Sunday, February 25, 2007

Happy Birthday Thirsty Theologian! ...


So, tell us! What did ya get?

Any new books?

We are waiting!!
Inquiring minds want to know!!

We anticipated this blessed event along with your Countdown!

The Lord's Day ...

A Hymn and a Psalm for this Lord's Day
the 25th day of February in the year of our Lord 2007

Psalm 92
How Great Are Your Works
A Psalm. A Song for the Sabbath.

92:1 It is good to give thanks to the Lord,
to sing praises to your name, O Most High;
2 to declare your steadfast love in the morning,
and your faithfulness by night,
3 to the music of the lute and the harp,
to the melody of the lyre.
4 For you, O Lord, have made me glad by your work;
at the works of your hands I sing for joy.

5 How great are your works, O Lord!
Your thoughts are very deep!
6 The stupid man cannot know;
the fool cannot understand this:
7 that though the wicked sprout like grass
and all evildoers flourish,
they are doomed to destruction forever;
8 but you, O Lord, are on high forever.
9 For behold, your enemies, O Lord,
for behold, your enemies shall perish;
all evildoers shall be scattered.

10 But you have exalted my horn like that of the wild ox;
you have poured over me fresh oil.
11 My eyes have seen the downfall of my enemies;
my ears have heard the doom of my evil assailants.

12 The righteous flourish like the palm tree
and grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
13 They are planted in the house of the Lord;
they flourish in the courts of our God.
14 They still bear fruit in old age;
they are ever full of sap and green,
15 to declare that the Lord is upright;
he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.

Original Trinity Hymnal, #535

How Good It Is To Thank The Lord
From Psalm 92:1-9, 12-15

How good it is to thank the Lord,
And praise to thee, Most High, accord,
To show thy love with morning light,
And tell thy faithfulness each night;
Yea, good it is thy praise to sing,
And all our sweetest music bring.

O Lord, with joy my heart expands
Before the wonders of thy hands;
Great works, Jehovah, thou hast wrought,
Exceeding deep thine ev'ry thought;
A foolish man knows not their worth,
Nor he whose mind is of the earth.

When as the grass the wicked grow,
When sinners flourish here below,
Then is there endless ruin nigh,
But thou, O Lord, art throned on high;
Thy foes shall fall before thy might,
The wicked shall be put to flight.

The righteous man shall flourish well,
And in the house of God shall dwell;
He shall be like a goodly tree,
And all his life shall fruitful be;
For righteous is the Lord and just,
He is my Rock, in him I trust.

Pam's Notes on Chapter One: Redemption Accomplished and Applied

Redemption Accomplished and Applied
by John Murray

Chapter One Notes
The Necessity of the Atonement

The Who: John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

The Why: Rom. 5:8 – “ … but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

The What: Rom. 8:31,32 – 31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?”

The When: Rom. 8:29“For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.”

The Where: Eph. 1:4,5 – 4 … even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will…”

**The love of God from which the atonement springs is not a distinctionless love; it is a love that elects and predestinates. God was pleased to set his invincible and everlasting love upon a countless multitude and it is the determinate purpose of this love that the atonement secures.**

The Concept: The Sovereign love of God. Love is not something that God may choose to be or choose not to be. He is love, and that necessarily, inherently, and eternally. It was of the free and sovereign good pleasure of his will, a good pleasure that emanated from the depths of his own goodness, that he chose a people to be heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ.

The Reason: Resides wholly in himself and proceeds from determinations that are peculiarly his as the “I Am that I Am.” The love of God constrains to the atonement as the means of accomplishing love’s determinate purpose.

The Necessity: The consequent absolute necessity. The word “consequent” points to the fact that God’s will or decree to save any is of free and sovereign grace. The terms: ‘absolute necessity’, indicate that God, having elected some to everlasting life out of his mere good pleasure, was under the necessity of accomplishing this purpose through the sacrifice of his own Son, a necessity arising from the perfections of his own nature. While it was not ‘inherently necessary’ for God to save, yet, since salvation had been purposed, it was necessary to secure this salvation through a satisfaction that could be rendered only through substitutionary sacrifice and blood-bought redemption.

The Notion: Hebrews 2:10, 17 – 10 For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering. 17 Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.” It was divinely appropriate that the Father in bringing many sons unto glory should make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings and that it behooved the Saviour himself to be made in all things like unto his brethren.

The Case: The exigencies (demands, needs) of the purpose of grace that the dictates of divine propriety required that salvation should be accomplished through a captain of salvation who would be made perfect through sufferings and that this entailed for the captain of salvation that he be made in all things like unto his brethren. The eternal peril to which the lost are exposed is remedied by the giving of the Son.

The Context: The transcendent efficacy of Christ’s sacrifice is required by the exigencies (demands, needs) arising from sin. This is an absolute. Heb. 9:23 – “Thus it was necessary for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these rites, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.” The Levitical sacrifices were patterned after the heavenly exemplar – patterns of the things in the heavens. Not the other way around – the Levitical sacrifice as the pattern for the sacrifice of Christ.

The Contrast: The heavenly as contrasted with the earthly, the eternal with the temporary, the complete with the partial, the final with the provisional, the abiding with that which passes away. The salvation which the election of grace involves on either view of the necessity of the atonement is salvation from sin unto holiness and fellowship with God. But if we are to think of salvation thus conceived in terms that are compatible with the holiness and righteousness of God, this salvation must embrace not merely the forgiveness of sin but also justification. And it must be a justification that takes account of our situation as condemned and guilty. The only righteousness conceivable that will meet the requirements of our situation as sinners and meet the requirements of a full and irrevocable justification is the righteousness of Christ. Justification could only been secured by our faith in Christ, otherwise another method would have been used.

The Demonstration: The cross of Christ is the supreme demonstration of the love of God. Rom. 5:8 and 1 John 4:10. The supreme character of the demonstration resides in the extreme costliness of the sacrifice rendered.

The Cost: Rom. 8:32 – “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” The costliness of the sacrifice assures us of the greatness of the love and guarantees the bestowal of all other free gifts. Question – “would the cross of Christ be a supreme exhibition of love if there were no necessity for such costliness?” Sin is the contradiction of God and he must react against it with holy indignation. In the work of Christ the dictates of holiness and the demands of justice have been fully vindicated. God set him forth to be a propitiation to declare his righteousness. If we keep in view the gravity of sin and the demands arising from the holiness of God which must be met in salvation from it, then the doctrine of indispensable necessity makes Calvary intelligible to us and enhances the incomprehensible marvel of both Calvary itself and the sovereign purpose of love which Calvary fulfilled. The more we emphasize the inflexible demands of justice and holiness the more marvelous become the love of God and its provisions.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

The Sound in the Mulberry Trees ...

The New Park Street Pulpit

The Sound in the Mulberry Trees

A Sermon
(No. 147)
Delivered on Sabbath Morning, May 31, 1857, by
At New Park Street Chapel, Southwark.

