaching ) of the gospel is the means by which God AWAKENS the human race to what He has ALREADY ACCOMPLISHED in Christ. This is taking place and will continue to take place in the ages to come.
-Romans 10:14,15 states, … How then shall they call on Him in Whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in Him of Whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! … Let us also consider what 2nd Corinthians 5:18 tells us. It states, … And all things are of God, Who has reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and has given to us the ministry of reconciliation; …
-What beautiful passages of scripture! They both testify to the fact that we have been called to preach and minister the salvation and reconciliation of our great God. We must first take into account that God has already ( past tense ) reconciled the world unto Himself. This means that ALL PEOPLE have been reconciled to God by Jesus Christ ( whether they know it or not ). Even with this having been accomplished, mankind is still called upon ( by God ) to recognize, repent, and respond to what God has made available. We don’t preach to “get people saved”, but rather, we preach to AWAKEN THEM to the fact that God has already saved and forgiven them. THIS IS GOOD NEWS! THIS IS THE GOSPEL! We must stop thinking that our preaching, altar calls, and formulas ( the sinner’s prayer ) is what saves a person. In essence, they are already reconciled, but they just don’t know it yet. With this being said though, man is still accountable ( to God ) to repent and respond in faith to the message of reconciliation, which then leads us through the salvation process of our spirit, soul, and body.
-We are called upon to preach the gospel for the purpose of awakening the human race to the fact ( GOOD NEWS ) that they have been reconciled to God by the death of His Son Jesus Christ. How can a person know that they have been reconciled to God unless someone tells them? This is God’s method of causing all men to come to the saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, WHETHER NOW, OR IN THE AGES TO COME! So … Let us …
Monday, October 26, 2009
The following has been sitting on my sidebar for a few months, so today I thought it best to put dear little Lilly to rest by putting her in her own blog post. She was so cute as a puppy, as you can imagine a chihuahua pup is very small and dainty.
Lilly passed away 23rd July 2009, she was aged approx 6 yrs and was my daughter's pure blood, long haired, chihuahua. I loved Lilly and was going to have her as my own next year after I had finished chemotherapy, found a job and place to live. She was hit by a truck this morning in a quiet street, which is unusual as she was street smart. I really love you, Lilly, and I'm so sad I won't have the chance to look after you.
Rest in Peace, our most cutest little being...
Saturday, September 19, 2009
The English author Charlotte Bronte wrote a novel in the early eighteen hundreds called 'Jane Eyre', which I started reading yesterday, and I was so impressed by a passage that I thought I'd share it.
It is well known in the circles of Christian Universalism that her sister, Anne Bronte (one of her poems was posted by myself a month or so previously), was, what we'd call today, a Christian Universalist. When I read this passage from Jane Eyre I was left wondering if her sister, Charlotte, was, even though she didn't declare it openly, of the same belief.
In the story, Jane is sent to a school provided for by charity in which the children lived in very harsh conditions, especially by today's standards, and Jane's one and only friend by the name of Helen Burns was continually emotionally and mentally abused by one of the teachers. Helen suffered her pain with such a Christlike attitude that it always left Jane amazed. Helen taught Jane many valuable spiritual lessons in her short life (she died of typhoid soon afterwards). Here is the passage I wish to share, spoken by Helen:
"Life appears to me too short to be spent in nursing animosity, or registering wrongs. We are, and must be, one and all, burdened with faults in this world; but the time will soon come when, I trust, we shall put them off in putting off our corruptible bodies; when debasement and sin will fall from us with this cumbrous frame of flesh, and only the spark of the spirit will remain, -the impalpable principle of life and thought, pure as when it left the Creator to inspire the creature: whence it came it will return; perhaps again to be communicated to some being higher than man -perhaps to pass through gradations of glory, from the pale human soul to brighten to the seraph! Surely it will never, on the contrary, be suffered to degenerate from man to fiend? No; I cannot believe that: I hold another creed; which no-one ever taught me, and which I seldom mention; but in which I delight, and to which I cling; for it extends hope to all: it makes Eternity a rest -a mighty home, not a terror and an abyss. Besides, with this creed, I can so clearly distinguish between the criminal and his crime; I can so sincerely forgive the first while I abhor the last: with this creed revenge never worries my heart, degradation never too deeply disgusts me, injustice never crushes me too low: I live in calm, looking to the end."
In writing this passage it seems to me that Charlotte also held to the Great Hope.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
This, you can take to bank: God is not removing His Holy Spirit from the earth and leaving everything to the devil, as it is commonly preached. The day of grace is not on the threshold of ending. The door of mercy is not about close. The fact is, we have only seen a fraction of grace and mercy in comparison to what will be coming. Just wait and take note of what the sons of God will be raining upon creation that eagerly awaits their glorious manifestation. This great company of kings and priests who are after the order of Melchisedec will truly be an apocalypse of Jesus Christ's mercy, grace, and power to creation. Moreover, it will not end with this or the coming age, but will continue throughout the ages to come. Due to the very purpose and nature of our God's love, grace, and mercy, the Son of His express image, and those of His body, this love, grace, and mercy will be shed abroad to all until all things are made new.
Truly, we have only had a fore-taste of God's mercy and grace which are centered in Jesus Christ; yet there is more, much more. Through the vast ages to come, He will continue to unfold these unfathomable treasures, manifesting them through His vessels of mercy. This is a sure thing that will be freighted by the power of unmerited love. It will pour down from the Throne until the fullness of God and His Christ is revealed to all and in all, even until God becomes All in all!
