Who are we?

The center of the Traditional Anglican Communion; adhering to the Holy Bible (KJV) in all matters of Faith and Doctrine, a strict reliance on the Thirty Nine Articles of Religion, The two Sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion, the Two Creeds, and the Homilies and formularies of the Reformation Church of England.

Verse of the Day

Sunday, July 3, 2022

AOC Sunday Report - Third Sunday after Trinity - Independence Day in the United States of America

 

Third Sunday after Trinity and tomorrow is Independence Day in the United States of America.

The AOC Sunday Report can be downloaded RIGHT HERE.

We have excellent sermons today from Bishops Jerry and Roy, as well as Revs Jack and Bryan.  Each is normally different, today even more so as they cover different subject matter.   Rev Jack's sermon can be viewed on video RIGHT HERE.

There are always a lot of people who desire your prayer, today is not the exception.  Please start with Jim, Laurie, Shamu, Tricia, Lourie and Angie, work out from there.

Tomorrow Independence Day in the United States of America, I hope you will take the time to reflect on the cost of our freedom.

God has given us the Holy Ghost to give us comfort, strength and guidance, amongst other things.  Take Him up on the offer.

There is a great week ahead, nay EPIC!

Godspeed,

Hap
Church of the Faithful Centurion
Descanso, California
United States of America

Third Sunday after Trinity

   

 

Sermon – Reverend Jack Arnold - Time and Action

Church of the Faithful Centurion - Descanso, California

Rev Jack's sermon can be viewed on video RIGHT HERE.


Today’s sermon brought the Collect, Epistle and Gospel together and is partly contained in the forewords above.  

 

Consider these words from the Collect:


 

… hear us; and grant that we, to whom thou hast given an hearty desire to pray, may, by thy mighty aid, be defended and comforted in all dangers and adversities …

 

The Collect starts as they often do by asking God to hear us.  It seems to me this is rather odd a thing to ask as He hears us all the time; the problem is when we need His Help we so rarely ask, then when He answers, we will not hear Him.  That being said, when we do accept the Holy Ghost’s Help to pray, we can expect to receive spiritual, mental and physical comfort from God.  The key word in this is accept.  In order to receive the comfort from God, we have to first let him into our hearts to begin his renewal of our spirit. If we do not accept the Holy Ghost’s help, then God will not be able to help us.

 

It would be foolish not to accept the Great Physician’s help to transform our spirits. It would be like having cancer, and there being a cure for cancer and rejecting that cure because we don’t like it.  Without the help of the Holy Ghost into our hearts, we truly cannot follow Christ. We, of ourselves, cannot follow God without His Divine Assistance. We are sheep gone astray from our shepherd and without Jesus, are wolf food. But with Jesus’s protection, we are safe from the wolf/lion known as Satan.  

 

In order to have the Holy Ghost’s help into our heart, we must let go of self centered and prideful  ways. Prideful beings cannot be followers of Christ. Peter makes this point when he says that God resists the proud and gives His Grace to the humble. The humble are those who are more likely to accept His Grace and the Holy Ghost’s help to renew their spirit. The proud believe they are self-made people and scoff at the very idea of God sending his only begotten Son that we should not perish but have life everlasting (John 3:16). These people are very resistant to God and the Holy Spirit. These are the people that scoff at us and do not understand the benefits of the power of God and the Holy Spirit. They will continually be living in their own delusion unless they are otherwise shaken from it. And this is an extremely powerful delusion and it is difficult for these folks to be shaken from it. It is possible, but it does require that they allow the Holy Spirit in them, in order to be snapped out of the delusion. They do not understand that our self centered and prideful ways hurt us way more than it can ever help.

 

The humble know they cannot make it into heaven on their own; thus they know they need that divine help and are willing to accept it. They know that without God’s help they are nothing and thus they are more willing than the proud to rely on God. 

 

We must strive to be humble in our lives and less prideful. When we let go of our pride, we can see where we are in error.  This is a life long process for most of us. It is a very difficult thing to let go of our pride, but it is something that must be done to further our character development all the same. Next time you are thinking prideful thoughts, stop and try and switch to a more humble attitude. In life, being humble will get  you a lot farther than being prideful ever will.

