The Bible View #834 — God Is in Control!

In This Issue:
It’s Under God’s Control
How Long?
My God Reigneth
How Peace Was Won

Volume: 834    November 1, 2021
Theme: God’s Will and Way

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It’s Under God’s Control
Bill Brinkworth

When reading of current events, seeing how society is morally declining, and hearing of one tragedy after another, it can be very discouraging.  It sometimes seems chaos surrounds us and is gaining a foothold closer to us each day.

Politicians, particularly liberals, are no longer backing common sense and the apparent betterment of those they represent. Public education seems to enforce and encourage their charges to grasp godless theories and thinking.  A media that was once expected to expose the truth and help preserve law-abiding has also accepted and joined to move society against godly behavior and force heathen philosophies on the public. Too often, it seems there is little order and only destruction on society’s horizon. Hope for a promising future appears to be disappearing daily.

Stop right there!  Be not deceived.  As the beginning words of a hymn remind us, “The Lord reigneth.”  Most of us do not understand why such changes in society are allowed, but we can be assured God is still in control.  He knows exactly what is going on.  He knows who is lying.  He knows who is deceiving.  Our God knows all about the greed that motivates so many.  None of what is going on is a surprise to Him.
“The LORD reigneth, he is clothed with majesty; the LORD is clothed with strength, wherewith he hath girded himself: the world also is stablished, that it cannot be moved.” Psalm 93:1 

God uses many horrific actions and attitudes that we see for society’s eventual betterment and to accomplish what He has planned to happen from the beginning.  From the Genesis flood to what will happen in the future (Revelation 19:6), God has and will use those events, as wicked as they often seem, for His purpose. Despite what our leaders, media, and other influences believe, God reigneth!  Nothing happens without His allowing it for His purposes.
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28  Also: II Tim. 1:9.

“He who counts the stars and calls them by their names is in no danger of forgetting His children.”   — C. H. Spurgeon

How Long?
Bill Brinkworth

Psalm 94:3, and many others, question the same thing. How long are the wicked going to get away with their sin?  We see and hear so many in blatant disregard for God’s moral laws and His desired behaviors.  It is often wondered how some get away with the terrible things they are doing.
“LORD, how long shall the wicked, how long shall the wicked triumph?” Psalm 94:3

The answer is, they will not get away with their sin.  The payday for iniquity will come someday.  It may be today; it may be ten years from now.  They may appear unscathed by their wrong-doing in this life.  However, we have God’s promise that in the next, they will stand before a judge, who will issue a verdict they will fear and which will cause them to regret their past actions.

As I have told many Sunday school classes, no one gets away with sinning against God.  True to that biblical promise, I have seen many sinners pay the price for their wrong-doing that they never thought they would pay.  The wage for their offense against God came after the transgression and brought grief and regret that lasted much of their lives.

When raising my daughter, I remember her observation of one in our church that regularly sinned. One day, she commented, “See, so-and-so is doing this and that, but nothing is happening to them.”

My reply was, “Be patient.  They won’t get away with it.” Sure enough, a time came, several years later, that they received the wage for the transgression they had sown, and it was devastating. 

God is the judge, and nothing escapes His scrutiny.  Vengeance is His, and He will receive it (Psalm 94:1-2). All wrong-doing will be dealt with (Psalm 94:4-6).

A sinner may think their iniquity escaped the eye of the Lord, but it did not (Psalm 94:7-10).  He even knows our thoughts (Psalm 94:11), so there is no escaping sin’s consequences.  With this in mind, it is prudent and wise to flee iniquity and get as far away from it as possible.
“And he shall bring upon them their own iniquity, and shall cut them off in their own wickedness; yea, the LORD our God shall cut them off.” Psalm 94:23
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” Galatians 6:7

“It is much easier to repent of sins that we have committed than to repent of those we intend to commit.” — Billings

My God Reigneth
Bill Brinkworth

No matter the chaos and troubles about us, God is still in control.  Often, what we see as a terrible situation is God’s means to turn people to Him, teach others a lesson, punish sin, or accomplish His will and way.