Elwin R Roach
Elwin R Roach
Friday, September 4, 2009
THE DEPTHS OF SATAN--teaches that what God does mostly, is HATE! He is a God of eternal hatred and vengeance. He is pictured as the chief of Hypocrites. He tells mankind to love their enemies, but shows his perverted love toward mankind by torturing most of our loved ones in fire for all eternity. God's wish of saving all humanity is thwarted by the sovereign power of man's supposed free will, and thus most of the human race will eternally hate and despise and curse their creator for ever making them. This teaching of satan has absolutely no redeeming value to it. God will be remembered eternally for being the greatest failure in the history of the universe. This doctrine is both the most evil and the most stupid teaching ever taught.
THE DEPTHS OF GOD--teaches that what God does and is, is LOVE! He is a God fully capable of bringing the whole human race to repentance through judgments and cause man to learn righteousness. The purpose for man's creation is to teach him obedience and love, so that he can be molded into the very image of God himself and be manifested as the Eternal Sons and Daughters of God in the family of God. God's plan brings unspeakable happiness and pleasure to every creature in heaven and earth. God's plan will be totally successful down to God's very last wish. The church teaches the DEPTHS OF SATAN, NOT THE DEPTHS OF GOD, and they accuse those who do teach the DEPTHS OF GOD as false prophets and of the devil.
1. Where do we find them who say they are the apostles and are not?? the church....rev.2:2
2. where do we find them who have left their first love?...in the church.rev 2:4
3.where do we find them that say they are jews and are not, but are synagogue of satan?....in the church.rev 2:9 and 3:9
4. Where do we find satans seat and where satan dwells?...in the church. rev 2.13
5. Where do we find the doctrine of Balaam?.... in the church. rev 2:14
6. Where do we find them that hold the doctrine of the nicolaitans that Jesus HATED?.... in the church.rev 2:15
7. Where do we find that woman Jezebel, that calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce servants to commit fornication?.... in the church. rev 2:19
8. Where do we find the depths of satan?.... In the church rev.2:24
9. where do we find them that are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked?.... in the church.rev 3:17
There is no greater evil taught in the church today than that of the doctrine of eternal torment. There is nothing that can be taught by the mind of man or demon that is more deplorable, detestable and disgusting than the thought of being physically, mentally, and spiritually tortured for all eternity. The thought of eternal torture is far beyond all evil, immoral, corrupt, damnable, deprived, heinous, hideous, loathsome, nefarious, obscene, repugnant, vile and wicked sins of all the universe combined. The very thought, the teaching, and the doctrine, of eternal torment is the greatest evil than can ever be conceived. Any human who would torture others are considered the lowest form of humanity. the churches teach of a torture by fire in hell never ever coming to an end and they call it FAIR and JUSTICE. ETERNAL TORTURE IS NOT FAIR OR JUSTICE. But it is the depths of satan. It is INORDINATELY EVIL, IT IS THE ULTIMATE SIN AND IT IS BLASPHEMY OF ALL BLASPHEMIES. IT IS A DOCTRINE THAT DEMEANS THE VERY CHARACTER OF GOD. This doctrine of eternal torture says that God is evil and unjust beyond any sane comprehension. This doctrine says that God, who saved the worlds worst sinner that ever lived, in a flash of light, cannot save most sinners. This doctrine says God is more evil then He is loving. This doctrine makes God out to be less caring and merciful and the worst of sinners. This doctrine contradicts hundreds of scriptures. This doctrine makes God out to be a hypocrite when He tells us to love our enemies, but does not follow His own teaching.
Will the same God who says to us, love your enemies, be the one that will torture our friends, neighbors and loved ones? Is this the reward we get for loving our enemies?? God will torture our loved ones? This is double talking, unscriptural nonsense. God wants us to love our loved ones and love our enemies, because we are growing into HIS IMAGE. You cannot show your love to your enemies by torturing them, and NEITHER CAN GOD.
On the DEPTHS OF GOD so little is taught in the churches. The doctrines that are scriptural, such as the fact that Jesus is the Savior of the whole world, and that GOD will save the whole world, and all that GOD has created is here for the purpose of training humanity to become sons and daughters of God, in the image of God.... are not taught in the churches and should be taught but instead they teach the depths of satan.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Oh Lord, You're beautiful
Your face is all I see
For when Your eyes are on this child
Your grace abounds to me
Oh Lord, please light the fire
That once burned bright and clean
Replace the lamp of my first love
That burns with holy fear
I want to take Your Word and shine it all around
But first help me just to live it, Lord
And when I'm doing well, help me to never seek a crown
For my reward is giving glory to You
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
I have a contact in Facebook who says the most amazing things about God and spirituality in his wall posts, so I save them. I find the things he has to say very uplifting and encouraging, and they speak to my mind and spirit. Here is a collection of his sayings:
Paul said, "To be carnally minded IS death." So that explains the death that must be cast into the lake of fire. Hell is torment that goes with carnality; all those works of the flesh, jealousy, envy, malice, etc. We should be asking God to cast us into that lake for a real cleansing!
Your old religious heavens, which were your former resting place where you felt so secure in the religious cradle your church mother rocked you in, is beginning to shake and fall, in the light of what this fire-word is revealing. Yes, they are passing away as if being shaken down by an earthquake, a great avalanche of truth. "The ELEMENTS shall melt... Read More with fervent heat; the earth also and the works that are there in shall be burned up." "The first man (of our inner nature) is of the earth, earthy." THAT is the earth which is to be burned up, our old Adam nature.