 

When we accept help from the Holy Ghost, we can begin to fix the cracks and faults in our spiritual character. He can shine a light into the darkest areas of our hearts. Jesus could do this as well and He knew very well the spiritual character of each person He encountered in His Earthly Ministry.  He knows which areas we need to most work on and He will tell us. We just have to listen to Him and then act upon it. Listening and then acting is the key phrase here. Without listening we’ll never know what we need to change and without acting we will never be able to change. So we must listen to what He has to say, regardless of how we feel about it and then act

 

With a clear view of the inner most thoughts of their hearts, Jesus tells the Pharisees the story of the shepherd who loses a sheep and searches for it.  When he finds the sheep he carries it back to the flock on his shoulders.  He goes on to tell the story of the woman who loses a piece of silver and turns her house inside out to find it.  That story ends in a very interesting word play in English, “Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece (peace) which I had lost.”  Jesus ends the story with, “there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.” No doubt the Pharisees missed the point of the parable as their hearts were too blackened by pride to hear His Word. 

 

The moral of the parable is Jesus is all about saving the sinners, not those who are already “righteous.” But for realists, there are none who are already “righteous.” I liken the church as a hospital for sinners. And all of the saints were sinners in their past too.  Therefore Jesus is all about saving all of us, as none of us are truly righteous without His Influence in our lives. Having said that, there is also joy when we do not sin, but choose God’s way.  And we enjoy it more also. So, it is preferable if we do not sin in the first place, but if we can’t do that, then God finds joy when we truly repent and turn back to Him and ask for His help and be willing to listen. There are no holier than thous in Christ’s flock, we are all equally non perfect folk or sinners that have let the Holy Ghost into our hearts to inspire us to change and become better humans and children of God.

 

Notice Jesus’ actions when He finds a lost sheep, He carries it back to the flock on His shoulders with a smile on His face. He rejoices in each lost soul saved. This is what the Church is about, bringing lost souls to Our Shepherd of Souls, Our Savior, Our Advocate, Jesus Christ, to His Kingdom of Heavenly Joys.

 

Heaven is at the end of an uphill trail.  The easy downhill trail does not lead to the summit.

 

The time is now, not tomorrow.  The time has come, indeed.  How will you ACT?

 

It is by our actions we are known.

 

Be of God - Live of God - Act of God

Third Sunday after Trinity - Propers with explanation – Rev Jack’s Sermon

 

The Propers for today are found on Page 192-193, with the Collect first:

 

Third Sunday after Trinity.

The Collect.

 

O

 LORD, we beseech thee mercifully to hear us; and grant that we, to whom thou hast given an hearty desire to pray, may, by thy mighty aid, be defended and comforted in all dangers and adversities; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

The Epistle came from the Fifth Chapter of St. Peter‘s First Epistle, beginning at the Fifth Verse.  Peter tells us to not be proud of what we have been given, rather to use those gifts to the benefit of those around us.  We should ask God to carry our concerns and worries so that we might to the tasks set before us.  

 

We must pay attention to the world around us and take care not to fall prey to the devil, for he is constantly looking for ways to help us drift off our path towards heaven.  You must understand that other Christians come from the same pool you do, humanity, they have the same frailties and problems you do.  Hang in there and do your very best, God will take care of you in the end.  There are none so poor as cannot purchase a noble death.  Never forget that.  

 

Trust in God and dread naught.

 

A

LL of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

 

Today’s Gospel started in the Fifteenth Chapter of the Gospel according to St. Luke, beginning at the First Verse.  This is a story of Jesus, rather than one of his stories.  The Pharisees were appalled that those who were particularly sinners in their very qualified eyes were attracted to Jesus and even worse, he talked to them, even breaking bread with them.  To the Pharisees, Jesus told the story of the shepherd who loses a sheep and searches for it.  When he finds it he carries it back to the flock on his shoulders.  He goes on to tell the story of the woman who loses a piece of silver and turns her house inside out to find it.  That story ends in a very interesting word play in English, “Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece (peace) which I had lost.”  Jesus ends the story with, “there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.”  Having said that, there is also joy when we do not sin, but choose God’s way.  And we enjoy it more also.

 

T

HEN drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him. And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them. And he spake this parable unto them saying, What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance. Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it? And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost. Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.

 

Sermon – Reverend Jack Arnold - Time and Action

Church of the Faithful Centurion - Descanso, California

Rev Jack's sermon can be viewed on video RIGHT HERE.