"When thou hearest the sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees, that then thou shall bestir thyself: for then shall the Lord go out before thee, to smite the host of the Philistines."— 2Sa 5:24

DAVID HAD just fought the Philistines in this very valley, and gained a signal victory, so that he said, "the Lord hath broken forth upon mine enemies before me as the breach of waters." The Philistines had come up in great hosts, and had brought their gods with them, that like Israel, when the ark of the Lord was brought into their midst, they might feel quite sure of victory. However, by the help of God David easily put them to rout, burned their images in the fire, and obtained a glorious victory over them. Note, however, that when they came a second time against David, David did not go up to fight them, without enquiring of the Lord. Once he had been victorious; he might have said, as many of us have said, in fact, in other cases—"I shall be victorious again; I may rest quite sure that if I have triumphed once I shall triumph yet again. Wherefore should I go and seek at the Lord's hands?" Not so, now David. He had gained one victory by the strength of the Lord; he would not venture upon another, until he had ensured the same. He went and asked the sacred oracle, "Shall I go up against them?" and when he was informed that he was not immediately to march against them, but to encamp so as to surprise them at the mulberry-trees, he did not demur a single moment to the mandate of God; and when he was bidden to wait until he should hear the sound in the tops of the mulberry-trees before he went to fight, he was not in an ill haste to rush to battle at once, but he tarried until the mulberry-trees began to sing at the top by reason of the wind that rushed along the leaves. He would wait until God's sign was given; he said, "I will not lift my spear nor my hand till God hath bidden me do it, lest I should go to war at my own charges, and lose all I have obtained."

My brethren, let us learn from David to take no steps without God. The last time you moved, or went into another business, or changed your situation in life, you asked God's help, and then did it, and you were blessed in the doing of it. You have been up to this time a successful man, you have always sought God, but do not think that the stream of providence necessarily runs in a continuous current; remember, you may to-morrow without seeking God's advice venture upon a step which you will regret but once, and that will be until you die. You have been wise hitherto, it may be because you have trusted in the Lord with all your heart, and have not leaned to your own understanding; you have said like David, "Let us enquire of the Lord," and like Jehoshaphat, who said to Ahab," "I will not go up until I have enquired of the Lord;" and you have not to ask priests of Baal, but you have said, "Is there not here one, prophet of the Lord, that I may enquire at his hands?" Now, keep on in the same way: do not, I beseech you, go before the cloud. If Providence tarries, tarry till Providence comes, never go before it. He goes on a fool's errand who goes before God but he walks in a blessed path who sees the footsteps of Providence, and reads the map of Scripture, and so discovers, "This is the way wherein I am to walk." This may be imputed to some one here; I thought I would begin with it, for it may be I have some young man here who is about unadvisedly to take a step which may be his ruin, temporarily; I beseech him, if he loves the Lord—I speak to none but those who are already Christians,—I beseech him not to venture until he has sought counsel of God, and unless he has a firm conviction that he is doing it not merely for his own advantage but to help him in serving his God the better. Unless he can be sure that he has God's approval of his steps let me—by the mistake that many have made, by the mischief that he will do himself unless he listens to me,—let me beseech him to stop, and not take so much as one half a step, or lift his foot, until he has sought of God, and has had the answer, "Go up against them."

Thus I have introduced the text: but now I would refer to it in another way altogether. David was not to go to battle, until he heard a sound of a rustling in the tons of the mulberry trees. There was a calm, perhaps; and God's order to David was, "You are not to begin to fight until the wind begins rustling through the tops of the mulberry trees;" or as the Rabbis have it, and it is a very pretty conceit if it be true, the footsteps of angels walking along the tops of the mulberry trees make them rustle; that was the sign for them to fight, when God's cherubim were going with them, when they should come, who can walk through the clouds and fly through the air, led by the great Captain himself, walking along the mulberry trees, and so make a rustle by their celestial footsteps. How true that may be, I cannot tell; my remark IS only this—that there are certain signs which ought to be indications to us of certain duties. I shall use the verse in this way. First, there are certain special duties, which are not duties to everybody, but only to some people. If we wish to know whether we are to perform these duties, we must seek signs concerning them, and not go and rush into a duty to which we are not called, unless we get a sign, even as David got the rustling among the mulberry leaves. And then I should use it, in the second place, thus, there are certain duties which are common to all of us; but when we see some sign of God's Holy Spirit being in motion, or some other signs, these are seasons when we ought to be more than ever active, and more than ever earnest in the service of our Master.

I. First, then, in regard to SPECIAL DUTIES. I shall confine myself, I think to one. The office of the ministry is a special duty. I do not believe, as some do, that it is the business of everyone of us to preach; I believe it is the business of a great many people who do preach to hold their tongues. I think that if they had waited until God had sent them they would have been at home now; and there be some men who are not fit to edify a doorpost, who yet think that if they could but once enter the pulpit they would attract a multitude. They conceive preaching to be just the easiest thing in all the world, and while they have not power to speak three words correctly, and have not any instruction from on high, and never were intended for the pulpit, for the mere sake of the honor or the emolument, they rush into the ministry. There are hundreds of men in the ministry starving for want of bread and entirely unsuccessful, and I believe in regard to some of them that the best thing they could do would be to open a grocer's shop. They would be doing more to serve God and to serve the church if they would take a business, and preach now and then as they had time to study, or else give it up altogether, and let somebody come and preach to the people who had something to tell them. For alas, alas, a preacher who has nothing to say will not only do no good, but will do a great deal of harm. The people who hoar him get disgusted at the very name of a place of worship; and they only look at it as a kind of stocks, where they are to sit for an hour with their feet fast, quiet and still listening to a man who is saying nothing, because he has nothing to say. I would not advise all of you to be preachers. I do not believe God ever intended that you should. If God had intended all his people to be preachers, I wonder how even He in his wisdom could have found them all congregations; because were all preachers where were the hearers! No, I believe the office of the ministry, though not like that of the priesthood, as to any particular sanctity, or any particular power that we possess, is yet like the priesthood in this—that no man ought to take it to himself, save he that is called "hereunto, as was Aaron. No man has any right to address a congregation on things spiritual, unless he believes that God was given him a special calling to the work, and unless he has also in due time received certain seals which attest his ministry as being the ministry of God. The rightly ordained minister is ordained not by the laying on of bishop's or presbyter's hands, but by the Spirit of God himself, whereby the power of God is communicated in the preaching of the word.