Some of the biblical proofs confirming He reigns on this Earth are:

God (John 10:30) reigned over His creation.
When the raging waves threatened a ship and the crew’s safety, Jesus bestilled the waters.
“And he [Jesus] was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow… 39 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.”  Mark 4:38-39  Also: Mat. 8:26, Luke 8:24.
“He rebuked the Red sea also, and it was dried up: so he led them through the depths, as through the wilderness.” Psalm 106:9  [Rebuke: to sternly correct (often exhibiting authority over the one being corrected), to restrain, to put to shame]

He reigneth over the ungodly.
“Thou hast rebuked the heathen, thou hast destroyed the wicked, thou hast put out their name for ever and ever.” Psalm 9:5
“Thou hast rebuked the proud that are cursed, which do err from thy commandments.” Psalm 119:21

He reigneth over demonic influences.
“And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour.” Matthew 17:18
“And as he was yet a coming, the devil threw him down, and tare him. And Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, and healed the child, and delivered him again to his father.” Luke 9:42   Also: Mark 9:25.

He reigneth over the weak.
“But when he had turned about and looked on his disciples, he rebuked Peter, saying, Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men.” Mark 8:33  Also: Luke 9:55.

He reigneth over health problems.
“And he stood over her, and rebuked the fever; and it left her: and immediately she arose and ministered unto them.” Luke 4:39

He reigneth over His own.
“And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:” Hebrews. 12:5

“One God helping is more than all men opposing.— Joseph Caryl

How Peace Was Won
Author Unknown

With eager heart and will on fire,
I sought to win my great desire.
“Peace shall be mine,” I said. But life
Grew bitter in the endless strife.

My soul was weary, and my pride
Was wounded deep. To Heaven, I cried,
“God give me peace, or I must die.”
The dumb stars glittered no reply.

Broken, at last, I bowed my head
Forgetting all myself, and said,
“Whatever comes, His will be done,”
And at that moment, peace was won.”

The Bible View #833 — God’s Care

FREE Printable versions of THE BIBLE VIEW (including large print and church bulletin inserts) are available at

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In This Issue:
What God Knows About You 
God’s Care for His People
“Thank You, Captain.”
The Nick of Time
A Touch on His Shoulder
When Every Choir Member Was Late

Volume: 833    October 25, 2021
Theme: God’s Care

What God Knows About You
Bill Brinkworth

“Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” I Peter 5:7

God knows about your location!
“Am I a God at hand, saith the LORD, and not a God afar off?   Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD.” Jeremiah 23:23-24

Although the context is about the last days, the principle applies:
“Though they dig into hell, thence shall mine hand take them; though they climb up to heaven, thence will I bring them down:   And though they hide themselves in the top of Carmel, I will search and take them out thence; and though they be hid from my sight in the bottom of the sea, thence will I command the serpent, and he shall bite them:” Amos 9:2-3   

He knows the condition of your body.
“Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?  But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.” Luke 12:6-7 

He knows what is unknown and unseen by you.
“He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him.” Daniel 2:22 

He knows what your needs are.
“But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.  Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.” Matthew 6:7-8

He knows what’s in your heart.
“And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.” I Chronicles. 28:.9 

He knows what you’re thinking.
“But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils. And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:” Matthew 12:24-25 

He knows who is His – who is saved.
“The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:” Romans 8:16
“But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.” Luke 13:27

“For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing  hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.” Luke 8: 17

“Man is really three persons in one: what people think he is, what he sees himself to be, and what God knows him to be.”  — W. L. Childress

God’s Care for His People
F. E. Marsh in 500 Bible Readings

  • He WATCHES over them with His eyes.  Psalm 34:15
  • He LISTENS to their prayers with His ears. I Peter 3:12
  • He INSTRUCTS them by His Word. Deut. 33:3
  • He LOVES them with His heart. I John 3:1
  • He SUPPORTS them.  Hosea 11:3
  • He LEADS then by His Spirit.  Romans 8:14
  • He ENCOURAGES them by His promises.  II Peter 1:4

“Here is my creed.  I believe in one God, Creator of the Universe, and that He governs it by His providence.  That He ought to be worshiped.  That the most acceptable service we render Him is doing good to His other children.”   — Benjamin Franklin

“Thank You, Captain.”  
Gospel Herald

When Napoleon’s horse ran away and a lowly soldier caught him,  Napoleon said, “Thank you, Captain.”  The man at once packed his belongings, moved to the officer’s quarters, and went to mess with them.  The emperor had called him captain, and he was therefore an officer.