"Awake, thou that sleepeth and Christ shall give thee light." Awake! Learn a great and fundamental truth right here, we must all come through the fire (through the cleansing of God's word). That "lake of fire" of Rev. 20 is where the "death and hell" in everyone of us has to be cast. Fire, being God's word, is surely enough to burn out all the wood, hay, and stubble within you, and anybody else.
The rewards are surely wonderful for those who dwell with the devouring-fire, with everlasting burnings, because the devouring fire, that everlasting burnings is none other but our God who IS a consuming fire.
"When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee; when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. Isa. 43:2 Remember that God loves you just as much when you are in the lake of fire, as when you are on the mountain top of God.
The Cross of Christ deals with our false identity and the influence it has had on our lives. Jesus Christ said that if we wanted to follow him, we had to do two things. One is that we must deny our “self,” because it has no existence in reality, for God did not created a SELF. The imaginary “self” we thought we were came from Adam, and is a sinner that has got to die.
The religious systems of the world have made SIN the centre of their theology, and then formed a humanistic solution for dealing with the problem. John records for us the truth saying, “For God sent not his son into the world to CONDEMN the world, but that the world through him might be saved." Jn 3:17. The sending of the “WORD” into the world had nothing to do with condemnation but to giving life to all mankind.
One of the most important things you will ever see is that God is not holding you accountable for your sin. You may say that’s impossible, but listen to the Word: "God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation" (2 Cor. 5:19).
God is impartial. He has, therefore, the same design in creating all men, that he had in creating the first man. God is good; and no good being can act with a bad design. The design which he had in creating man, and the design which He has in creating all men, must therefore be good. To create beings for misery, would be to create them with a bad design.
If we think we can escape the fire, we are in the greatest deception. There is no other way to become the temple of the Lord. "But who may abide the day of His coming? And who shall stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner's fire and like fuller's soap; and He shall sit as a purifier of silver; and He shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver...(Malachi Chapter 3)
God Himself is a consuming fire, and His ministers are also like a fire. "Is not my word like as a fire? saith the Lord." Jer. 23:29. Again He says, "Wherefore thus saith the Lord God of hosts, because ye speak this word, behold, I will make MY WORDS IN THY MOUTH FIRE, and this people wood, and it shall devour them." Jer. 5:14. "If any man's work ... Read Morebe burned he shall suffer loss." Oh, yes, you may wonder if anything is going to be left. And often times there isn't very much, if anything, to leave. "But he, himself, shall be saved; yet so as BY FIRE. Yes, if he is willing to separate himself from those dead and worthless religious words and let God's fire (word of truth) reveal them and burn them up, he can be saved.
As Jesus walked we ought to walk with the same mind and relationship from God. We need to come to that place in our life where we are able to instruct the young in mind into the deeper revelations of God. We should not continue as sheep throughout our entire life. There comes a time and a season when we must elevate our standing and move into the heart of God.
All I am truly doing is watering and nurturing that seed (Christ) that is in every man. Then everything that is contained in the seed can begin to grow and as it overtakes you in the garden of your soul, your "old man" is suffocated and killed and thus Christ is produced in your life.
Since Jesus is the resurrection, we have to be in Him in order to be in the resurrection! If we have been born of the Spirit, we are spiritual beings. We have been raised out of our death in Adam, and we have been put into the life of Christ! If Christ is in us, resurrection is in us; if we are in Christ, we are in the resurrection!
I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?'' He is not the God of the dead but of the living."(Matt 22:32) The fact that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are alive today proves that they are no longer dead. Although the bodies of the fathers are still in their graves, yet the fathers are alive.
When Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies," He gave us a new concept of resurrection. Notice that Jesus did not say that He was bringing resurrection, or that resurrection was a future event in history. Instead, He brought us a new understanding of resurrection when He said, "I am the resurrection". When Christ, the resurrection, dwells within us, we don't need to wait for what we already possess. Our physical death cannot stop the continuation of our resurrection life.
Do you THINK or FEEL that God condemns you ? According to the scriptures, God DOES NOT CONDEMNS US. "God was in Christ, reconcialing the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses to them." [2 Cor. 5: 19.] '' Therefore, there is now NO CONDEMNATION FOR THOSE WHO ARE IN CHRIST because through Christ the law of the Spirit of life SET ME FREE from the law of sin and death'' [ Rom. 8: 1 -2 ].
If the wages of sin is death, then Jesus did pay the price for the sin of the world in being made flesh, overcoming all things, dying on the cross, and being raised again on the third day. He experienced the spiritual aspect of death ( the carnal mind ) and the physical aspect of death ( His crucifixion ).
There is only one God and only one life - His life. All else is only a manifestation of that life. God's life can never be separated from Himself, or given to another to make him a god. In Jesus Christ we have the revelation of who God is and what He is. He is the One who comes into our understanding and awareness of spiritual things, to cast down all our imaginations, idols, or wrong ideas of God.
Sin in man has its origin in the flesh, or in his animal nature, and this animal nature is destined to be destroyed. Nothing but the spiritual nature of man can survive the tomb. Hence, in a future state of existence he will be free from those passions, appetites and desires, which in this world lead him astray and entice him from the path of virtue.
Do you believe that you have a choice in salvation? There is a great difference between offering to give a thing, and actually giving it. Nothing is said about offering to give eternal life; but on the contrary, it is said, "The free gift came upon all men unto justification of life." This free gift is to result in justification of life to all to whom it came.