Today’s sermon brought the Collect, Epistle and Gospel together and is partly contained in the forewords above.  

 

Consider these words from the Collect:


 

… hear us; and grant that we, to whom thou hast given an hearty desire to pray, may, by thy mighty aid, be defended and comforted in all dangers and adversities …

 

The Collect starts as they often do by asking God to hear us.  It seems to me this is rather odd a thing to ask as He hears us all the time; the problem is when we need His Help we so rarely ask, then when He answers, we will not hear Him.  That being said, when we do accept the Holy Ghost’s Help to pray, we can expect to receive spiritual, mental and physical comfort from God.  The key word in this is accept.  In order to receive the comfort from God, we have to first let him into our hearts to begin his renewal of our spirit. If we do not accept the Holy Ghost’s help, then God will not be able to help us.

 

It would be foolish not to accept the Great Physician’s help to transform our spirits. It would be like having cancer, and there being a cure for cancer and rejecting that cure because we don’t like it.  Without the help of the Holy Ghost into our hearts, we truly cannot follow Christ. We, of ourselves, cannot follow God without His Divine Assistance. We are sheep gone astray from our shepherd and without Jesus, are wolf food. But with Jesus’s protection, we are safe from the wolf/lion known as Satan.  

 

In order to have the Holy Ghost’s help into our heart, we must let go of self centered and prideful  ways. Prideful beings cannot be followers of Christ. Peter makes this point when he says that God resists the proud and gives His Grace to the humble. The humble are those who are more likely to accept His Grace and the Holy Ghost’s help to renew their spirit. The proud believe they are self-made people and scoff at the very idea of God sending his only begotten Son that we should not perish but have life everlasting (John 3:16). These people are very resistant to God and the Holy Spirit. These are the people that scoff at us and do not understand the benefits of the power of God and the Holy Spirit. They will continually be living in their own delusion unless they are otherwise shaken from it. And this is an extremely powerful delusion and it is difficult for these folks to be shaken from it. It is possible, but it does require that they allow the Holy Spirit in them, in order to be snapped out of the delusion. They do not understand that our self centered and prideful ways hurt us way more than it can ever help.

 

The humble know they cannot make it into heaven on their own; thus they know they need that divine help and are willing to accept it. They know that without God’s help they are nothing and thus they are more willing than the proud to rely on God. 

 

We must strive to be humble in our lives and less prideful. When we let go of our pride, we can see where we are in error.  This is a life long process for most of us. It is a very difficult thing to let go of our pride, but it is something that must be done to further our character development all the same. Next time you are thinking prideful thoughts, stop and try and switch to a more humble attitude. In life, being humble will get  you a lot farther than being prideful ever will.

 

When we accept help from the Holy Ghost, we can begin to fix the cracks and faults in our spiritual character. He can shine a light into the darkest areas of our hearts. Jesus could do this as well and He knew very well the spiritual character of each person He encountered in His Earthly Ministry.  He knows which areas we need to most work on and He will tell us. We just have to listen to Him and then act upon it. Listening and then acting is the key phrase here. Without listening we’ll never know what we need to change and without acting we will never be able to change. So we must listen to what He has to say, regardless of how we feel about it and then act

 

With a clear view of the inner most thoughts of their hearts, Jesus tells the Pharisees the story of the shepherd who loses a sheep and searches for it.  When he finds the sheep he carries it back to the flock on his shoulders.  He goes on to tell the story of the woman who loses a piece of silver and turns her house inside out to find it.  That story ends in a very interesting word play in English, “Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece (peace) which I had lost.”  Jesus ends the story with, “there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.” No doubt the Pharisees missed the point of the parable as their hearts were too blackened by pride to hear His Word. 

 

The moral of the parable is Jesus is all about saving the sinners, not those who are already “righteous.” But for realists, there are none who are already “righteous.” I liken the church as a hospital for sinners. And all of the saints were sinners in their past too.  Therefore Jesus is all about saving all of us, as none of us are truly righteous without His Influence in our lives. Having said that, there is also joy when we do not sin, but choose God’s way.  And we enjoy it more also. So, it is preferable if we do not sin in the first place, but if we can’t do that, then God finds joy when we truly repent and turn back to Him and ask for His help and be willing to listen. There are no holier than thous in Christ’s flock, we are all equally non perfect folk or sinners that have let the Holy Ghost into our hearts to inspire us to change and become better humans and children of God.