We are all miserable sinners, but when we receive Jesus Christ as our Saviour,  He calls us sons of God (John 1:12).  Let us promptly pack our belongings and move into the higher life to which He has appointed us!

The Nick of Time

G. Campbell Morgan

I am never tired of pointing out that the Greek phrase translated, “in the time of need,” is a colloquialism of which the “nick of time” is the exact equivalent “that we may have the grace to help in the ‘nick of time.’”  Grace just when and where I need it. 

You are attacked by temptation, and, at the moment of assault, you look to Him, and the grace is there to help in the “nick of time.”  No postponement of your petition until the evening hour of prayer, but there in the city street, with the flaming temptation in front of you, turn to Christ with a cry for help. The grace will be there in the “nick of time.”

A Touch on His Shoulder
C. E. Macartney

On February 26, 1844, a major disaster occurred in our Navy.  The Princeton, the most powerful warship of that day, was taking members of Congress and government officials down the Potomac.

Onboard was the president of the United States and the secretaries of state and Navy.  For the entertainment of the guests, the great gun on the Princeton, called the Peacemaker, was fired.  At the second discharge, the gun burst, killing the secretary of state, the secretary of the Navy, and several others.

Senator Thomas Benton of Missouri was standing near it when a friend laid a hand on his shoulder just before the gun was fired.  Benton turned away to speak with him when, much to his annoyance, the secretary of the Navy, Gilmore, elbowed his way into his place.  At that moment, the gun was fired and Gilmore was killed.

That singular providence had a great impression upon Benton.  He was a man of bitter feuds and quarrels and recently had a fierce argument with Daniel Webster.  After he escaped from death on the Princeton, Benton sought reconciliation with Webster.  He said to him, “It seemed to me, Mr. Webster, as if that touch on my shoulder was the hand of the Almighty stretched down there, drawing me away from what otherwise would have been instantaneous death.  That one circumstance has changed the whole current of my thought and life,  I feel that I am a different man, and I want, in the first place, to be at peace with all those with whom I have been so sharply at variance.”

“When we return to really trusting in God, there will no longer be room in our souls for fear.” — Goethe    

When Every Choir Member Was Late
Author Unknown

On March 1, 1950, in Beatrice, Nebraska, the pastor went to church to prepare for the evening choir practice that Saturday afternoon.  Most choir members would arrive between 7:15 to 7:30 PM.  He then went home for a quick supper and was ready to return with his wife and daughter when it was discovered that the daughter’s dress was soiled and needed a change that must first be ironed. He would certainly be late for practice.

High school sophomore Ladona, had trouble with her geometry problems and had to stay to finish the problem.  Usually, she would always be early for rehearsal.

Two sisters were ready to go to practice, but the car won’t start.  They called up the geometry girl to pick them up.

Mrs. Schuster, with a small daughter, would arrive at 7:20, but that night her aging mother needed her, so she dropped by her mother’s, making her late as well.

Machinist Harry Ohl was going to take his two boys to choir practice since his wife was away but somehow started talking with someone. When he looked at his watch, it was already too late.

Pianist Marilyn Paul came one-half an hour earlier, but after supper, she fell asleep and arrived barely on time.

The choir director and the pianist’s mother, Mrs. Paul, were late because of her daughter.  She tried unsuccessfully to wake the child up.

Two high school girls usually go together, but one listened to the 7:00 radio program and broke their usual habit of promptness to listen to the end.

Stenographer Joyce Black, feeling “just plain lazy,” stayed until the last possible minute.  When she was ready to go, “it” happened.

At 7:25, the West Side Baptist Church blew up.  Its roof crushed in, and its walls fell down due to leaking gas.   All the choir members were late, which had never happened before.  No one was hurt thanks to God’s intervention.