Predestination. This comes next. . . and it is not a frightening word. It simply means "to mark out beforehand." When I seek God and live for Him and seek to walk in His ways, I am not framing my own destiny. I am rather fulfilling a destiny that was predetermined from the foundation of the world. That is why "there remaineth therefore a rest [a sabbath] to the people of God" (Heb. 4:9). Once we recognize that He foreknew and predestinated us, then we know for sure that His call was a creative Word, and not a mere invitation. There is a cause behind the call that reaches back and beyond the foundations of the world. And the cause is hidden in His own heart of Love—He doesn’t tell us why He loved us so.
I can assure you that hell is right here on this very earth. Odd that not one reference to hell in the Bible refers to any other place. Mainly I believe that torment and suffering are more between the ears of man. To escape is to be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then and only then are you free. Otherwise the flames entrenching the lost is a necessity for some will be saved so as by fire.
The fire of God is His judgment in our lives that consumes the refuse in us, which is WOOD, HAY, AND STUBBLE! God’s fire is for PURIFICATION, NOT ETERNAL TORTURE! Nothing was tortured in "Gehenna", only consumed and changed into another form. Your FIERY TRIALS are the process in which God is consuming your carnality and CHANGING YOU INTO THE VERY IMAGE OF THE SON OF GOD.
"Gehenna" was the city dump of Jerusalem, the Holy City, where every unclean and unnecessary thing was burned and consumed. The antitypical "Gehenna" to which our Lord alluded in His teaching is the process of PURIFICATION by which every unclean and unnecessary thing in the lives of His Holy People is purged and consumed by the fires of His judgment.
If God prepared a place in which He was going to torture billions of the human beings He created, how could He say it never entered His mind? (Jer 19:5, Jer 32:35, Jer 7:31)
To move from something that is only a noun to something dynamic and unpredictable, to something living and present tense, is to move from the law to grace.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Because of her long personal search for God out of the strongly non-creedal religion of the Society of Friends, Hannah’s understanding of truth did not always match the formal doctrines of the evangelicalism of her day, doctrines which had been fashioned into evangelical orthodoxy after centuries of theological debate. Most Christians who knew her or of her were aware of these differences. Some had a real problem with her “broadness,” but most did not.
Several factors contributed to the wide-hearing her spiritual counsels received among evangelicals in her time and up to the present time: (1). She never chose to ride a hobby or promote her differences publically. Total submission to God and following Christ were the key notes of her writing and preaching. (2). Her readers and hearers were in a revivalistic tradition which was loyal to basic evangelical doctrine which believed that life not doctrine was the true test of pure Christianity. (3). She had the skill of a spiritual genius in getting to the heart of relational spirituality. Her God was the Omnipotent Lord, but above all, the Loving Father, and she was his devoted child. God was family, like her father, her mother, her sisters and her brother, only so much more.
Hannah’s heresies have not been emphasized in these limited selections from the thousands of entries available. Many today who know her only through her writings know very little about them, or, if they do, like those who knew her best, they still accept her spiritual insights as valid in the same way that most evangelicals of her own generation did and for the same reasons. Like Job, God put her to the test. And like Job she put God to the test. Her ability to tell us about it is what still helps us home to God today.
To a Friend, The Cedars, August 8, 1876
BROAD, BROADER, BROADEST
And now what do you think of it all? I think one of two things, but which one is right, I don’t know. Perhaps you can tell me. Either I was awfully wicked in the whole matter, and God was not in it anywhere and all the success was because of our natural gifts and talents. Or else I was awfully good, so good as to have lost sight of myself to such a degree as to be only a straw wafted on the wind of the Spirit and so consecrated as not to be able to form a desire even, except that the will of God might be fully done. I waver about myself continually. Sometimes I feel sure I have progressed wonderfully, and that my present sphinx-like calm and indifference to everything whether inward or outward except the will of God, is very grand. And then again I think I am an utterly irreligious and lazy fatalist, with not a spark of the divine in me. I do wish I could find out which I am.
But at all events my orthodoxy has fled to the winds. I am Broad, Broader, Broadest! So Broad that I believe everything is good, or has a germ of good in it, and “nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving.” I agree with every body, and always think it likely everybody’s “view” is better than my own. I hold all sorts of heresies and feel myself to have got out into a limitless ocean of the love of God that overflows all things. My theology is complete, if you but grant me an omnipotent and just Creator. I need nothing more.
“God is love,” comprises my whole system of ethics. And, as you say, it seems to take it all in. There is certainly a very grave defect in any doctrine that universally makes its holders narrow and uncharitable, and this is always the case with strict, so called orthodoxy. Whereas, as soon as Christian love comes in, the boundaries widen infinitely. I find that everyone who has travelled this highway of holiness for any length of time, has invariably cut loose from their old moorings. I bring out my heresies to such, expecting reproof, when lo! I find sympathy. We are “out on the ocean sailing” that is certain. And if it is the ocean of God’s love, as I believe; it is grand.
But, enough! Now, what will you do with it all?
Reblogged from: http://not1lost.blogspot.com/
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
The Potter's Wheel
When you’re troubled and discouraged
In the darkness of the night
When obstruction clouds your vision
And you just can't see the light.
When life’s trials overcome you
And you have nowhere to turn
When you’ve reached the very bottom
There are lessons you must learn.
For the clay is being molded
It’s been twisted, pulled and tossed
It’s been rolled and it’s been pounded
Till the ego has been lost.
He will put you through the furnace
You’ll be tested to the brim
Your life will be in pieces
Till you give your soul to Him.
From blemish to perfection
His hands will form the clay
This human piece of rubble
Must let God have His way.
When you come to Him all battered
In the form of mortal man
When you cry to Him in mercy
You will find the Potter’s hand.
He will grind you, mold and chisel
The friction you will feel
Till He gently carves and shapes you
Upon the Potter’s wheel.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Just more control is what he wanted to show, the words of God he did not know.