There may be some here who will say "How am I to know whether I am called to preach?" My brethren, you will find it out by-and-by, I dare say; and if you are sincerely desirous to know when you are in the path of duty in endeavoring to preach, I must bid you do as David did. He noted the rustling in the leaves of the mulberry trees. And I must have you notice certain signs. Do you want to know whether you can preach? Ask yourself this question, "Can I pray? When I have been called upon in the prayer-meeting, have I been enabled to put my words together and has God helped me in the matter?" So far so good. "Well then I will go and try, I will preach in the street, for instance." Suppose nobody listens to me, suppose I go and take a room, or go to a chapel, and nobody comes to hear, well, there is no rustling among the mulberry trees; I had better stop. Suppose I go to my wife and children, and take a text, and just preach a little wee bit to them and to the neighbors suppose, after I have preached to them, I should feel that they could preach great deal better to me, there is no rustling among the mulberry trees, and I had better give it up. And suppose if, after having preached for sometime I hear of none who have been brought to Christ, there is no rustling among the mulberry trees, I think the best thing I could do is, to let somebody else try for suppose I have not been called to the ministry, it would have been a fearful thing for me to have occupied the watchman's place, without having received the watchman's commission. He that should take upon himself to be a policeman, and go and do the work of arresting others, without having received a commission, must be in danger of being taken up himself, for being a deceiver. And it may be, if I had not been called to the ministry, and had no seal of it, I had better leave it alone, lest I go without God's commission, and that would never answer my purpose, to begin without his having sent me; for if he have not sent me, it may be I shall break down in my errand, and do no good. I do not ask whether you are much instructed or learned, or all that; I do not need to ask you; for I do not care about it myself. But I ask you these questions. Have you tried to address a Sabbath-school? have you gained the attention of the children. Having tried to address a few people, when they have been gathered together, have you found they would listen to you after you had preached? Had you any evidence and any sign that would lead you to believe that souls were blessed under you? Did any of the saints of God who were spiritually-minded, tell you that their souls were fed by your sermon? Did you hear of any sinner convinced of sin? Have you any reason to believe that you have had a soul converted under you? If not, if you will take one's advice for what it is good for—and I believe it is advice which God's Holy Spirit would have me give you—you had better give it up. You will make a very respectable Sunday-school teacher, you will do very well in a great many other ways; but unless these things have been known by you, unless you have these evidences, you may say you have been called and all that; I don't believe it. If you had been called to preach, there would have been some evidence and some sign of it. I remember, two years ago, some man wrote to me a note, telling me that it had been said to his heart and God the Holy Spirit had revealed it to him, that I was to let him preach in this chapel. Well, I just wrote to him, and told him that was a one-sided revelation, and that as soon as ever God revealed it to me that I was to let him preach here, then he should; but until then I did not see that the revelation was quite a square one. Why should it be revealed to him and not revealed to me? I have heard no more of him, and I have not had it revealed to me either; so that I do not suppose he will make his appearance here. I say this because, though to a great many of you it would be nothing at all, there are a large number of young men here who preach. I thank God for them—for anyone who is able to preach. But I will thank God to stop those who cannot preach, because if they go about to preach and have not the ability, and God has not sent them, they will just make fools of themselves, though that you should not be greatly surprised at, because they may not be far off already; but they will make the very Gospel itself come into contempt. If they profess to preach who have not the call from God's Spirit, when they begin to talk they will just bring more scandal upon the cross by a rash defense of it than would have come if they had left it alone. Now, take care about that. I would discourage none; I would say to every young man who has a grain of ability, and believes he has been called of God, and everyone who has really been blessed, "So far as I can help you I will help you, I will do so to the very uttermost, if you need my help, and I pray God Almighty to bless you, and make you more and more abundantly useful; for the Church needs many pastors and evangelists." But if there is no soul converted under you, if you are not qualified to preach at all, you shall have my equally earnest prayers for you that God may speed you—and I shall pray for you in this way, that God will speed you by making you hold your tongue. I waited till I heard the sound among the mulberry trees, else had I been uncalled and unsent. David waited; he would not go to the battle till he had heard the signal from on high, which was the signal for the battle, and the signal of the commencement of warfare.

II. But now, my brethren I come to something more practical to many of you; you do not profess to be called to preach; THERE ARE CERTAIN DUTIES BELONGING TO ALL CHRISTIANS WHICH ARE TO BE SPECIALLY PRACTISED AT SPECIAL SEASONS. First, concerning the Christian church at large. The whole of the Christian church should be very prayerful, always seeking the unction of the Holy One to rest upon their hearts, that the kingdom of Christ may come and that his will be done on earth even as it is in heaven; but there are times when God seems to favor Zion, when there are great movements made in the church, when revivals are commenced, when men are raised up whom God blesses; that ought to be to you like "a sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees." We ought then to be doubly prayerful, doubly earnest, wrestling more at the throne, than we have been wont to do. I think this is just the time that demands your extraordinary and special prayers. I look upon that great movement in the Church of England, the preaching on Sabbath-evenings in Exeter Hall, as a sign of rustling, a kind of "a going in the tops of the mulberry trees." My brethren, I could pity the man that would be for one moment envious, though a thousand such places should be full to the doors; I could cry out to God for mercy on the man, who could be so great a sinner against humanity and against the souls of men, as to wish that it should not prosper With all my heart I pray that God may bless it, and I exhort you just now, as there appears to be a move in the right direction, now that some of the ministers are more thoroughly roused up than they used to be, now that the ordinance of preaching is more honored, now that there is a spirit of hearing poured out amongst the people, I beseech you now, let your prayers be doubly earnest. Do as David was commanded to do—rise up and bestir yourself, not in a spirit of envy, not in a spirit of strife; do not bestir yourself, lest the Church of England shall beat Dissenters. No, brethren, let us each bestir ourselves that we may beat the devil. Let us each be earnest, and let us each when we see a movement in any section of the church, hold up the hands of faithful men, and pray to God that if they are not faithful men they may be made right, but that as far as they are right they may have a blessing. I think the church of Christ has lived to a glorious period. I really think the day to which we have lived now, is a day that ought to gladden the eyes of many of God's people. So far from being now, as I was a little time ago, in a gloomy frame about the worshippers of the church, I seem to think I have lived now to a happy era. Even the holy Whitfield himself never stirred up such a revival of religion as God has been pleased to give now, not by his preaching did he stir up a host of bishops and clergymen to come forth and preach to the poor. God has been pleased of late to wake up the churches far and near. I hear the noise amongst the mulberry trees. Everywhere I hear of the doctrine of grace being made more prominent, and the preaching of the gospel becoming more earnest, more energetic, and more full of the Spirit. We have seen in our midst some called out of our church, whom God has blessed in the preaching of the Word. There is in many places, and I allude especially to the Church of England just now, "the sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees." Now, my brethren, is the time for us to bestir ourselves. Oh let us cry to God more earnestly; let our prayer-meetings be filled with men who come full of vehement petitions, let our private altars be more constantly kept burning, causing the smoke of prayer to ascend, and let our closets continually be occupied by earnest intercession. Bestir thyself: there is a "sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees."

