The BIBLE VIEW #946 — God’s Way

In This Issue:
His Ways Are Not Our Ways
Wild Vines
Tighten the Reins
Learned Sympathy

Volume: 946    February 26, 2024
Theme: God’s Way

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His Ways Are Not Our Ways
Bill Brinkworth

Sometimes, as Christians, we get confused and distraught by how circumstances in our lives seem out of God’s control.  We get perplexed over situations that appear to be severely altering what we thought was a good life.  Our desired path gets changed to one we never dreamed we would travel, and we certainly do not understand why. 

A doctor may have given a disastrous diagnosis, or a house may appear to be soon lost because of our inability to meet payments.  Children, who have been raised the best way we knew, seemingly are not turning out how we desired.  All that we saved and planned for is lost because of our inability to obtain employment.  Our lives and plans are in turmoil, and we wonder, “Where is God in all this chaos?”

Those feelings are not unique.  Other faithful believers have also found themselves going down a pathway they never dreamed they would travel.  Millions previously have also pondered, “Why is this happening to me?  What have I done to deserve this?”  

However, remember the trials of:

  • Joshua. Six times, Joshua and the Israelite army silently marched around the city of Jericho.  God promised Israel would get the victory over the fortress, yet they were not to say or do anything but walk around the city.  On the seventh day, they were told to shout and blow trumpets.  A seemingly illogical action resulted in something unexpected; the city walls supernaturally tumbled down so the enemy could easily be conquered. 
  • Ezekiel.  God told him to do some very bizarre things.  The prophet did all he was told to do.  Some of the tasks were humiliating to him, but he still did as he was instructed.
  • Paul.  That man of God was told to reach the lost with the saving message of the Gospel.  He did as God bid him, yet he faced beatings, attempts on his life, imprisonment, shipwrecks, and many other perils (II Cor. 11:23-27).
  • Jesus.  God’s only Son was the long-awaited fulfillment of many Old Testament prophecies.  However, when Jesus came, He was not welcomed by many.  He suffered humiliation, ridicule, cruelty, and eventually death so that all who trustedon   His sacrifices for them could go to Heaven.  It was the Creator’s plan, and His Son obeyed His Father.

There are many other examples throughout the Bible of how God used unusual circumstances and events to accomplish His will.  His plan was not the way a person would have solved the situation.  In many cases, the person was not even aware that there was a “situation.”

The events may not have made sense to the believers at the time, but they did as they were shown by God to do.  After being obedient, sometimes they saw why they were to do as they were told.  Sometimes, the reason was never realized.  

After the fact and recorded in God’s Word, we now see why God told people to do what they were told.  Some of those reasons were because:

  • Man’s ways do not usually work.  Man often does not see the real problem and, therefore, cannot fix a situation.
    “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” Prov. 14:12  Also Prov. 16:25, Romans 3:16.
  • Man often does not know God’s way.
    “… They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways.” Heb. 3:10
    “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.” Isa.55:8
  • God knows what the real need is in the situation.  Man does not.  God sees the hearts of men that require alteration and knows how to change them.  Man only sees the temporal needs and cannot see the spiritual needs.
  • God wants it done His way so that He will get the credit and not man!
    “… and they shall know that I am the Lord.” Ezekiel 24:27

All, even Christians, will face trials and tribulations in this world.  For non-Christians, the experience may be meant to turn them to have a relationship with the Lord.  For the believer, the situation may be God’s way of getting it done and teaching the child of God how to discern His will and way. 

Christian, the next time you are in a situation you do not understand and are convinced you are doing what the Lord has directed you to do, there may be another reason you do not see.  You may not know the reason, but in faith, remember that God is in control.

Trust!  Be in much prayer over the troubling situation, continue in faith, and do what you have been shown to be biblically correct.  Most of all, wait patiently for Him to accomplish His will and way in His timing!

“As men trim the feathers of fowls so they do not fly too high or too far, even so doth God diminish our riches, so that we should not pass our bounds, and glory too much of the things of this world.”  — Wermullerus, 1551


Wild Vines
Downame, 1644

We, who were wild branches barren of all good fruit of holiness, are through God’s infinite mercy in-grafted into the true Vine, Jesus Christ, from whom we receive all our grace and sap.  Once born into the family of God, we are enabled to bring forth the pleasant grapes of new obedience.  Yet, if we were left alone and allowed to run out with uncontrolled liberty, we would, like the wild vine that is never pruned, return to our old natural wildness and bring forth no other fruit than those sour grapes of iniquity and sin.  