 

Notice Jesus’ actions when He finds a lost sheep, He carries it back to the flock on His shoulders with a smile on His face. He rejoices in each lost soul saved. This is what the Church is about, bringing lost souls to Our Shepherd of Souls, Our Savior, Our Advocate, Jesus Christ, to His Kingdom of Heavenly Joys.

 

Heaven is at the end of an uphill trail.  The easy downhill trail does not lead to the summit.

 

The time is now, not tomorrow.  The time has come, indeed.  How will you ACT?

 

It is by our actions we are known.

 

Be of God - Live of God - Act of God

Sermon Notes - Third Sunday after Trinity – Independence Day Anticipated - Liberty - Anglican Orthodox Church Worldwide - 3 July 2022, Anno Domini (In the Year of our Lord)

 


For Our Country.

A

LMIGHTY God, who hast given us this good land for our heritage; We humbly beseech thee that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of thy favour and glad to do thy will. Bless our land with honourable industry, sound learning, and pure manners. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion; from pride and arrogancy, and from every evil way. Defend our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitudes brought hither

out of many kindreds and tongues. Endue with the spirit of wisdom those to whom in thy Name we entrust the authority of government, that there may be justice and peace at home, and that, through obedience to thy law, we may show forth thy praise among the nations of the earth. In the time of prosperity, fill our hearts with thankfulness, and in the day of trouble, suffer not our trust in thee to fail; all which we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

Pledge of Allegiance 

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

 

The Perfect Law of Liberty

Every Day is Independence Day to the true Christian

 

The Declaration of Independence 

We hold these truths to be self-evident (like the truth of the law of gravity)…that all men are created equal (made equal in the eyes of God at birth, but not condemned to remain equal in labor or business), endowed by creator with certain unalienable rights – that among these rights are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness…..that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed

 

Some quotes at the Signing –

 

When Samuel Adams signed the Declaration, he said:

We have this day restored the Sovereign to whom all men ought to be obedient. He reigns in heaven and from the rising to the setting of the sun, let His kingdom come.

 

John Adams said:

I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.

 

I am well aware of the toil and blood and treasure that it will cost to maintain this Declaration...Yet through all the gloom I can see the rays of ravishing light and glory...Posterity will triumph in that day's transaction, even though we should rue it, which I trust in God, we shall not.

 

Declare Liberty – the Liberty Bell:

After our founding fathers approved the Declaration of Independence, there was a call to have it read publicly, to fire cannons and to ring the bells in celebration! The first bell they rang was in the hall where they approved the Declaration to summon the people to hear the first public reading of America’s founding document. They rang the Liberty Bell. Where did it get its name? From the Scripture imprinted years earlier on its rim, Leviticus 25:10, which says, Proclaim liberty throughout the land unto all the inhabitants thereof!Proclaim liberty throughout the land. Let freedom ring!

 

It certainly does not seem realistic our Framers of the US Constitution intended the restraint of the Christian religion as modern so-called Justices seem to believe, does it?

 

The Flag & Colors –

Charles W. Stewart, superintendent of naval records and library of the United States Navy Department, made the following observations in the Geographic, concerning the origin of the colours used in the national flag of America:

 

The flag may trace its ancestry back to Mount Sinai, whence the Lord gave to Moses the Ten Commandments and the Book of the Law, which testify of God's will and man's duty; and were deposited in the Ark of the Covenant within the Tabernacle, whose curtains were blue, purple, scarlet, and fine-twined linen.

 

Before the ark stood the table of shewbread, with its cloth of blue, scarlet and white. These colours of the Hebrew Tabernacle were taken over by the early Western Church for its own and given to all the nations of western Europe for their flags. When the United States chose their flag it was of the colours of old, but new in arrangement and design, and they called it ‘The Stars and Stripes.’

 

Our flag is of the colours red, white and blue. Red is for courage, zeal, and fervency; white is for purity, cleanness of life and rectitude of conduct; blue is for loyalty, devotion, friendship, justice and truth. The star represents a heavenly ownership…the stars of heaven, the Bright and morning Star – Dominion. (See Exodus 25:4; 26:1, 36; and Numbers 4:7.)

 

But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.   (James 1:25)

 

The Perfect Law. 