"For four, or forty days, as a congregation we'll pray until God gives us what we say." And so like children the Pastor and his flock continued their play.
Whether only juice, water, or bread, this is the way it is always said when a fast is declared in the land of the dead.
Man takes God's truth and turns it to lies. It all about man's works, not the truth, for the truth they despise.
If this wasn't so the true meaning of fasting they would know. Their spirit would be fed and their understanding would grow. They would stop with the lies, manipulation and control, they would see the word of God in the only thing we can fast from, if the truth be told.
Shall the children fast when their Father is here? Can they ever be hungry when their daily bread is near? Their bread, which is the revelation of God's Word made clear. How can we fast from something so dear? Unless we are ignorant of God's truth and cannot hear.
It's not literal food that feeds our soul, it’s not literal food we fast from, it is the Word of God that is sown. In the wilderness we are tempted with lies and it is hard for God to show the truth we need to know because our minds a filled with the lies these pastors, priests and so-called prophets blow.
Listen carefully before you follow a man made fast. If you follow vain tradition, and ignorant teachers, you follow the wrong teachers down the wrong path.
We are the body and the bread that is broken. The water is the Word we’re immersed in, the sincere milk is the rudiments of God's word spoken. The Fish and the Sheep are women and men that seek. The meat is revelation that is quite deep, the honey is enlightenment that opens yours eyes so you can see. In the Promise Land there is no fasting or hunger for you and me.
So don't be like the disciples of John and those that follow after the teaching of those that are less than the least in the kingdom. The law and the prophets bring death, but Christ brings liberty, peace, righteousness and freedom.
"The Truth Will Change You"
I have always wondered why I was never led to 'fast'.. :)
Friday, July 3, 2009
CLV John 12:31 Now is the judging of this world. Now shall the Chief of this world be cast out.
John 12:32 And I, if I should be exalted out of the earth, shall be drawing all to Myself."
KJV John 12:31 Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.
John 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.
NASB John 12:31 "Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out.
Joh 12:32 "And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself."
The word 'men' is not in the original Greek.
Jesus said that when He was lifted up He would draw all into Himself. The word men is italicized meaning it was added for clarity. The subject he was talking about was judgment. He drew all judgment for sin unto Himself. He did that by drawing all men unto Himself also. So all men were in Christ when He died on the cross. When He died we all died. When He raised from the dead we all raised from the dead with Him, Holy, Righteous and Perfect in the eyes of God. All men are in Christ, even as all men were in Adam. As sin was imputed to us through the one man Adam, righteous has been imputed to us because of the obedience of the one man Jesus. We really never enter into the equation. It has always been between God and two men. Our receiving of the gift is the kind of receiving you do when you catch the flu. Your body receives the organism whether you want it or not. Your spirit received righteousness through the faith of Jesus Christ. Our job is to reveal to the "world" the righteousness that already exists in them" not to get to become righteous through some work that they might do, which I might add even includes believing. The entire world has been redeemed whether they believe it or not. When that revelation of Redemption is revealed to them and they believe it is when they come into "salvation" which is for the soul which is the mind the will and the emotions.
This morning I thought to look at this lesson on tithing that a friend of mine had posted in a particular forum. He'd done a huge study on this topic and I thought I'd post the main points. I left some out to tidy it up as there were quite a bit of 'personal' quotes and quips.
For a long time I have felt the Holy Spirit tell me that tithing was not a requirement in the New Covenant. I'd read a few books about it, and read many articles which were good teaching, but I felt there was something deeper, the postings my friend StevenL had given from his study was that deeper teaching. In fact, I believe it goes deeper still, the scriptures are like that. So here is that teaching, I hope it helps someone to break free just that little bit more from the Law still preached in pulpits around the christian world..
That there may be food in My house.
John 4:32 But He said to them, “I have food to eat of which you do not know.”
Malachi 3:10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this,” Says the LORD of hosts, “ If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it.
Why does he want the tithes? So there will be FOOD in His House.
What is His House?
1 Corinthians 3:16 Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
Ephesians 2:19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.
1 Corinthians 3:9 YOU are God's building. (Read the surrounding verses to see Paul's allegory. We're going back to "God's field"....think "tithe"..... later.)
1 Corinthians 6:19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?
So, His House is the people of God, corporately and individually. It is a SPIRITUAL HOUSE. It's not located in some particular place so that we can "go to the house of God." You can't GO there. You ARE there. It's certainly not in Jerusalem for an antichrist to go sit in.
John 4:21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth;
This House is Haggai's House. Hag 2:9
1 Peter 2:5 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices (think "tithe") acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
5 And Moses indeed was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which would be spoken afterward, 6 but Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end.
HIS HOUSE is a spiritual House.
This House is also a PRIESTHOOD.
God's House is also a Priesthood, a Building, a Field, a Body, a Family, a Temple.
1 Peter 2:5 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices (FOOD!) acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
Hebrews 7:11 Therefore, if perfection were through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need was there that another priest should rise according to the order of Melchizedek, and not be called according to the order of Aaron? 12 For the priesthood being changed, of necessity there is also a change of the law.
At the appearing of Jesus, God manifested in flesh, at the end or consummation of the ages, a NEW PRIESTHOOD also was established. The old one, under the order of Levi (Aaron, the High Priestly family) was found to be ineffective and useless. It represented FLESH. ~ The flesh had to be fed with physical food ~ or, of course, they would die or at least be hungry and unable to work. The tithes and offerings (FOOD) of the NON-PRIESTLY tribes were used to feed the physical temple servants so they could be 'holy' (separated to the work).