That is concerning the church at large; the same truth holds good of any particular congregation. One Sabbath-day the minister preached with great unction; God clothed him with power, he seemed like John the Baptist in the wilderness, crying, "Repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." He spake with all the earnestness of a man who was about to die; he so spake that the people trembled, a visible thrill passed through the audience. Every eye was fixed, and the tears seemed to bedew every cheek. Men and women rose up from the sermon, saying, "Surely, God was in this place, and we have felt his presence." What ought a Christian man to say, as he retires from the house of God? He should say, "I have heard this day the sound of the leaves of the mulberry trees." I saw the people earnest; I marked the minister speaking mightily, God having touched his lips with a live coal from off the altar. I saw the tear in every eye; I saw the deep, wrapt attention, of many who were careless. There were some young people there that looked as if they had been impressed, their countenances seemed to show that there was a work doing. Now, what should I do? The first thing I will do is, I will bestir myself. But how shall I do it? Why, I will go home this day, and I will wrestle in prayer more earnestly than I have been wont to do that God will bless the minister, and multiply the church. Well, what next? Where do I sit? Was there a young woman in my pew that seemed impressed? When I go this evening I will look out for her; I have heard the "sound of the leaves of the mulberry trees," and I will bestir myself; and if I see her there, I will speak a word to her, or, what is more, if I hear another sermon like it, and I see any who seem to be impressed, I will try to find them out; for I know that two words from a private person are often better than fifty from a minister. So that if I have seen a young man impressed, I will touch him on his elbow and say, "You seemed as if you enjoyed this sermon." "Yes, I liked it very well." "And do you like spiritual things?" Who can tell? I may be made the means of his conversion. At all events, I shall have this sweet consolation to go to bed with, that I heard the "sound of the leaves of the mulberry trees," and as soon as I heard it I bestirred myself that I might serve my God, and be the means of winning souls from hell. But, alas! my brethren, much of the seed we sow seems to be lost for want of watering. Many an impressive sermon seems to lose much of its force, because it is not followed up as it should be. God's purposes, I know, are answered, his Word does not return unto him void; still, I think we might sometimes ask ourselves, have we not been too dilatory, too neglectful in not availing ourselves of favorable times and seasons, when the power of the Spirit has been in our midst, and when we should have looked upon it as the signal for more strenuously exerting ourselves in the service of our Master.

The same I might say of any time of general sickness, or any time of plague or cholera, or sudden death. There are times when the cholera is raging through our streets the people are all trembling, they are afraid to die; mark, that is the "sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees." It is the business of you and I to bestir ourselves, when people are by any means led to serious thought, when God is walking through the land, and smiting down first one and then another, and the minds of the people are all on tiptoe concerning what the end shall be; when there has been some alarming fire, when a sudden death has taken place, in the street, or in the court, or in a house, it is the Christian's business to seize upon the time, and to improve it for his Master. "Now," said the Puritans, during the great plague of London, when the hireling parish priests had fled from their churches—"now is our time to preach." And all through that terrible time, when the carts, filled with the dead, went through the streets overgrown with grass, these strong-minded Puritans occupied the pulpits, and boldly preached the word of God. Brethren, that is what we should do whenever we see a time more favorable than another for telling sinners of the wrath to come. Let us seize it, just as the merchant looks out for every turn of the market, for every rise and every fall; just as the farmer looks out for a good season for sowing or planting or mowing. Let us look out for the best times for seeking to do good. Let us plough deep while sluggards sleep, and let us labor as much as possible in the best season, to make hay while the sun is shining, and serve our God when we hear the "sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees."

And now permit me to go back to a thought I have given you. Keep the same idea in view in regard to every individual you meet with. If you have a drunken neighbor; it is very seldom you can ever say a word to him. His wife is ill; she is sick and dying, poor fellow, he is sober this time. He seems to be a bit impressed; he is anxious about his wife, and anxious about himself. Now is your time; now for the good word; put it in well, now is your opportunity. There is a great swearer, but he seems by some terrible providence or other to become a little abashed, and he is not so profane as he used to be. You should do as the ancient slingers did. If they saw a warrior lift his helmet, in they would put the stone, before he could get the helmet down again. So if you see a man a little impressed, and he is open to conviction, do what you can, as God gives you opportunity; and if any of your acquaintance have been in the house of God, if you have induced them to go there, and you think there is some little good doing but you do not know, take are of that little, it may be God hath used us as a fostermother to bring up his child, so that this little one may be brought up in the faith, and this newly converted soul may be strengthened and edified. But I'll tell you, many of you Christians do a deal of mischief, by what you say when going home. A man once said that when he was a lad he heard a certain sermon from a minister, and felt deeply impressed under it. Tears stole down his cheeks, and he thought within him—self, "I will go home to pray." On the road home he fell into the company of two members of the church. One of them began saying, "Well, how did you enjoy the sermon? The other said, "I do not think he was quite sound on such a point." "Well," said the other, "I thought he was rather off his guard," or something of that sort; and one pulled one part of the minister's sermon to pieces, and another the other, until, said the young man, before I had gone many yards with them, I had forgetter all about it; and all the good I thought I had received seemed swept away by these two men, who seemed afraid lest I should get any hope, for they were just pulling that sermon to pieces that would have brought me on my knees. How often have we done the same! People will say, "What did you think of that sermon?" I gently tell them nothing at all, and if there is any fault in it—and very likely there is, it is better not to speak of it, for some may get good from it. I do believe that many a sermon that seems nothing but perfect nonsense from beginning to end may be the means of salvation. You and I may have more knowledge of the Scriptures, we may be more instructed and enlightened: we may say, "Dear me, I do not know how people can hear that." You may think people are not able to hear it, but they are saved; that is all you have to look after. A Primitive minister has sometimes quite puzzled you: you have said, "I dare say the good man understands himself, but I do not understand him." And yet he has got all those people with their attention fixed; and you have seen souls brought to God under the sermon, and therefore you must not say anything about it. You are obliged to say, "Well, it was not the sermon for me." Never mind that, it was the sermon for some one else. It is the best way for you not to hear that man again, but let him go on; he will get some people to do good to, I dare say.

I just throw this in, in an interjaculatory way. If you have got hold of people's ears, or a bit of their ear; if you have got them to say, "I think I will come again," do not put in any word that may keep them away; but bestir yourselves, to be the means of saving souls instrumentally, when you hear these signals from on high.