Our heavenly Vintager, for His glory and our good, cuts away the superfluities of our licentious liberty and prunes us with His knife of affliction; that being kept from our carnal desires, we may become more fruitful in all holy duties.

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.  Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.” John 15:1-2

“Some ships behave best in a gale.  In light winds, they can rock themselves to pieces.  To a Christian, adversity is not the most dangerous condition; fine weather tries him more.  When we are least visibly strained, we are often most sharply tested.” — Birreli

Tighten the Reins
Wermullerus, 1551

When a horse-breaker gives a wild, young horse too much leeway on his bridle, the horse is wild, out-of-control, and may slip, fall, or hurt himself.  A horseman often jerks his horse’s reins or urges the animal’s sides with a firm boot to go forward.  He does this not out of meanness but that he may enjoy the horse, and that the animal may perform all he can.

In the same way, if our Creator should give us too much liberty, we too may wax wild and may harm ourselves physically and spiritually.  This is often why the Lord frequently gives us a sharp “bit” in our mouths and “bridles” our flesh so that our precious souls do not suffer.   

“The difference between stumbling blocks and stepping stones is how
you use them.” 
— Author Unknown


Learned Sympathy
W. M. Taylor

Harry the Eighth, wandering one night in the streets of London in disguise, was met at a bridge by some of his castle’s guards.  Unable to convince them of who he was, he was carried off to the jail and shut up for the night without food, a heating fire, or a candle to light the dungeon.  On his liberation, he made a grant of thirty caldrons of coal, a large quantity of bread, and candles for the night prisoners in the prison.  His experience taught him sympathy.

Those who have felt sharp afflictions, terrible tragedies, and forceful temptations can be zealous in consoling those in a similar condition.  Our “hard times” can be when our character is improved, and our new found compassion can be used to encourage others.

“Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.” II Cor. 1:4

“A great number of God’s best servants have trodden the depths of the valley of many shadows, and this may be so that they one day may comfort you.  The
good steps of the holy are often in the Valley of Weeping.”
— Author Unknown

The BIBLE VIEW #945 —Christianity

In This Issue:
Bee Gone
The Unwanted Watchman

Volume: 945    February 19, 2024
Theme: Christianity

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Bee Gone
Bill Brinkworth

One of God’s smaller creations, honeybees, is very important to the Earth’s ecosystem.  Their buzzing from one flower to another while gathering nectar and pollen is critical in producing fruit and plant reproduction.  Some estimations calculate that more than one-third of our food supplies depend on the tiny bees’ hard work.  Without them, man’s food supply would be in danger.

In recent years, particularly after 2006, something unexplained and disturbing has happened to the critical, tiny pollinators.  All over the world, in many countries, including Belgium, China, Egypt, France, Italy, Japan, Spain, Germany, and the United States, beekeepers have discovered many bee colonies have just disappeared!

The hives have been found empty of adult bees, with few or no dead bees left behind.  Many of their unborn hatch, along with their honey food supply, are left behind, which bees rarely do.  The phenomenon has been termed the “Colony Collapse Disorder.”

If not controlled or stopped, the loss of bees could drastically hinder man’s food supply.  It could be a very serious problem.

Many theories as to why the bees are disappearing have been presented.  The explanations for this unusual happening include viruses, malnutrition, pesticides, mites, fungi, beekeeping procedures, and radiation from cellular phones.

Although many scientific communities are working diligently to solve the problem, many are realizing what could happen if God’s key to plant reproduction disappeared.  Without the bees fulfilling their tasks, the entire world will suffer.  They are an essential cog in this world’s wheel of survival.

Prayerfully, the mysterious bee disappearances will be stopped shortly.  Examining what could happen from the loss of bees and their work reminds me of another small but essential, unseen worker who is very important to the present and eternal future of all humanity.  It is the Christian, particularly the practicing, obedient believer.

The world is doing all it can to stifle and silence Christians.  The once permanent fixture in all public schools, the Bible and prayer, has been removed.  Within the same walls where God’s Word was once taught and read, young people are now trained to show disrespect to Christianity, as it is ridiculed, scorned, and questioned. 

TV and other media have had an open season on Christianity by mocking, scoffing, and ridiculing the things of God.  Special days originally celebrated to help America remember their Benefactor and Saviour, including Christmas and Easter, have been banned or altered.  Those once “religious” days are now just holidays in which many do not even murmur the name of the Person the day is honoring.

It is now upsetting to the news media and others when God is called upon to help our nation.  This happened when a past governor of Georgia called to God in prayer to help his state with their drought situation (by the way, it did rain shortly after he prayed). 