“A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.” 
Proverbs 16:9   

The Bible View #832 —The Indwelling Holy Spirit

In This Issue:
The Indwelling Holy Spirit
Keep the Temple Clean
Reasons Why the Believer Should be Holy

Volume: 832    October 18, 2021
Theme: The Indwelling Spirit of God

The Indwelling Holy Spirit
Bill Brinkworth

“For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.” Psalm 84:10

At the time of Psalm 84, there were still tabernacles ( perhaps “tabernacles” was plural because, as one tabernacle was in disrepair, it was repaired or replaced. It could have also referred to the places of reflection built during the Feast of the Tabernacles). The temple must have existed, and perhaps it was being constructed as it had become a home (Psalm 84:3) for nesting sparrows.

For the Jews, the Tabernacle or Temple was where they met God. Those places were where He visited His people.  It was also where Israel could be physically closer to God.  Because of the nearness of their God, it was a special place.

The writer declares it was a friendly place (Psalm 84 — “amiable”).  He was overwhelmed (Psalm 84:2) to be where God had been and where His commandments were obeyed.  He envied the sparrows that built their nest amongst the structures and lived near God. He even felt those dedicated to service for the Lord and dwelt amongst (Psalm 84:4) the buildings were also fortunate.  The Psalm writer realized it was a blessed place (Psalm 84:4-7).

Today, we do not have a physical building where God dwells.  The Spirit of God lives in every believer.  If we are saved, we are the Temple of the living God, and we should be as excited and encouraged as was the writer of Psalm 84 when he was in the Temple.
“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?  17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” I Cor. 3:16-17
“And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” II Cor. 6:16-18  Also: Ephesians 2:21-22, Hebrews 3:6, I Peter 2:5.

Think about it for a minute! Selah!  The Holy Spirit of God lives inside of you, Christian.  He loves you so much that He does not want to live far away from you.  He has chosen to live inside of you!

With that closeness of God should come special excitement, as the Psalm writer experienced.  However, with the nearness of our God, we should make sure our “Temple” is swept clean of dirty sin that God hates. It is good to be so close to God, but it comes with an awesome responsibility to be far from sin and obedient to what a Holy God expects of us.

“Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.”   I Peter 1:16

Keep the Temple Clean
Bill Brinkworth

I had waited a long time to spend the weekend with my friend. Finally, the time had arrived. After being dropped off by my mother, with a suitcase and sleeping bag in hand, I was ready for the games to begin!

Up the steps, my buddy guided me to where I was to sleep. As the door creaked open, I was aghast at the sleeping quarters where I was to spend the next couple of nights. Clutter, mess, and filth would also be my bedfellows if I were to spend the night in that bedroom.

Dirty, tattered curtains blocked most of the light filtering through the windows. I wondered if they had ever been washed since they were installed.

Strips of wallpaper curled off the wall, exposing its paste that clusters of roaches were feasting upon. Spider webs laced across most of the corners and crevices. Clothes lay where they fell after they were removed. I was not sure, but I was positive I saw a dirty sock move slightly across the dusty, stained rug under its power. A smell of armpits, sweat, and filth permeated from unwashed clothes and bedding. It was not a place that I would relish spending the night.

As politely as I could manage, I complained, “I really want to spend the weekend with you. We could have such a good time together, but to be honest with you, um, this room is too filthy for me to even sleep in. I would not be comfortable here.”

My host surveyed his room and agreed with a nod that it was a mess.

“If I am to stay here, we’ve got to clean it up,” I suggested.

He was agreeable, and soon we were both working together to clean his room. Curtains, clothing, and bedding were washed more than once. Pests were sprayed and removed. Windows were washed. Walls were wiped. Floors were vacuumed and scrubbed.

After much hard work, the room was spotless. It even smelled clean and fresh. It was now a room where I could comfortably sleep.

When a person gets saved, that person becomes the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit. He becomes a living “temple” where the Spirit of God indwells.
“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? ”I Corinthians 3:16
“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” I Corinthians 6:19

As I and others would not be comfortable in such a filthy environment as was my friend’s room, so the Holy Spirit is not comfortable with His dwelling place in many lives. The spiritual uncleanliness that displeases Him and stifles His working in our lives is our sin. 