And I think my brethren, I must expressly make an appeal to you in regard to your own children. There are certain times in the history of my own beloved children, when they seem more impressible than at other seasons; I beseech you never lose the opportunity. Salvation is of God, from first to last; but yet it is your business to use all the means, just as if you could save them. Now there are times when your son, who is generally very gay and wild, comes home from chapel and there is a sort of solemnity about him you do not often see. When you see that, get a word with him. Sometimes your little daughter comes home; she has heard something she understands, something that seems to have struck her thoughts. Do not laugh at her, do not despise that little beginning. Who can tell? It may be the "sound in the tops of the mulberry trees." Your son, a boy of fourteen or fifteen, is often coming home apparently deeply interested, and sometimes you have thought, "Well, I do not know, the boy seems as if he listened rather more than others do. I think there must be a good work in him." Do not, by any harshness of yours, put a rough hand on that tender plant; do not say to him, for instance, if he commits a little fault, "I thought there was some good thing in you, but there is no piety in you at all, or else you would not have done it." Do not say that, that is a damper at once. Remember, if he be a child of God he has his faults as well as any other boy. Therefore do not be too harsh or severe with him, but if you find the slightest good say, There is the "sound in the tops of the mulberry trees." There may be ever such a faint rustling, never mind, that is my opportunity; now will I be more earnest about my child's salvation, and now will I seek to teach him, if I can, more fully the way of God; I will try to get him alone and talk to him. The tender plant, if it be of God, it is sure to grow; but let me take care to be the instrument of fostering it, and let me take my boy aside, and say to him, "Well, my son, have you learnt something of the evil of sin?" And if he says yes, and I find he has a little hope and faith, though it may be rather a superficial work let me not despise it, but let me remember, I was once grace in the blade, and though grace in the ear now, I would never have been grace in the ear if I had not been grace in the blade. I must not despise the blades, because they are not ears; I must not kill the lambs, because they are not sheep; for where would my sheep come from, if I killed all the lambs? I must not despise the weakest of the saints, for where should I get the advanced saints from, if I put weak ones out of the covenant, and tell them they are not the children of God? No, I will watch for the least indication, the least sign of any good thing towards the Lord God of Israel, and I will pray God that these signs may not be delusive, not like the smoke that is driven away, nor like the early cloud and the morning dew, but the abiding signs of grace begun, which shall be afterwards grace complete.

And lastly, not to detain you longer Christian, in regard to yourself there is a great truth here. There are times, you know, "when thou hearest the sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees." You have a peculiar power in prayer; the Spirit of God gives you joy and gladness; the Scripture is open to you; the promises are applied; you walk in the light of God's countenance, and his candle shines about your head; you have peculiar freedom and liberty in devotion; perhaps you have got less to attend to in the world and more closeness of communion with Christ than you used to have. Now is the time; now, when you hear the "sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees." Now is the time to bestir yourselves; now is the time to get rid of any evil habit that still remains now is the season in which God the Spirit is with you. But spread your sail; remember what you sometimes sing—

"I can only spread the sail;
Thou Lord must breathe the auspicious gale."

Be sure you have the sail up. Do not miss the gale, for want of preparation for it. Seek help of God, that you may he more earnest in duty, when made more strong in faith; that you may be more constant in prayer, when you have more liberty at the throne; that you may be more holy in your conversation, whilst you live more closely with Christ.

And oh, with regard to some here, who to-night, or this morning, or at any other time, have been led to think, "Oh, that I might be saved!" If you have any thought about it, any serious impression, I pray that God the Holy Spirit may enable you to look upon the impression that is made upon you as the "sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees;" that you may be led to bestir yourselves, and seek God more earnestly; if God the Spirit has convinced you in any degree, if he has impressed you, if he has made you tremble, if he has sent you home to pray, now, I beseech you, be in earnest about your own soul; and if God has awakened you so far, look upon that as a token of his grace, and say, "now or never." It may be that this big wave will help you over the great bar that is before the harbour's mouth. This may be the tide, which taken at the flood, leads on to heaven. Oh, that God might help you to take it at the flood, that you might be carried safely over your convictions and your troubles, and landed safely in the blessed haven of faith—that haven which is protected by the atonement of Christ, and by the bar of everlasting love. God bless you, for Jesus' sake! Amen.

Spurgeon, Charles. "The Sound in the Mulberry Trees." The New Park Street Pulpit. Blue Letter Bible. 18 Apr 2001.

Sidebar to Hiraeth's Study .....

I forgot to mention this ...

Over at Pastor Gene Cook of Fide-O blog has a daily radio show.
This is the link for the blog site -- The Narrow Mind Aftermath
On Thursday's Pastor Cook, Pastor Jason Robertson, and Pastor Scott Hill do a show called "Covenant Thursday", they are currently going thru John Murray's book - Redemption Accomplished and Applied. This is where I first ever heard of this book.

What is unique about this show is that you can call in and ask questions or make a statement. But the best thing for me is that you can download these shows through iTunes then put them on your iPod. I have the Nano but you do not have to have an iPod but just download iTunes to your computer and it automatically downloads them for you when you connect to the internet. and many other Pastor's and teachers use iTunes now for downloads. I have many great resources I listen to through iTunes. I would recommend you try this out.

Unchained Radio is going through the Redemption book and they are even giving page numbers to help you follow. With this audio and Kim's notes -- WOW! -- you can't miss out on the depth of this great little book on the Atonement! You can listen when you want to if you use iTunes plus the fact that they are on your computer - otherwise you just listen thru the internet.

I just wanted to share this with you. Every little bit helps!

Recommended Study by Kim of Hiraeth

Kim at Hiraeth is posting her study notes on a little book that is highly recommended by many.
Here is the link for the start of this study --
Redemption Accomplished and Applied by John Murray.

This 'little book' Redemption Accomplished and Applied is a great study for this time of the year as we are looking forward to Easter and all that it applies to Salvation. Easter celebrates the Death and Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. What better way as we are heading into this time of celebration than to study through this book on the Atonement. This little book is so rich and full of understanding of the Atonement, see below what others have to say.

Here are some links to purchase this book if it is not found at your local Christian store --


"One of the best, most concise, theologically sound and helpful expositions of the atonement ever produced. John Murray’s Redemption Accomplished and Applied should be required reading for every Christian. At just under 200 pages, Murray offers page after page of devotional and scholarly study that is nearly unparalleled in its clarity, usefulness and theological depth. Read this book, re-read this book and keep it close at hand." -- Monergism

The Highway has this to say --

"As the title implies, the book falls into two parts. In Part One, Murray begins with an effective argument for the consequent absolute necessity of the atonement based on God's decree to save, and on the depravity of sinful man. He next turns to the important question of the nature of the atonement. In this chapter he gives a brilliant treatment of the passive and active obedience of Christ, and demonstrates that a correct understanding and appreciation of these concepts is essential to a biblical view of the atonement. Along the way he gives helpful definitions and explanations for propitiation, reconciliation, and redemption. Chapter three finds Murray arguing biblically for the perfection of the atonement over against the Roman Catholic doctrine of continual satisfaction through good works. In a day when some are naively seeking unity with Rome, this chapter is must reading. Murray shows that the absolute perfection of the atonement is clearly understood in its finality and uniqueness."

I can not encourage you enough to study along with us over at Hiraeth. Thanks to Kim for sharing her study notes with us so that we gain an even deeper understanding thru this little book of the Atonement.

I'll be seeing you over there!

May the Lord bless your study time!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Remembrances ....

Another selection from my Grandma's Composition book ....


When the moon is shining bright,
Who is playing in the night,
Who goes hopping or the snow
Back and forth and to and fro?

Who has fur so warm and soft,
Ears so long that trembles oft,
Who the slightest sound can hear,
So that none come very near?

Who is it can run so fast,
Who likes cabbage leaves to eat,
Who has eyes so large and bright,
And a breast of snowy white?