But the physical temple with its appointments and rituals, law, priesthood, is now GONE. The Priesthood changed, it changed TRIBES. Jesus was born into the world through JUDAH (meaning Praise) and became a Priest after the order of Melchizedek (meaning King of Righteousness) and not Aaron. The Levitical was on the order of and represented FLESH and DEATH. Melchizedek represented the order of Spirit and LIFE! Perpetual LIFE!
So we NOW have a Priesthood after the order of PERPETUAL LIFE, the order of Melchizedek. And Melchizedek (Jesus) has a FAMILY. A holy Family. Holy meaning separated to Him. Come out from among them and be separate says the Lord...... A PRIESTLY FAMILY, A ROYAL FAMILY.
Revelation 1:5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth.
To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, 6 and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen
Hebrews 2:10 For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons (children) to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. 11 For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren,
So we are all BROTHERS/SISTERS/KINDRED in this Royal Family of Priests. A Priesthood based on the order of the King of Righteousness, based on Perpetual LIFE.
Previously, in physical fleshly, Israel, there was only ONE family/tribe of priests. God's original intention was that the whole nation of Israel be a priestly tribe.
Exodus 19:5 Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. 6 And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.”
But we know that Israel failed to obey. Then, at Sinai, when they made the calf and had the big party, God separated LEVI out for the Priesthood because they alone took up swords, sided with Moses, and killed their brethren who had rebelled.
But then, at the establishment of God's New Covenant through Christ Jesus, at the end of the ages, the Ekklesia, God's Called-Out Family, became the fulfillment of God's original intention.
1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
God's House is now a Spiritual House, A Spiritual Nation, A Spiritual Body, A Spiritual Priesthood. No separated tribe exists in This Nation. The Whole Nation is now holy (separated).
This Holy Spiritual Priesthood has its own Spiritual FOOD. It offers spiritual sacrifices.
ALL THE PRIESTS ARE REQUIRED TO DO IS EAT.
John 4:31 In the meantime His disciples urged Him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.”
32 But He said to them, “I have food to eat of which you do not know.”
33 Therefore the disciples said to one another, “Has anyone brought Him anything to eat?” (Looking for the physical/flesh)
34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work. (Looking in the spiritual)
What about us? As Priests in God's House are we eating this food? Christ is our example.
1 John 2:6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.
Our FOOD should be doing the will of God and finishing His work in us.
You can see why He would want this FOOD in His House. You can also see why it wouldn't be good not to have this FOOD in His House.
1 John 2:15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.
If we don't eat this FOOD, we will pass away with the world.
Phillipians2:13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. <<<<<<PRIEST FOOD
It should be apparent that this food cannot be purchased with money.
1Ho, every thirsty one, come ye to the waters, And he who hath no money, Come ye, buy (paradox?) and eat, yea, come, buy Without money and without price, wine and milk. 2 Why do ye weigh money for that which is not bread? And your labour for that which is not for satiety? Hearken diligently unto me, and eat good, And your soul doth delight itself in fatness.
3Incline your ear, and come unto me, Hear, and your soul doth live, And I make for you a covenant age-during, The kind acts of David -- that are stedfast. (Young's Literal)
Here's the only place I think we can connect "tithe" (Food in His House) with money. If God tells me to give money to someone (it's His will) and I do it (His will) then I've partaken of the Food in His House. But even then, the tithe (food) is NOT the money, but my ACT OF DOING THE WILL OF GOD.
You can have the biggest "church" in the country, the most members, with every single one of them giving 10 % of his or her gross income to the "house of God", and still not have one particle of True Tithe anywhere in sight.
MORE ON FOOD..
John 6:27 Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting (age enduring) life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.”
John 6:32 Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
John 6:51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.”
John 6:53 Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. 56 He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me. 58 This is the bread which came down from heaven—not as your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever.”
John 6:60 Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, “This is a hard saying; who can understand it?”
John 6:66 From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more.
PEOPLE are still stumbling over the reality of the Good News. Take away all the physical trappings, the temples (houses of god), the pews, the crosses, the doves, the priests/pastors behind their pulpits, the sermons, the money "tithes", the sabbaths, the rules, etc. and most would just scratch their heads in bewilderment and walk away. The church members of today have little, if any, greater knowledge of Spiritual Truth than the religious Jews that Christ Jesus had to face.
Most will mouth the fact that Christ FULFILLED the types and shadows of the Mosaic law (or before law) but then in actuality continue to carry on as if the types were NOT really fulfilled.
Christ fulfilled the law of Tithing by doing what Israel in the flesh would not do. He filled the True Temple Storehouse with the True Food from above.......HIMSELF. A Blessing that overflowed and could not be contained. The Second Adam became a Life-Giving Spirit.
But the blinded keep trying to transform the fulfilled tithe into MONEY and then trying to use the prophecy in Malachi to get financially blessed or to expain why they've been financially blessed. What vanity! What delusion!
NOTE: I did NOT say that God will not financially bless people. I said that God does not financially bless because one keeps the law of tithing. No law of tithing exists for God's children.
A Bit of extra teaching concerning Abraham and his tithing to Melchizedek:
Hebrews 7:1 For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, 2 to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all, first being translated “king of righteousness,” and then also king of Salem, meaning “king of peace,” 3 without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, remains a priest continually.