Laws once inspired by the Word of God are being changed to limit the public recognition of Him.  Many have attempted to remove public displays of the Ten Commandments and other biblical references from courthouses and government buildings.  If public prayer is performed, great offense is registered if Jesus’ name is mentioned.

In response to the pressure put on them by a God-hating, immoral few, many Christians have succumbed to the pressure put on them.  Public figures, preachers, and many others, afraid of not being politically correct, have toned down and quieted their cry against ungodly practices and sin.  The once stalwart Christian influence in America has become a weak whisper.

Just as the world would face disaster if the bees disappeared, so will this world if Christianity and the Bible continue to be silenced.  God and His word are the root of all morality.  Without the Bible’s influence and standards, there would be no stopping crime and ungodly behaviors. 

Crime and sin are often identified by the Word of God, which puts its finger on sins such as stealing, murder, adultery, homosexuality, and many more.  Without the Bible’s guidance, why would those crimes be wrong to a culture that does not accept the Bible’s truths?  Without biblical influence, what would keep an ungodly world from doing “whatever feels good,” no matter how disastrous it would be to society? 

Sadly, this is already happening.  Adultery is commonplace and even somewhat tolerated when performed by governmental and educational leaders who are supposed to be examples of good behavior to our society. 

The crime rate is so high that much of our tax dollars are spent trying to control it.  Generations have grown up and have not even known what is right or wrong, according to God’s guidelines. 

Right and wrong are being redefined by whatever power or group has the loudest voice and can put the biggest scare into the people.  In many places, godless anarchy is in control.

The world is suffering greatly because Christians, who have God’s only truth and know better, are silent.  Obedience to the Word of God can improve this world and has done so for thousands of years.  It can be done again if only more would hear His truths. 

Like the bees, practicing and obedient Christians are essential to have an in-control world.  Although unpopular and unwanted, the only hope for this world is when Christians take the truth they have hidden and bring it to light again to help this world. 

Christians have God’s truth.  How will the world know it if we do not share and show them it?

“In the Christian life, we must lose to gain; we must give to obtain; we must be last to be first; we must be humble to be exalted.”  — Henry


The Unwanted Watchman
Bill Brinkworth

Ezekiel had a daunting task that many preachers and obedient Christians have today.  He was to watch over the people God appointed him to minister to and to warn them of what God would tell him (Ezekiel 3:17).

To make the prophet’s mission more difficult, God told the watchman that the people he would deliver his message to would be rebellious against God (Eze. 2:3, 3:7), would be shameless in their involvement in sin, and would be stubborn in changing their ways (Eze. 2:4).  His task, as is ours, was to be the “delivery boy” of the Word of God, no matter what happened.  What they did with the Truth was up to them, but Ezekiel was to broadcast God’s Word.

God knew how hard it would be for Ezekiel to continue giving God’s commandments to a people who did not want to do God’s will and way.  He knew many would not stop their determination to do their “own thing”.  The Lord knew those resisting His commandments would speak hurtful, degrading words to the prophet, would give him demeaning looks (Eze. 2:6), and eventually jail him for his persistence in trying to help them (Eze. 3:25).  Still, the man of God was to continue to be faithful in warning the people of the inevitable judgment for their sins.

Ezekiel’s message to the people differs from what every child of God is responsible to give to those they encounter today.  Still, all we have an opportunity to speak to should be made aware of God’s warnings to those who violate His will and way.

Since few read the Word of God for themselves and will not know God’s commandments without reading it, Christians must tell as many as possible what His truths are.  Most of us would not be saved (Romans 10:9) and have God’s promise of Heaven if someone had not planted a seed of God’s Truth or attempted to tell us what the Bible said.  We also have the same unselfish responsibility to tell others (James 5:20, Mark 16:15, John 4:36, Luke 14:23).

Not everyone who hears God’s Word will happily repent after being told what God says about their lifestyle, sin, or actions.  The first time we heard God’s Truth, most likely we did not heed God’s commands, nor will others always obey it.

Ezekiel was warned three things could happen to a person because of the prophet’s expounding what God’s Word said.  Those principles can also apply today when a Christian does or does not warn his neighbors of what the Word of God says.  They include:

  • When there is an opportunity to tell others about the consequences of their sin, and we do not, their blood can be on our hands!  Their demise from sin could have been averted if we had told them, and we may be held accountable!
    “When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.” Ezekial 3:18   Also: Eze. 3:20, II Cor. 2:16, Heb. 13:17.
  • If we warn others of their involvement in wickedness, and they do not cease their participation in sin, they may even die!  We, however, will not be held accountable.
    “Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.” Eze. 3:19
  • If a person is warned and they refrain from their sin, they may not face chastisement, and we will have helped that person.
    “Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous man, that the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live, because he is warned; also thou hast delivered thy soul.” Eze. 3:21  

It may not be popular when a person is warned that they will not go to Heaven unless they trust Christ alone for their salvation.  Nor will many be receptive when we tell them what the Bible says about the iniquities of adultery, drunkenness, lying, cheating, disobedience, or any other sinful behavior.