Don't you know then look some night,
From your window when tis light,
And you'll see them at their play,
Little bunny rabbits gray!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Update ... What's Your Choice? ...

Here is my answer's to my questions. A Big Thanks to those of you who posted here and on your own blogs. Very interesting!

1. What Bible is your preference? ESV and NKJV

a. Do you care whether it is a red-letter or not? No, it does not matter

b. Study Bible with notes or do you prefer a Bible with no notes? I have both – my favorite is MacArthur’s Study Bible in NKJV and I like the Thompson Chain - NKJV

c. Hard-cover, leather, metal? Personally I think the hard-cover lasts longer, I have paid for leather and bonded leather but go back to the hard-cover. (Metal would last the longest but it is clumsy – ex. ESV metal cover)

d. Wide-margin? I wish all Bibles were wide-margin. I write in everything! My bibles have notes, dates and markings all thru them.

e. Versions? NKJV, ESV, NASB I also purchased the Geneva Bible 1599 reprint. On a personal note -- I will not have ‘The Message Bible’ in my home!

f. Do you carry the same Bible to Church as you use to study with? Yes, MacArthur’s

2. What is your Bible marking method? I am a color-coded marker – I mark everything having to do with women in Pink, Red – redemption, blood, justification, etc. Green – end times, prophecy., etc. I also have Kay Arthur’s Inductive Study Bible and a few of her studies, and done them according to her inductive methods.

3. What Concordance do you like? Strong’s the best, Young’s and I just recently purchased an ESV.

4. Do you use Bible Study software and if so, what? Yes I do, a lot! MacArthur’s Life Works, Nelson’s Logos’s, Thompson-Chain, Zodhiates, E-Sword, On-Line Bible for Desktop, plus online program’s such as NET Bible, Blue-Letter Bible, etc.

5. Do you use a Palm or other device to transport Study helps & notes? Yes I do, I use a Palm device.

a. Do you then carry this along to Church or other places? Yes I do I like having the NASB bundle with the Strong’s which I use when the Pastor speaks about Hebrew or Greek meanings. All I have to do is touch the word reference and a window pops up with all the info. This is a tremendous help to me in understanding further meanings.

b. What program works best for your needs? Bible With You NASB Bundle and ESV; Olive Tree’s King James with Strong’s and Matthew Henry Concise Commentaries.

c. What device do you currently use? Sony CLIE’ – but I am looking into one with MP3 capabilities.

6. Do you study alone or with a friend or friends or both? Lately more so alone. My husband and I discuss a lot more than we used to which is great. But I am not currently in a women’s bible study nor am I doing any teaching at this time. (I miss it! – It keeps your iron sharp!)

7. How much time do you spend a week in Bible Study? I used to spend hours a day literally but since going back to work about 2 hours daily which includes online reading and studying.

8. What are you currently studying? Luke: verse by verse in Sunday School; Evangelism and The Sovereignty of God by Packer (Pastor’s suggestion); finished up Robertson’s Israel of God; and I will be going into
Murray’s Redemption Accomplished and Applied and then into Vos’s Genesis.

9. What is your favorite Bible Study help? E-Sword, MacArthur and Zodhiates.

10. Do you have more than one Commentary set? Yes.

11. What online study aid do you use? Blue-Letter Bible

12. Are you an Inductive Study method person? I have but not currently.

13. What method works best for you? Mine! It’s hard to describe but I color-code and number and symbolize when possible. Everyone has tried other styles but eventually you work out your own method. It may be greek to others and yet just plain and simple to you.

14. Do you refer to Hebrew/Greek in any form to help you
clarify what you are studying? Yes, I have an Interlinear Bible, Zodhiates Hebrew/Greek Key Study Bible plus my Strong’s on a few different programs.

15. Do you have a file system of past studies, notes, etc. Yes, I do. In fact I have as of June of ’06 cleaned out my files (dispensational but not Arminian!) and am starting new topics (reformed and covenantal). Kept some of the ones I wanted to keep going with and the others I just put away in the attic for now. I have a small 2 drawer file cabinet in a closet for my files.

16. Do you have a special place where you study? Usually in the kitchen at the table because the computer is near and other times on my bed – no dogs allowed anymore unless they are very, very tired! They have to lay all over everything! Bella our pup decided she wanted to chew on the bottom of one of my Bibles and I had not noticed it until the damage was done – and this was the new Journaling ESV Bible – never even marked in it yet! Bad dog! That was not a pig's ear Bella! Geezzzooeee!!! ;-)

Ancient Words ....

Ancient Words
by Michael W. Smith

Holy words long preserved
For our walk in this world,
They resound with God's own heart
Oh, let the ancient words impart.

Words of life, words of hope
Give us strength, help us cope
In this world, where e'er we roam
Ancient words will guide us home.

Ancient words ever true
Changing me, and changing you.
We have come with open hearts
Oh let the ancient words impart.

Holy words of our faith
Handed down to this age.
Came to us through sacrifice
Oh heed the faithful words of Christ.

Holy words
long preserved
For our walk in this world.
They resound with God's own heart
Oh let the ancient words impart.

Chorus x4

We have come with open hearts
Oh let the ancient words impart.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Remembrances ....

Aawwwhhhhh .... ain't that cute! This is a "pic from the past". I am laughing so hard I can hardly type. This is me and my brother, circa 1963 or '64. Mus a'been a load in them there johns bro! (You still stand like that, too!) and the guilty look on your face -- "Mom get the picture taken! It's starting to bite! HA! HA! HA! He still wears the boots! Had a pair of them 'snake skin' kind given to him in his college days. These boots are made for walking, and that's just what I'll do ... HAH!!! Actually, I remember these particular ones in the pic were a little bit slippey and Mom put tape on the bottoms so you wouldn't slip on the kitchen floor. I still have the mark on my forehead from the big old radiator in the kitchen! Whoosh, Bamm, and Ball like a Baby!
Mom kept those floors real shiny, which also meant real slippey! One time I was helping with the furniture polishing and sprayed some on the kitchen floor. The floor was soo shiny I could see myself. Mom came out around the corner and BAMM, down she went. She hollored, "Pam what did you do?" and I said I was helping her "polish" the kitchen floor. Rugs nor nothing would lie in that spot for weeks till it got wore off. Now, back to the kid in the long johns ... This kid was an all-star football player for WVU, drafted by the Pburgh Steelers, then went to play for the Pburgh Maulers, and then with the Memphis Showboats. Reggie White was a good friend of his from his days with the Showboats. Darryl Talley in his days with WVU, was a roommate of my brothers and we have pictures of him with my oldest son on his shoulders. As glorious as those days seem to be they paled compared to the fact that the Lord called my brother unto Himself, and he has been walking with Him, sharing his testimony and his love of his Lord with all who will hear. My brother still lives in "cowboy country" with his family. Thank goodness he has not lost his "PA twang" for the slow draw of the South. The folks 'down there' say I talk too fast ... I think they 'listen' too slow!
Two verses of Scripture come to mind when I think of him, the first he shared at a banquet for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes , Prov. 16:9 -- "A man's heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps." And the second he shared with recently, Ezra 7:10 -- "For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the Law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach statutes and ordinances in Israel." John MacArthur's comments on this verse tell us that the pattern of Ezra's preparation is exemplary. He studied before he attempted to live a life of obedience, and he studied and practiced the law in his own life before he opened his mouth to teach that law. But the success of Ezra's leadership did not come from his strength alone, but most significantly because "the good hand of God was upon him" according to verse 9 of chapter 7. I thank You dear Lord and Savior of mine for having Your good hand upon my brother and his family. May he always glorify Your Name and bring You honor. I go back to these two verses alot ... and the commentary that goes along with them ... as iron sharpens iron ... I love you brother.

me <>< 1 Tim. 1:15-17

The View from my window ....