When a person is first saved, the voice of the Holy Spirit whispers to his heart to work on eliminating sin. For each person, the Holy Spirit’s directions to clean up his “temple” are different. It may be lying or a drinking problem that the Holy Spirit urges the child of God first to eliminate for the Spirit to be comfortable enough to work in his life. For others, it may be the sin of adultery, deceitfulness, cheating, or gossiping that He demands to be stricken from the “temple” of the Living Spirit.
“And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” II Corinthians 6:16
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” Romans 12:1

Too many disregard, disobey, or ignore the convicting voice of the Holy Spirit to remove sin from their lives. In doing so, they grieve the Holy Spirit of God. Not doing as He commands is the same as telling him, “No!”. He does not leave, but He becomes silent. That is why so many people that were saved never do much or are used by God. The Holy Spirit insisted they clean up their “temple,” and they refused to do so. A dirty “temple” will never bring honor to God, nor will it be used by God.
“Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.” Romans 6:13

All that are saved have many sins in their lives that need to be cleaned out. The Holy Spirit is so gracious that He does not demand they all be cleaned up at once. One by one, He will point them out and help us clean up where only He knows the “filth” is hiding.

Is there an area in your life that God’s Spirit is urging you to clean up? You will never be perfect and sin-free, but you can be a cleaner “temple” that can bring honor and glory to God.

“I believe the holier a man becomes, the more he mourns over the unholiness that remains in him.”   — Spurgeon

Reasons Why the Believer Should be Holy
Edited from 500 Bible Readings, Marsh

  • Because of who God is.
    “The LORD is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works.” Psalm 145:17
    “Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the LORD your God am holy.” Lev. 19:2
  • Because He commands it: Lev. 19:2.
  • Because of His relationship with us.
    “Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the LORD your God.” Lev. 20:7
  • Because of His choice of us.
    “And ye shall be holy unto me: for I the LORD am holy, and have severed you from other people, that ye should be mine.” Lev. 20:26
  • Because of our relationship with Him.
    “They shall be holy unto their God, and not profane the name of their God: for the offerings of the LORD made by fire, and the bread of their God, they do offer: therefore they shall be holy.” Lev. 21:6

“Holiness is not the way to Christ.  Christ is the way to holiness.”  — Spurgeon

The Bible View #831 — Decisions

In This Issue:
Decisions and Their Cost
Spurgeon’s Right Decision
Nothing Less Than the Best
At His Mercy
How Livingston Took a Criticism

Volume: 831    October 11, 2021
Theme: Decisions

FREE Printable versions of THE BIBLE VIEW (including large print and church bulletin inserts) are available at

All should read the Bible daily!  While at your computer,  go to and read a chapter each day, and learn something from what you read. SIGN-UP to have the FREE devotion e-mailed (M-Sat.) and read a devotion and KJV chapter at your computer.

Decisions and Their Cost
Bill Brinkworth

What makes the difference between a strong Christian and a weak one?  Much of the time, it is a Christian making the right decisions, sticking with convictions, and, as a result, growing spiritually.

The pastor of a church usually made the right decision in his life.  He had to make the right choice of going to church, attending Sunday school, not working on Wednesday night so he could attend services, reading his Bible, and daily praying.  After showing himself faithful with what God wanted him to do, God knew He could trust the man with further tasks. 

Somewhere in that man’s life, God spoke to him about full-time service and serving the Lord.  The man not only heard His call, but obeyed the summons and sacrificed whatever it took to please the Lord.  He, too, may have been tempted financially to work another job rather than trust God with what little he earned, so he would be available to preach and pastor. The right decisions were made.

One of the most spiritual people you know most likely also came to similar decisions in their life and chose the right, godly direction.  Few wake up one morning and say, “I will be spiritual today from now on,” and it instantly happens.  One’s faith and obedience to God grows as testings strengthen that person.