Let me remind you how, in every revelation of Divine truth contained in the Gospel, there is a direct moral and practical bearing. No word of the New Testament is given us in order that we may simply know truth, but all in order that we may do it.

 

This truth is illustrated below. Having liberty as a blessing to ourselves, we owe that truth our hearts and lives -

 

And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts. (Psalm 119:45)

 

We have, as Christians, the responsibility to walk at liberty, not being shackled by the former chains of sin.

 

We cannot be free apart from Christ. Christ came for the purpose of making us free and proclaiming Liberty!

 

The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; (Isaiah 61:1)

 

We have a heavenly responsibility to proclaim the Liberty whereby we were set free, both as individuals and as a nation:

 

Therefore thus saith the LORD; Ye have not hearkened unto me, in proclaiming liberty, every one to his brother, and every man to his neighbour: behold, I proclaim a liberty for you, saith the LORD, to the sword, to the pestilence, and to the famine; and I will make you to be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth. (Jer 34:17)

 

The Spirit of the Lord brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, 19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the sick.  (Luke 4:18-19)

 

What made us free?

 

For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:2)

 

Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.  (2 Corinthians 3:17)

 

Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. (Galatians 5:1)

 

So do not abuse our privilege under liberty. Do not return to the falling walls of Babylon and the flesh of the heart.

 

For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.

 

We are to comport ourselves as a free people and not as those living under despots such as in China, fearfully looking about to know if we are being watched.

 

So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.  (James 2:12)

 

But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities. 11 Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord. 12 But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; 13 And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you; 14 Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children: 15 Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; 16 But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man's voice forbad the madness of the prophet. 17 These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. 18 For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. 19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. 20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. 21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. 22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog isturned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire. (2 Peter 2:10)

 

On Independence Day, Americans should give thanks to the Author of liberty that we have been privileged to live in this "sweet land of liberty," where we can worship God freely, in accord with His Word. Liberty is not license, however, and the essence of the American system is liberty under law. Fundamentally, that law is "the law of nature and of nature's God"--the natural laws of God's world and the revealed laws of God's Word. Within that framework we do have liberty--but not liberty to defy either the physical law of gravity or the spiritual "law of liberty." The latter is formulated in Scripture and has been applied over the centuries, in the English common law and later in our system of constitutional law, both of which are based on Scripture. 

 

Some today, seeking license rather than liberty, might recoil at the very idea of "the law of liberty," calling it an "oxymoron," or contradiction in terms. But Jesus said that only "the truth shall make you free!" (John 8:32). "Sin is the transgression of the law(1 John 3:4), and "sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death(James 1:15), not freedom! 

 

No one can be saved by the law, but those who are saved--by grace through faith in Christ--will love God's law, for it is "holy, and just, and good(Romans 7:12). We should say with the psalmist: "So shall I keep thy law continually for ever and ever. And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts(Psalm 119:44-45)

 

There is, indeed, a law of liberty, and whoever will walk in real liberty will find it only in God's law of life, through His revealed Word. For "whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed(James 1:25).

 

Hierarchy of Laws

We are to obey the laws of the land…unless those laws contradict the law of God. We obey the law of righteousness and not the law of fleshly desire.

 

Whose law do you keep? Your eternal destiny depends upon your answer.

Friday, July 1, 2022

Hidden Angels in the Marble – 1 July 2022, Anno Domini (In the Year of our Lord)

 

F

OR, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth. * * 10 All the sinners of my people shall die by the sword, which say, The evil shall not overtake nor prevent us. (Amos 9:9-10)

 

            The wicked of this world vehemently object to even the mention of the Name of the God, or of His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Their constant denials and open hostility to any vestige of Christian faith may deaden their conscience, but not the certain knowledge of the coming End – and, believe me, the KNOW it!

 

            Our Lord God is like the great Sculptor who fashions His chosen ones from the hard and stony hearts to be what He envisions them to be, and to more reflect that image of Himself first intended eastward in Eden. I once read that the great Michelangelo and a friend were passing by a yard in Rome in which was filled with many discarded and unfinished stones of marble. The friend commented, ‘Look at all those useless stones. What a waste! They are just ugly and formless clods!’ 