6:31 am Sat., Feb. 17th, 2007

Red in the night, Sailor's delight;
Red in the morning, Sailor's take warning!

Matt. 16:2-3 -- ESV -- 2 He answered them, “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ 3 And in the morning, ‘It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.

As this day begins to unfold and I peruse this "web" of ours my heart sinks to read of the discourse of the day and times. Christian Today online tells us about a new Bible being published by Thomas Nelson --

Thomas Nelson Goes Forward with "The Voice" - A "Bible" Project by Emergents

According to a February 11th article in Christian Today, "New Bible Project for Young Generation Launched", Thomas Nelson's 2006 "Bible" project called The Voice is going full speed ahead. The project, announced by TN last spring, is a "re-telling of the Bible that consists of creative voices from historians to poets, storytellers to songwriters," and is for young people who are "searching for new ways to explore the Bible, or who are seeking to read it for the first time." The project will be a combination of books, music CDs, artwork and an interactive website. With the largest Christian publisher backing the project, there is little doubt that The Voice will reach countless young people and have a significant impact in many lives.

Unfortunately, the project turns out to be an emerging church creation, thus the foundation of it is marred from the beginning. Because mysticism, New Age ideology, and a return to
Rome, are the building blocks of the emerging church, The Voice is going to be a spiritually dangerous conduit for adherents. Some of the emergent leaders involved in the project are Chris Seay (project founder), Brian McLaren, Lauren Winner, Leonard Sweet, and Blue Like Jazz author, Donald Miller. In last year's press release by Thomas Nelson, Erwin McManus was also listed.

This month's new release (the third book in the project) is called The Voice of Matthew, written by emergent/contemplative Lauren Winner (Girl Meets God and Mudhouse Sabbath).

Chris Seay, the founder of The Voice, is pastor of
Ecclesia Church in Houston, Texas. A mission statement on the website illustrates the theology of the emerging church:

"We believe that the Gospel impacts every area of a person's life and culture. We reject unfounded categories that divide the world into uniquely sacred or purely secular. God is redeeming all of creation through Jesus.

We believe that the church exists for the world and not for herself - she is to introduce and usher in the
Kingdom of God into every part of this world."

Saying that all of creation (e.g., all humanity) is redeemed is in direct opposition of the teachings of Jesus who said "strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it" (Matthew 7:14). And the belief that the church will usher in the Kingdom of God as opposed to Jesus Christ ushering it in with his literal return to the earth is indicative of the contemplative/emerging mindset. (It is also classic dominionism.)

The contemplative affinities of the contributors of The Voice will assure that mysticism will be an integral part of this project. This new version of the Bible has the potential to lead thousands, and possibly millions, of young people away from the words of Jesus Christ who said:

“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber. 2 But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. -- John 10: 1-4 ESV

The Voice is not the voice of the Good Shepherd, nor is it the Word of God that says:

"12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. 13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life. 14 And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us." -- 1 John 5:12-14 ESV

Info taken from Lighthouse Trails Research dot com

UPDATED 2/21/07 -- Link for Article on Lighthouse Trails Research Email Newsletter

The Sands of Time are Sinking

The sands of time are sinking, the dawn of Heaven breaks;
The summer morn I’ve sighed for—the fair, sweet morn awakes:
Dark, dark hath been the midnight, but dayspring is at hand,
And glory, glory dwelleth in Immanuel’s land.

O Christ, He is the fountain, the deep, sweet well of love!
The streams of earth I’ve tasted more deep I’ll drink above:
There to an ocean fullness His mercy doth expand,
And glory, glory dwelleth in Immanuel’s land.

Oh! Well it is forever, Oh! well forevermore,
My nest hung in no forest of all this death doomed shore:
Yea, let the vain world vanish, as from the ship the strand,
While glory—glory dwelleth in Immanuel’s land.

There the Red Rose of Sharon unfolds its heartsome bloom
And fills the air of heaven with ravishing perfume:
Oh! To behold it blossom, while by its fragrance fanned
Where glory—glory dwelleth in Immanuel’s land.

The King there in His beauty, without a veil is seen:
It were a well spent journey, though seven deaths lay between:
The Lamb with His fair army, doth on Mount Zion stand,
And glory—glory dwelleth in Immanuel’s land.

Oft in yon sea beat prison My Lord and I held tryst,
For Anwoth was not heaven, and preaching was not Christ:
And aye, my murkiest storm cloud was by a rainbow spanned,
Caught from the glory dwelling in Immanuel’s land.

But that He built a Heaven of His surpassing love,
A little new Jerusalem, like to the one above,
“Lord take me over the water” hath been my loud demand,
Take me to my love’s own country, unto Immanuel’s land.

But flowers need nights cool darkness, the moonlight and the dew;
So Christ, from one who loved it, His shining oft withdrew:
And then, for cause of absence my troubled soul I scanned
But glory shadeless shineth in Immanuel’s land.

The little birds of Anwoth, I used to count them blessed,
Now, beside happier altars I go to build my nest:
Over these there broods no silence, no graves around them stand,
For glory, deathless, dwelleth in Immanuel’s land.

Fair Anwoth by the Solway, to me thou still art dear,
Even from the verge of heaven, I drop for thee a tear.
Oh! If one soul from Anwoth meet me at God’s right hand,
My heaven will be two heavens, In Immanuel’s land.

I’ve wrestled on towards Heaven, against storm and wind and tide,
Now, like a weary traveler that leaneth on his guide,
Amid the shades of evening, while sinks life’s lingering sand,
I hail the glory dawning from Immanuel’s land.

Deep waters crossed life’s pathway, the hedge of thorns was sharp;
Now, these lie all behind me Oh! for a well tuned harp!
Oh! To join hallelujah with yon triumphant band,
Who sing where glory dwelleth in Immanuel’s land.

With mercy and with judgment my web of time He wove,
And aye, the dews of sorrow were lustered with His love;
I’ll bless the hand that guided, I’ll bless the heart that planned
When throned where glory dwelleth in Immanuel’s land.