Most likely, the person had a choice of prosperity and a tempting opportunity, but chose the direction of serving and living for God.  No matter the cost or how their life would deviate from their desires, they made the right choice that they would not regret.

Perhaps the one seeking to serve the Lord faced medical trials where he put his faith in God above physical limitations. Maybe ridicule of family or friends about his faithfulness to the things of God was an obstacle that had to be battled.

However, the right decisions were made, showing the Lord that He was more important to what this temporary world offered.  Faith and obedience to God grew as the right choices were made through each trial and tribulation that was faced.

Sunday school teachers had to make the right decisions.  Sometime in their lives, the burden of teaching others became so important to them that the service to God as a teacher was more valuable than their own free time.  Their teaching ministry became more precious to them than their attending a football game during their study hours.  It became more precious to them than the money they had to give up to buy study material or treats for their class. Because of paying the right price their decision required, they were entrusted to be in the position they are today to be a blessing for the cause of Christ.

The faithful members of a church also made the right decisions.  They could have easily missed church, stayed home, and watched television.  However, the hearing of the Word of God and their edification in the things of God became more essential than other pleasures.

No one would have missed the church attendees if they had gone to another church because of hurt feelings.  Still, the urgency God gave them to join, take part, and attend His local assembly of believers was so needful to them that they made the right decisions not to miss services.

On and on the list could go of people who did without or did what was not convenient for them to do to please and obey God.  Obedience was most important to them.  Unfortunately, they are the minority in the body of Christ.  Too many do not have their priorities the same as the above examples.  Something in their lives became more important than God and obedience to Him.

Perhaps it was the first step after they were saved that was not crucial to them.  The young Christian also received the heart-tug to be baptized, start praying, or daily read their Bible, but something was more important to them than obedience. 

Maybe the fear of what others would think if they became “religious” scared them away from obedience to the Lord.  Possibly, they may have chosen not to sacrifice driving to church to hear the Gospel because an extra hour of sleep was more important to them.  They had the same amount of time as those previously described who obeyed and live for God.  However, they hoarded that time for themselves and decided not to make God a priority in their life.

Some may have started out making the right spiritual decisions. They may have been convicted about something God wanted them to change or do, but chose not to.  Their wrong decision to not obey the leadership of God was a blunt “No” in God’s ears. That refusal cost them further help from God.  What would be the sense of the Lord telling them other things to do if they were not doing what the Lord had already shown them to do?  Because of that wrong decision, the rest of their lives may be spent far from God, with only their self-interests being served and not God’s.

Eventually, they may find themselves far away from hearing the whisper of God’s calling in their lives.  They may still attend church, but the preacher’s words do nothing to stir them anymore. Their hardened hearts make them “used-to-be’s” or “once-I-was-gonna’s,” and now they sit and do not serve. They had the same opportunities to obey and serve as did others, but they chose the temporal rather than that which would please God and allow Him to work in their lives.  They, unfortunately, made the wrong decisions.

If you have to sadly admit you have made the wrong decisions in the past, it may not be too late to make the correct choice.  God is a second, third, or even a hundred chance God. Just the fact that you have a conviction about making wrong choices is a light showing that your heart is not completely hardened — yet.  There may still be an opportunity to make the right choices and serve God today.  Doing it tomorrow will be the wrong decision.  Saying “Yes” to God’s commandment that rings in your heart will be the right one. Decide and obey now!

“Obedience to God is the most infallible evidence of sincere and supreme love to Him.”   — Emmons

Spurgeon’s Right Decision
Good News Broadcaster

Years before the death of Spurgeon, an American lecture bureau tried to engage him to come to America and deliver fifty lectures in all the large cities of the country.  As compensation, the bureau offered to pay all of Mr. Spurgeon’s costs and the expenses of his wife and his private secretary to come with him until they returned. In addition, they would pay $1,000 per night for each of his fifty lectures. 

Mr. Spurgeon promptly declined this tempting offer to make $50,000 in fifty days, saying, “I can do better. I will stay in London and try to save fifty souls.” No wonder he succeeded so marvelously in winning souls!  No wonder that at his death, over 12,000 converts rose to bless his memory and thank God that Spurgeon ever lived!