Warning others about what God says about their involvement in sin may earn us their unkind words or cross looks, as it did Ezekiel.  However, being a caring watchman for their souls will be doing what the Lord requires of us.  If we do not tell them, who will?

“Tolerance and apathy are the last virtues of a dying society.” — Aristotle

The BIBLE VIEW #944 — Converted

In This Issue:
B. C. — Before Christ
A Man Drank Up a Farm
A Notable Conversion

Volume: 944    February 12, 2024
Theme: Conversion

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B. C. — Before Christ
Bill Brinkworth

When Christ saves a soul, God does tremendous work in that person we do not always see.  A new spiritual life will begin, and the old ways should be behind that person.

The old ways were before Christ.  The new life results in much freedom and joy!
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” II Corinthians 5:17

Before people were saved, no matter who they were, they were enslaved.  They may not have mindfully planned to be servants, but they were enslaved.  They were:

Slaves to self.
People did whatever felt good to them.  “Gimme, gimme, gimme,” was their selfish attitude.  “Me first,” they lived.  “Who cares what happens to others, just as long as I make out okay,” they believed.

Because of our selfishness, we are commanded: “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: … 7 In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.  8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.  9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; 10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:” (Colossians 3:5-10)  

“Die” (“mortify”,  quit) your self-gratification and other acts of selfishness.  Let the new creature in you live a life of freedom in Christ without self-centeredness!

Slaves to sin.
Before the Holy Spirit controlled one’s life, it was common to think:

  • “Can’t live without that cigarette.”
  • “I need a drink to think.”
  • “I need to lie to cover up past lies…”

“Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.” John 8:34

See in the following verses what the lost did and what he is expected to do now that he is on the Heaven-side of Calvary:
“That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” Ephesians 4:22-24  With God’s help, we can put off our old ways and let the new person in us give us new freedom.

Slaves to sin’s fruits.
Do not be deceived; there is a price tag on all sins.  AIDS and other diseases are often the wages of the sin of fornication, homosexuality, and adultery.  Cirrhosis of the liver comes many times as a consequence of drinking.  Lung cancer can come from defiling the temple with smoking.  The sins of lying and dishonesty reap loneliness, being cut off from others, mental illness, and guilt.  Consequences may be slow in coming, but there are often visual wages from iniquity.

“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.  8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” Galatians 6:7  Also: Romans 6:23.

Slaves to Satan’s whims.
Because an unsaved person is not a child of God, like many would have us believe, they obey their father, Satan.
“Ye do the deeds of your father.  Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.  Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: …Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do .…” John 8:41-44   Also: Ezekiel 11:19-21.  When we become born-again, we are born into the family of God, and we can obey our new Heavenly Father and have more freedom.

Slaves without hope of an eternity in Heaven.
There is a price tag on our “slavery” without Christ as one’s Saviour.  That cost is one’s eternal life in the Lake of Fire.
“For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.  21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed?  for the end of those things is death.  22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.  23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:20-23 Also: Ephesians 2:1-6.

There can be freedom from the “slavery of sin” which ruins so many.  By acknowledging one’s sinnership and accepting God’s only Son’s death on the cross as payment for our sin, we can have God’s promise of Heaven and freedom from sin’s hold.

Even after being saved, the hard part is listening to the new Master and not the flesh.  When we do let our new Master have control, we can be free in a way the unsaved world cannot even imagine.  We can have a new life better than the one we had before Christ saved and changed us.

“Walk by new rules towards new ends from new principles.  Make a new choice of the way.  Choose new paths to walk in, new leaders to walk after and new companions to walk with.  Old things should pass away, and all things become new.  The man is what he was not and does what he did not.”  — Henry


A Man Drank Up a Farm
Excerpts from D. L. Moody

Years ago, I was going away to preach one Sunday morning when a young man drove up in front of us.  He had an aged woman with him.

“Do you see that beautiful meadow?” said the young man, pointing to a nearby property, “and that land there with the house upon it?”

“Yes.”

“My father drank that all up,” said he.  Then he went on to tell me all about himself.  His father was a great drunkard, squandered his property, died, and left his wife in the poor house.