Soon shall the cup of glory wash down earth’s bitterest woes,
Soon shall the desert briar break into Eden’s rose;
The curse shall change to blessing the name on earth that’s banned
Be graven on the white stone in Immanuel’s land.

O I am my Beloved’s and my Beloved’s mine!
He brings a poor vile sinner into His “house of wine.”
I stand upon His merit—I know no other stand,
Not even where glory dwelleth in Immanuel’s land.

I shall sleep sound in Jesus, filled with His likeness rise,
To love and to adore Him, to see Him with these eyes:
’Tween me and resurrection but Paradise doth stand;
Then—then for glory dwelling in Immanuel’s land.

The Bride eyes not her garment, but her dear Bridegroom’s face;
I will not gaze at glory but on my King of grace.
Not at the crown He giveth but on His pierced hand;
The Lamb is all the glory of Immanuel’s land.

I have borne scorn and hatred, I have borne wrong and shame,
Earth’s proud ones have reproached me for Christ’s thrice blessed Name:
Where God His seal set fairest they’ve stamped the foulest brand,
But judgment shines like noonday in Immanuel’s land.

They’ve summoned me before them, but there I may not come,
My Lord says “Come up hither,” My Lord says “Welcome home!”
My King, at His white throne, my presence doth command
Where glory—glory dwelleth in Immanuel’s land.

The Secret ... Revealed

The Secret: "A New Era for Humankind"

The SecretLast year's film release, The Secret, makes no secret about it's intentions: to let the world know that humanity is on the brink of a new era. This new era will open up to humanity unleashed power, riches, creativity and all that we ever dreamed of. A "secret" that has been locked away for centuries is now available to all.

The film, available only on DVD or online, is promoted by celebrities like Oprah and Larry King, and Oprah aired a special about the film.

Such promotion has helped to make the film an incredibly popular one, as can be seen by Amazon ranking, which puts the DVD in the #1 position for DVDs. According to a News & Observer article, "'Secret' Spreads Around the World," 700,000 copies of the DVD have sold since its release last March.

News & Observer explains just how this "Secret" works:

In the film, viewers learn to ask for what they want. And, if they believe it, they will receive it.

It sounds simple enough, but here's the catch: If you're cynical, sad, depressed and resigned that nothing will change, nothing will. Thoughts are so powerful, the teachers insist, that you attract what you think about, even if you don't want it. Get it?1
It's these "teachers," both ones from the past and present day ones, that The Secret uses to reveal this hidden knowledge. Present day teachers include Jack Canfield (Chicken Soup for the Soul), John Gray (Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus), and an assortment of philosophers, writers, and visionaries who share their insights on the "Secret":
"We have a magnificent inner calling, vision, mission, power inside us that we are not honoring and harnessing," says philosopher and "Secret" teacher John Demartini in a recent telephone interview. "This movie brings it to the forefront that we can [harness that power]."2
Larry King calls the DVD the "most profound information he has run across in 40 years."

The film focuses on the "law of attraction" and was produced by Australian-born screenwriter and producer Rhonda Byrne, who after a series of setbacks in her own life, discovered that past personalities like Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, William Shakespeare, Abraham Lincoln and others had this secret knowledge, and Byrne came to believe that it "was part of every religion, including Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism."

In the trailer of the movie, it begins by showing a genie from a lamp, who tells the beholder "your wish is my command." Research analyst Ray Yungen explains this concept:
[T]the genie represent[s] the Higher Self, who was reached through meditation by staring at the flame of an oil lamp. It was believed that a person could have whatever he or she wanted, once in touch with it. Our word genius comes from this Latin word for spirit guide and now means a person with great creative power.3
The premise of this is that we all have a divine essence within us, and we just need to get in touch with it. In other words, as panentheists teach, God is in all of creation, including all human beings, and once a person becomes aware of this, there are no limits to what he can achieve. Yungen elaborates:
Once a person merges with the Higher Self, he is on his way to empowerment, meaning he is capable of creating his own reality. Basically, all power is within the Higher Self, so when one is in tune with it, he can run his own show....

Metaphysicians believe that we all create our own circumstances anyway, so when we are guided and empowered by our Higher Self, we can consciously co-create with it.4
What is so alarming about The Secret is that it shares the same mystical view as the contemplative prayer movement, which is that all is one. The Secret film constantly makes reference to "the universal mind." This is the same mindset that Thomas Merton, Henri Nouwen, and Tilden Edwards had. Listen:
"The human family is one in God's spirit"--Edwards5

Thomas Merton said he believed that all religions share "the experience of divine light"6

Nouwen believed that "it is in the heart of God that we can come to the full realization of the unity of all that is"7
The "universal mind" in The Secret is the same as the unity of all that exists and this is exactly what is found among the "Christian" contemplative masters.

With the church's fascination and embracing of meditation through the contemplative prayer movement (i.e., spiritual formation), the film further gives the green light to millions of Christians to be ushered deeper into mysticism. While less than a million people have thus far bought the DVD, everyone knows that when a product has Oprah's signature of approval on it, sales automatically soar to astronomical levels, and Christian women are a huge segment of Oprah's audience.

Without exaggeration, meditation is becoming an integral part of our society, in every facet: education, business, government, entertainment, health and religion. And with most Christian leaders promoting contemplative spirituality to at least some degree, Christendom is being affected dramatically. When Alice Bailey, who coined the term New Age and was instructed by her spirit guide, said that the age of enlightenment was going to come, not around the Christian church but rather through it, her "prophecy" may be coming to pass. Just last year, Fox Home Entertainment released a film called Be Still, an infomercial for contemplative prayer, in which numerous well known and highly respected Christian leaders took part. And nearly every major online Christian bookstore is selling books that promote New Age style meditation, which has a premise that all paths lead to God and divinity is within every human being thus removing the need for a Savior. If this promotion and embracing of meditation keeps up, then there really will be "a new era for humankind." But it will be an era that the Bible warns about when it says: Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons."

This week, since Oprah showed her special about the The Secret, please be praying that women (and men) who watched this show will see this as further seduction into a mystical realm that is void of the gospel of the true God and Light, Jesus Christ.

1. l 2. Ibid.
3. For Many Shall Come in My Name, 1st Ed.,p. 14.
4. Ibid., pp. 11-12.
5. A Time of Departing, 2nd ed., p. 43.
6. Ibid., p. 60.
7. Ibid., p. 63.

On February 23rd, Michael Beckwith (from The Secret) is teaming up with staunch New Ager Barbara Marx Hubbard in a program which will highlight Marx Hubbard's new documentary, HUMANITY ASCENDING: A New Way Through Together.

For those who still may have doubts as to the true nature of The Secret, this should dispel those. The Secret shares spiritual affinities with Marx Hubbard, who believes that a time is coming to the earth where all human beings (the ones left after her Selection Process takes place) will realize their divinity within. Unfortunately, such a time will not look kindly on those who say Jesus Christ is God and is the only way of salvation.

Info posted from Lighthouse Trails Research