“If you don’t walk with God, you’re walking in the wrong direction.” 

Nothing Less Than the Best
Sunday School Times

Before the 1939-45 war, a school for the children of “untouchables” in India received a shipment of Christmas presents from English children each year.  Each girl received a doll, “whose clothes took off and on,” and each boy received a toy. 

One year, Doctor Sahib from a nearby mission hospital came to distribute the presents. He told the children about a village not far away, where the children had never heard of Jesus or Christmas and suggested that they might each give one of their old toys to be taken to those children.

They readily agreed, and he came the following Sunday to receive them.  The boys and girls filed past him and handed a doll or a toy each.  It was the new presents that they gave.  When asked why, a girl said, “Think what Jesus gave for us, and what He has done for us.  Could we give Him less than our best?”

At His Mercy
Heart and Life Bulletin

George Atley, a young Englishman with the heart of a hero, was engaged in the Central African Mission. A party of natives attacked him.  He had with him a Winchester repeating rifle with ten loaded bullets in the chamber. He could have killed them all. The party was entirely at his mercy.

Calmly and quickly, the missionary summed up the situation.  He concluded killing them would do the mission more harm than if he allowed them to take his life.  So, like a lamb to the slaughter, he did not fight back. When his body was found in the stream, his rifle was also found with its ten rounds still loaded. Soul future destinies were more important than his own life.

“… and if we obey God, we must disobey ourselves …”  Herman Melville

How Livingston Took a Criticism
Dr. Peloubet

Misjudged by a fellow missionary, Dr. Livingstone gave up his house and garden at Mabosta with all the toil and money they had cost him.  He did so rather than have any scandal before the heathen and began in a new place, building a new house, school building, and gathering the people around him. 

His colleague was so struck with his generosity that he said had he known Livingston’s intention, he would never have spoken a word against him.  Parting with his garden cost him a great pang.  “I like a garden,” he wrote, “but Paradise will make amends for all our privations here.”

Jesus Christ sacrificed also.  He gave His life on the cross so that we could live eternally.

The BibleView #830 — Baptism

In This Issue:
A Good Feeling by Being Obedient
Baptism’s Purpose

Volume: 830    October 4, 2021
Theme: Baptism

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Bill Brinkworth

One of the few ordinances commanded in the Bible is that of baptism. This one act has caused much argument, division, and even many deaths in the past. Books have been written on the subject, and serious study has been given to this subject by many.

There are three types of baptism spoken of in the New Testament. They include the baptism of the Holy Ghost, a non-water baptism dealing with Jesus’ burdens (Mat. 20:22, 23), and one where a saved person is submerged into the baptismal waters. Here are some teachings from the Bible about the third type of baptism, the baptism of one who has been spiritually born- again:

  • One should be baptized because Christ commanded it:
    Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:” Matthew 28:19
  • Water baptism is symbolic of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. When it is performed for one that has his sins forgiven after trusting in Jesus’ death on the cross for the remission of his sins, it is a perfect picture of what Jesus did for him. When the one being baptized is lowered quickly into the water, it is a picture of Jesus’ death on the cross. When He is brought up out of the water, it is a picture of His resurrection.
    “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” Romans 6:4“Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.” Colossians 2:12“When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.” Acts 19:5  Also: Romans 6:3, Ephesians 4:5, Galatians 3:27.
  • Baptism is not essential for salvation. In verses about salvation (as John 3:13, Romans 10:9…) baptism was never included.

    When the man that died on the cross with Jesus was saved, Christ said he would see him shortly in “paradise.” If baptism were required for salvation, he would not have gone there with Jesus.  Also, Jesus Himself was baptized. The Saviour was certainly already going “home” and did not need the commission of an ordinance to get him there. He did it because His Father commanded Him to, as we should.
  • Baptism was performed only on people after they were saved, sometimes almost immediately.
    “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.” Acts 2:41

    The Ethiopian eunuch was saved and baptized shortly thereafter:  “And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest [the context was water baptism].  And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.… ” Acts 8:37-39

    The jailor believed: “And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house… And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway ”. Acts 8:30-33
  • The early churches practiced it. It was performed in Jerusalem, the desert (Acts 8:36), and Paul and members of the early church were baptized.