 

Michelangelo assessed the stones, chose one for his studio, and said to his friend, ‘All you see in this stone is an ugly and disproportionate mass of marble, but I see, hidden beneath its rough surface, an Angel.’  And that is what Michelangelo made of the stone that all else rejected. God does the same with us. After all, His Son, too, was the Chief Cornerstone that the builders rejected. Others may see nothing of beauty or worth about us, but one day, God takes us up chips away the ugliness, fashions the appearance, and turns us into that which He knew we could be from the beginning – and even BEFORE the beginning. Though others see no goodness in us, and there truly was none, and have rejected us, God looks upon us in our crudeness and knows what we can become in His loving and caring hands.

 

We need a lot of chipping,’ So said a saint as we were talking together about the Lord’s gracious dealings with His people. The saying suggested to my mind the Lord Jesus as the loving Sculptor at work upon the marble of humanity. There is an angel in the marble, because the pierced hand of the Artist has it in His mind and brings it out by His skill, but there is a lot of ‘chipping’ to be done before the beautiful image of His holy character stands out, displaying the perfection of His work. The hard stone of unbelief, the rough points of his self-will, the prominences of worldly ambition, the sharp angels of pride, the ugly faults of temper, the stubborn marks of hereditary trait, and the dark veins of selfishness, are some of the things He removes

(FE MARSH; Pearls, Points and Parables, Gospel Publishing House, N.Y. 1908)

 

            Now, though we are much like an unhewn stone in many points, we are also different in a number of respects. We have feelings of pain and comfort, joy and misery. We are able to think and reason with logic (unless we are cursed to belong to the WOKE generation). The Great Sculptor of our souls must chip away in hurtful ways to make more like Himself; yet, He will never demand that we offer our own beloved firstborn as redemption for any others’ sin. His own only Begotten Son has already paid that price for our redemption. And more than the physical pain of our old garments being chipped away is that spiritual pain realized that our own sins are responsible for the Cross of Christ. The Inerrant Word of God is a purifying fire that cleanses to the uttermost. The court jester who claimed, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me,” did not have the slightest idea of what he was talking about. In fact, it is the Word of God that will finally condemn the wicked to the fires of Hell, or the righteous to abide with Him in His beautiful mansions beyond the Gates of splendor.

 

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HE words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.  Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.  (Psalm 12:6-7)

 

            The very words of the Lord, every one of them in Scripture, combine to form the Word of God and is an exact likeness of His Beloved Son expressed in literal writing dictated by the Holy Ghost.

 

            Do not resist the power of God to bring out your hidden angel buried, perhaps, in a heart of stone.

The King James Bible – 1 July 2022, Anno Domini (In the Year of our Lord)


 



 

       Below is an excerpt of a talk given by the evangelical giant of England, D. Martin Lloyd Jones, in a rally at the Royal Albert Hall in 1961. His logic is superb and wise.  He only addresses the AV from the standpoint of its dignity and majesty. When the greater accuracy and reliability of the manuscript evidence is considered, the AV is truly the greatest English Bible of all times. Please note the reference to the manner in which George Whitfield preached - not down to the language of the street, but up to the majestic language of the KJV.

Jerry L. Ogles, Presiding Bishop

 

      I suppose that the most popular of all the proposals at the present moment is to have a new translation of the Bible.... The argument is that people are not reading the Bible any longer because they do not understand its language - particularly the archaic terms - What does your modern man....know about justification, sanctification, and all these biblical terms? And so we are told the one thing that is necessary is to have a translation that Tom, Dick, and Harry will understand, and I began to feel about six months ago that we had almost reached the stage in which the Authorized Version was being dismissed, to be thrown into limbo of things forgotten, no longer of any value. Need I apologize for saying a word in favor of the Authorized Version in this gathering...? 

 
      It is a basic proposition laid down by the Protestant Reformers, that we must have a Bible 'understanded of the people.' That is common sense...we must never be obscurantists. We must never approach the Bible in a mere antiquarian spirit... but it does seem to me that there is a very grave danger incipient in so much of the argument that is being presented today for these new translations. There is a danger, I say, of surrendering something that is vital and essential.... 