4 Now consider how great this man was, to whom even the patriarch Abraham gave a tenth of the spoils. SPOILS. SPOILS SPOILS.5 And indeed those who are of the sons of Levi, who receive the priesthood, have a commandment to receive tithes from the people according to the law, that is, from their brethren, though they have come from the loins of Abraham; 6 but he whose genealogy is not derived from them received tithes from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises. 7 Now beyond all contradiction the lesser is blessed by the better. 8 Here (in ancient Israel with a Levitical priesthood) mortal men receive tithes, but there (in the land around the Salt Sea where the battle took place in the Genesis 14 account) he receives them, of whom it is witnessed that he lives. 9 Even Levi, who receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham, so to speak, 10 for he was still in the loins of his father when Melchizedek met him. 11 Therefore, if perfection were through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need was there that another priest should rise according to the order of Melchizedek, and not be called according to the order of Aaron? 12 For the priesthood being changed, of necessity there is also a change of the law. 13 For He of whom these things are spoken belongs to another tribe, from which no man has officiated at the altar.
14 For it is evident that our Lord arose from Judah, of which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning priesthood. 15 And it is yet far more evident if, in the likeness of Melchizedek, there arises another priest 16 who has come, not according to the law of a fleshly commandment, but according to the power of an endless life.
So.....the Genesis account says nothing about anyone receiving "tithes in heaven". Melchizedek was definitely on the earth. What else? Scripturally, Abraham tithed ONCE. To the High Priest Melchizedek. ONCE. What did he tithe? His money, his cows, his chickens, his gold.....what? What does the Scripture say he "tithed?" He gave the Priest a tenth of the SPOILS OF BATTLE. THE SPOILS BELONGED TO THE KINGS FROM WHICH THEY HAD BEEN TAKEN. No other scriptural evidence exists that Abraham EVER tithed from his own possessions at any time.
And so from this, church scholars (needing cash) derive a doctrine that "since Abraham tithed church members must tithe." (Meaning church members should pay 10 % of their income to the church.) This is one of the greatest HOAXES and DECEITS of all time.
But wait! Does the High Priest Christ Jesus receive "tithes"? Oh yes He does. But do we send him money into heaven? No. Do we go to battle and kill a bunch of thieves, take their goods, and send the SPOILS to heaven, like Abraham? No. So how does He get His "tithe"? Well, here's one way, if you can hear it.
Isaiah 53:11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he Jesus shall bear their iniquities.
12Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
I wonder why I've never heard it preached that we can buy "whatever our soul desires" even wine or strong drink....and eat and rejoice before the Lord?? Sounds like a pretty good party to me.
Deuteronomy 14:22 Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, the produce of the field, year by year. 23And thou shalt eat before Jehovah thy God, in the place which he will choose to cause his name to dwell there, the tithe of thy corn, of thy new wine, and of thine oil, and the firstlings of thy herds and of thy flocks; that thou mayest learn to fear Jehovah thy God continually.
24And if the way be too long for thee, so that thou art not able to carry it, because the place is too far from thee, which Jehovah thy God will choose to set his name there, when Jehovah thy God blesseth thee;
25then shalt thou give it for money, and bind the money together in thy hand, and go to the place which Jehovah thy God will choose, 26 and thou shalt give the money for whatever thy soul desireth, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatever thy soul asketh of thee; and thou shalt eat (who shall eat?)there before Jehovah thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thy house.
27And thou shalt not forsake the Levite that is within thy gates; for he hath no portion nor inheritance with thee. 28 At the end of three years thou shalt bring forth all the tithe of thine increase the same year, and shalt lay it up within thy gates; 29 and the Levite -- for he hath no portion nor inheritance with thee -- and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are within thy gates, shall come, and shall eat and be satisfied; that Jehovah thy God may bless thee in all the work of thy hand which thou doest.
The tithe was always about EATING AND DRINKING. Somehow this got left out of all the thousands of "sermons" I've heard on "tithing." And somehow they always leave out the part about the booze. I wonder why this is?
Another question: Where is the PLACE now that YHVH has chosen to SET HIS NAME? In order to "tithe" we MUST go to this PLACE. I wonder how many even know where HIS NAME dwells today? That's where we've gotta EAT and DRINK and REJOICE.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
(A poem, not surprisingly left out of the anthologies of her poetry)
You may rejoice to think yourselves secure;
You may be grateful for the gift divine -
That grace unsought, which made your black hearts pure,
And fits your earth-born souls in Heaven to shine.
But, is it sweet to look around, and view
Thousands excluded from that happiness
Which they deserve at least as much as you -
Their faults not greater, nor their virtues less?
And, wherefore should you love your God the more,
Because to you alone His smiles are given;
Because He chose to pass the many o'er,
And only bring the favoured few to Heaven?
And, wherefore should your hearts more grateful prove,
Because for ALL the Saviour did not die?
Is yours the God of justice and of love?
And are your bosoms warm with charity?
Say, does your heart expand to all mankind?
And, would you ever to your neighbour do -
The weak, the strong, the enlightened, and the blind -
As you would have your neighbour do to you?
And, when you, looking on your fellow-men,
Behold them doomed to endless misery,
How can you talk of joy and rapture then?-
May God withhold such cruel joy from me!
That none deserve eternal bliss I know;
Unmerited the grace in mercy given;
But none shall sink to everlasting woe,
That have not well deserved the wrath of Heaven.
- - -
And oh! there lives within my heart
A hope, long nursed by me;
(And should its cheering ray depart,
How dark my soul would be!)
That as in Adam all have died,
In Christ shall all men live;
And ever round His throne abide,
Eternal praise to give.
That even the wicked shall at last
Be fitted for the skies;
And when their dreadful doom is past,
To life and light arise.