The Greek New Testament word for baptism is “baptizmo.” That word means “immersion.”  One hundred and two times in the New Testament, that term is used.  It always indicates a saved person being put down into the water and brought back up.  In most instances, it was performed in a river, sea, or nearby water source.

Baptism by sprinkling with water (“christening”), rather than submerging into the water, is not mentioned in the Bible. That unscriptural practice, by some accounts, was performed as early as 150 A.D. and was widely accepted by Catholicism (by Emperor Constantine) in the early 300’s A.D.  Over 100 years later, many believe sprinkling of babies was widely practiced.  It is the unbiblical practice of “christening” that many religions have adopted as “baptism”  and perform even today.

The christening of babies violates the commands of God and does not portray the picture of what Christ did for them on the cross. All references to baptisms were to men and women, not infants. Not one christened baby ever knew what was happening to him and certainly did not understand that Jesus died and rose again for him, which is most important to the one being scripturally baptized. No baby ever understood that he was a sinner. If a person was christened, they should still be baptized when they get saved if they want to please the Lord.

Baptism does not add to salvation, nor does it “wash away” sins. If this were true, every rain or bath would cleanse a person from sin. It is an ordinance that shows other believers one is born-again and obedient to what God commands. It is boldly donning the uniform of a Christian as a testimony. Baptism is an early step a believer takes to show obedience and willingness to obey God’s commandments.

Obedience to God is the most infallible evidence of sincere and supreme love for him.”  — Emmons

A Good Feeling by Being Obedient
Bill Brinkworth

“The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: 22 Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.” I Peter 3:21-22

The doctrine of baptism has been a subject of much debate for a long time. To a Bible believer, the issue is quite clear; one is saved and then baptized by immersion.  Others abide by the unbiblical christening ceremony that Constantine encouraged when he attempted to merge paganism with Christianity by mass-christening.   Some even hold that baptism washes away sins. 

This verse in I Peter 3:21 may give many the impression that baptism does “save us.” However, if the context of the scripture is examined, it is clear that baptism has nothing to do with being saved from the penalty of sin.

In parentheses, verse 21 clearly states that baptism does not put away sins (“the filth of the flesh”). However, baptism gives us a good conscience toward God. It makes us feel good to do what we are told (“good conscience”). Having a “good conscience” was also brought up in the previous vs. 16.

Baptism does not save a person, but what does is obedience to God’s commandments.  In Noah’s case, building the ark physically saved him and his family (I Peter 3:20).  In our case, salvation is obtained by obeying God in trusting Christ’s death and resurrection (I Peter 3:21).

Before salvation, a believer has often run from obeying God and certainly did not do what God wanted him to do.  After salvation, baptism is one of the first steps of obedience that a believer demonstrates to God.  A believer can have a clear conscience in knowing that he is finally obeying God.  He shows others, and the watching Lord, when he is baptized, he remembers Jesus died, rose again for him and Jesus is now his Saviour.

“Baptism is an outward expression of an inward faith.”  — Watchman Nee

Baptism’s Purpose
A. Hodge, 1871

Baptism signifies, seals, and conveys to one to whom he belongs. The act symbolizes “the washing of regeneration” and “the renewing of the Holy Ghost” (Titus 3:5), which unites the believer to Christ. It makes him a participant in Christ’s life and all other benefits.
“For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.” I Cor. 12:13
“For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” Gal. 3:27
“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;” Titus 3:5

Baptism is a visible sign of our covenant to be the Lord’s.  It shows others we have accepted His salvation and desire to consecrate ourselves to His service.  It is a badge of our public profession, showing our willingness to be separate from the world, and our admittance intos the family of believers.  This badge marks us as belonging to the Lord and consequently distinguishes us from the world (I Cor. 12:13).

A man who knows that he is saved by believing in Christ does not, when he is baptized, lift his baptism into a saving ordinance. In fact, he is the very best protester against that mistake because he holds that he has no right to be baptized until he is saved.”  — Charles Spurgeon