 
      Take this argument that the modern man does not understand such terms as justification, sanctification, and so on. I want to ask a question. When did the ordinary man ever understand these terms?... Did the colliers to whom John Wesley and George Whitefield preached in the 18th century understand? They had not even been to a day of school...they could not read, they could not write. Yet these were the terms that were used. This was the version that was used - the Authorized Version. The common people have never understood these terms...We are concerned here with something that is spiritual; something which does not belong to this world at all; which, as the Apostle Paul reminds us, the princes of this world do not know. Human wisdom is of no value here - it is a spiritual truth. This is the truth about God primarily, and because of that, it is a mystery...

 
      Yet we are told - it must be put in such simple terms and language that anybody taking it up and reading it is going to understand all about it. My friends, this is sheer nonsense. What we must do is to educate the masses of the people up to the Bible, not bring the Bible down to their level. One of the greatest troubles today is that everything is cheapened. The common man is made the standard of authority; he decides everything, and everything has to be brought down to him.... 

  

      Are we to do that with the Word of God? I say No! What has happened in the past has been this - ignorant, illiterate people, in this country and in foreign countries, coming into salvation have been educated up to the Book and have begun to understand it, to glory in it, and to praise God for it, and I say that we need to do the same at this present time. What we need is therefore, not to replace the Authorized Version....we need rather to reach and train people up to the standard and the language, the dignity and the glory of the old Authorized Version.

Thursday, June 30, 2022

A Remedy for the Idle Mind – 30 June 2022, Anno Domini (In the Year of our Lord)

 

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UT seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.  (Matthew 6:33-34)

 

            The wise man, Benjamin Franklin, wrote – “An idle mind is the workshop of the devil” and so it is. The average youth, and some older, have been raised on the habit of instant gratification in everything – fast food restaurants, next day mail, instant knowledge revealed at the press of a computer button – no longer does a student need to do lengthy research for his papers since all is available on the internet. He can do his homework without even thinking.

 

            Opulence in all things in America has made us soft and not very personally independent, even socially reclusive. Computer games began with Space Invaders a few decades back. It wasn’t long until our youth became bored with that innocent game, so, now we have bloody games that are graphic in the shedding of blood. These have alleviated the boredom for a while, but now, real action is needed to satisfy what once was innocent curiosities. So, crime soars as the moral and social fabric of America has gone with the wind.

 

            Is the answer for our dilemma to be found in more cruel and bloody games, enhanced technology, more instantaneous response in service industries? No, I believe an over reliance on technology and communicative forums such as Twitter, Tik-Tok, YouTube and Facebook is part of the source of our modern day problem. We have no time to consider the deeper issues of life and relationships.

 

            There is an answer to our problems that is the only answer that seems unacceptable in our day. That solution is found in the Word of God. He is our Maker, and His counsel is inerrant, and His answers are always the best for our souls and society at large. 

 

            There are individuals walking our crowded streets, partying at our pubs, and interacting via computer who are intensely lonely and bored. They have not known the Fountain of Living Waters. They have not learned the Law of God’s Love and Compassion, so they have none of their own. Neither have they sought it. Instead, they have resorted to alcohol and narcotics. The little dose at first will not forever satisfy, so, they increase their abuse in greater and greater quantities until the soul is dead and the body soon follows.

 

            Though there remain pastors in America who still preach the undiluted Word, the greater majority teach and preach a corrupted word that is intended to satisfy itching ears and add to the coffers of the church. (Incidentally, a larger church fund results in higher pay for the preacher) This pre aching has no power lift up, bugt only to tear down.

 

            When the lonely and despondent one finds itself by the wilderness of Beersheba, there is a Friend that sticketh closer than a brother. He heard the cries of Ismael and found His mother, Hagar, by a Fountain of Water. Water is the thing most precious for which Hagar wept, but her profuse tears blinded her from seeing. He will do the same for all who earnestly seek Him. The lonely one will find a constant companion in Christ. His path in life will be made clear and his labors certain. Boredom will cease. Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. (Matthew 7:7-8)

 

         Once we call upon the Lord, we must focus on Himto the exclusion of the shiny adornments of the world. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth(Colossians 3:2)

 

         Next, separate yourselves from those whose sins make them enemies of your soul and of your Lord. 

 

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HEREFORE come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,  (Corinthians 6:17) 

 

         Then serve the Lord with all your heart. You can never do works enough to pay for your sins, but He has already done so. But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter(Romans 7:6)

 

         If you are lonely, bored and have no direction in life, come from that basement of despair and turn to the Light of God, I beseech you. He will give you meaning and direction in a turbulent world.