I ask not how remote the day,
Nor what the sinners' woe,
Before their dross is purged away;
Enough for me, to know
That when the cup of wrath is drained,
The metal purified,
They'll cling to what they once disdained,
And live by Him that died.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
I had always believed, and I find most others do too, that the author of this song wrote this after repenting of being a slave trader. As the following article shows, this is not completely true...
"Amazing grace, how sweet the sound..." So begins one of the most beloved hymns of all times, a staple in the hymnals of many denominations, New Britain or "45 on the top" in Sacred Harp. The author of the words was John Newton, the self-proclaimed wretch who once was lost but then was found, saved by amazing grace.
Newton was born in London July 24, 1725, the son of a commander of a merchant ship which sailed the Mediterranean. When John was eleven, he went to sea with his father and made six voyages with him before the elder Newton retired. In 1744 John was impressed into service on a man-of-war, the H. M. S. Harwich. Finding conditions on board intolerable, he deserted but was soon recaptured and publicly flogged and demoted from midshipman to common seaman.
Finally at his own request he was exchanged into service on a slave ship, which took him to the coast of Sierra Leone. He then became the servant of a slave trader and was brutally abused. Early in 1748 he was rescued by a sea captain who had known John's father. John Newton ultimately became captain of his own ship, one which plied the slave trade.
Although he had had some early religious instruction from his mother, who had died when he was a child, he had long since given up any religious convictions. However, on a homeward voyage, while he was attempting to steer the ship through a violent storm, he experienced what he was to refer to later as his "great deliverance." He recorded in his journal that when all seemed lost and the ship would surely sink, he exclaimed, "Lord, have mercy upon us." Later in his cabin he reflected on what he had said and began to believe that God had addressed him through the storm and that grace had begun to work for him.
For the rest of his life he observed the anniversary of May 10, 1748 as the day of his conversion, a day of humiliation in which he subjected his will to a higher power. "Thro' many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come; 'tis grace has bro't me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home." He continued in the slave trade for a time after his conversion; however, he saw to it that the slaves under his care were treated humanely.
In 1750 he married Mary Catlett, with whom he had been in love for many years. By 1755, after a serious illness, he had given up seafaring forever. During his days as a sailor he had begun to educate himself, teaching himself Latin, among other subjects. From 1755 to 1760 Newton was surveyor of tides at Liverpool, where he came to know George Whitefield, deacon in the Church of England, evangelistic preacher, and leader of the Calvinistic Methodist Church. Newton became Whitefield's enthusiastic disciple. During this period Newton also met and came to admire John Wesley, founder of Methodism. Newton's self-education continued, and he learned Greek and Hebrew.
He decided to become a minister and applied to the Archbishop of York for ordination. The Archbishop refused his request, but Newton persisted in his goal, and he was subsequently ordained by the Bishop of Lincoln and accepted the curacy of Olney, Buckinghamshire. Newton's church became so crowded during services that it had to be enlarged. He preached not only in Olney but in other parts of the country. In 1767 the poet William Cowper settled at Olney, and he and Newton became friends.
Cowper helped Newton with his religious services and on his tours to other places. They held not only a regular weekly church service but also began a series of weekly prayer meetings, for which their goal was to write a new hymn for each one. They collaborated on several editions of Olney Hymns, which achieved lasting popularity. The first edition, published in 1779, contained 68 pieces by Cowper and 280 by Newton.
Among Newton's contributions which are still loved and sung today are "How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds" and "Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken," as well as "Amazing Grace." Composed probably between 1760 and 1770 in Olney, "Amazing Grace" was possibly one of the hymns written for a weekly service. Through the years other writers have composed additional verses to the hymn which came to be known as "Amazing Grace" (it was not thus entitled in Olney Hymns), and possibly verses from other Newton hymns have been added. However, these are the six stanzas that appeared, with minor spelling variations, in both the first edition in 1779 and the 1808 edition, the one nearest the date of Newton's death. It appeared under the heading Faith's Review and Expectation, along with a reference to First Chronicles, chapter 17, verses 16 and 17.
Amazing grace! (how sweet the sound)
That sav'd a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.
'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears reliev'd;
How precious did that grace appear,
The hour I first believ'd!
Thro' many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
'Tis grace has brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.
The Lord has promis'd good to me,
His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.
Yes, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease;
I shall possess, within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.
The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, who call'd me here below,
Will be forever mine.
The origin of the melody is unknown. Most hymnals attribute it to an early American folk melody. The Bill Moyers special on "Amazing Grace" speculated that it may have originated as the tune of a song the slaves sang.
Newton was not only a prolific hymn writer but also kept extensive journals and wrote many letters. Historians accredit his journals and letters for much of what is known today about the eighteenth century slave trade. In Cardiphonia, or the Utterance of the Heart, a series of devotional letters, he aligned himself with the Evangelical revival, reflecting the sentiments of his friend John Wesley and Methodism.
In 1780 Newton left Olney to become rector of St. Mary Woolnoth, St. Mary Woolchurch, in London. There he drew large congregations and influenced many, among them William Wilberforce, who would one day become a leader in the campaign for the abolition of slavery. Newton continued to preach until the last year of life, although he was blind by that time. He died in London December 21, 1807. Infidel and libertine turned minister in the Church of England, he was secure in his faith that amazing grace would lead him home.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
How far will you go?
As far as My sheep.
How far may that be?
To the world's end.
How long will you seek it?
Until I find it.
When you find it,
will it come to you?
No, it will flee from Me.
Where will it go then?
To the rocks and the sand.
When will it stop?
When it can run no more.
What will you do then?
Carry it home."
The scriptures tell us this Shepherd that hung on the cross will not lose even one sheep. Oh, how shall we not weep as we learn of His great love toward us.