That young man is one of the finest young men I ever knew.  He toiled hard, earned money, and bought back the land.  He had taken his mother out of the poorhouse and was now taking her to church.

That is a wonderful illustration.  The first Adam in Eden sold us for naught, but the Messiah, the second Adam, came and repurchased us.  The first Adam brought us to the poorhouse, as it were; the second Adam makes us kings and priests unto God.  That is redemption.  

In Christ, we get all that Adam lost and more.  Men look on the blood of Christ with scorn and contempt, but the time is coming when the blood of Christ will be worth more than all the kingdoms of the world.

“Conversion is separating ourselves from the course and custom of this world, and devoting ourselves to the conduct according to the word of God.”  
Henry

A Notable Conversion
Excerpts from a D. L. Moody Article

A jail chaplain once told me a surprising case of conversion in which the covenant of grace was the chief instrument of the Holy Spirit.  My friend had under his charge a man most cunning and brutal.  He was repulsive, even in comparison with other convicts.  He had been renowned for his daring and the utter absence of all feeling when committing acts of violence.

Several times, the chaplain had spoken to him but had not succeeded even in getting an answer.  The man was sullenly set against all instruction.  At last, he desired a particular book, but it was not in the library.

The chaplain pointed to the Bible, which was placed in his cell, and said, “Did you ever read that Book?”

He did not answer but looked at the good man as if he would kill him.  The question was kindly repeated, with the assurance that he would find it well worth reading.

“Sir,” said the convict, “you would not ask me such a question if you knew who I was.  What have I to do with a book of that sort?  It would do me no good,” he snapped.  “I am past all feeling.” Doubling up his fist, he struck the cell’s iron door and said, “My heart is as hard as that iron.  There is nothing in any book that will ever touch me.”

“Well,” said the chaplain, “do you want a new heart?  Did you ever read the covenant of grace?” The man answered sullenly by inquiring what he meant by such talk.

The preacher replied, “Listen to these words, ‘A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.’” (Ezekiel 36:26)

The words struck the man with amazement.  He asked to have the passage found for him in the Bible.  He read the words again and again.  

When the chaplain came back to him the next day, the wild beast was tamed.  “Oh, sir,” he said, “I never dreamed of such a promise!  I never believed it possible that God would speak to men in such a way as that.  If He gives me a new heart, it will be a miracle of mercy.  Yet, I think He will work that miracle upon me, for the hope of a new nature is beginning to touch me as I never was touched before.”

That man became gentle in manner, obedient to authority, and childlike in spirit from then on.  He was a new creature.

When a preacher heard a convert bragging about his wicked past, he remarked, “Never mind what you did while you were asleep.  Let us hear what you did when you were awake!”  — Author Unknown

The BIBLE VIEW #943 — Salvation

In This Issue:
The Question and Answers
Two Eternal Destinations

Volume: 943    February 5, 2024
Theme: Salvation

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The Question and Answers
Bill Brinkworth

If you were to die today, tomorrow, or 100 years from now, are you sure you would go to Heaven?

“I think I would.”

“But, the Bible teaches that it should not be an I-guess-I’m-saved salvation.  You can and should know you are saved.  No guessing should be involved.”
“These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” I John 5:13
“But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,)” Mark 2:10  Also: Luke 5:24.
“By this shall all men know [one’s godly behavior will make one’s salvation apparent to even others} that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” John 13:35
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” John 5:24 — God’s promise is one will be saved if one believes what He said.

.

“If you were to die today, tomorrow, or 100 years from now, are you sure you would go to Heaven?

“I know Jesus.”

“Satan knows Jesus, has talked to Him, and even knows what God’s Word says, but he will not be spending an eternity in Heaven.  Knowing about Jesus and what He has done for sinners is not enough!”
“Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil… 3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread… 6 And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee….” Mark 4:1-11

“Satan will one day be permanently bound in Hell even though He knew God’s son.”
“And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” Revelations 20:10

“If you were to die today, tomorrow, or 100 years from now, are you sure you would go to Heaven?

“I believe in God.”

“Satan and the devils believe in God, but they are not saved from the Lake of Fire.  To be a child of God requires more than knowing who He is.”

“One must know they are a sinner bound for the Lake of Fire.  They must also understand that the only way to escape eternal torment is by trusting Christ’s payment for our iniquities.  Jesus paid for our sins with His blood.  Accepting His payment is the only way anyone will escape Hell, not by works, religious rites, religious affiliation, or being good.”
“Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.” James 2:19
“And, behold, they [devils] cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God?  art thou come hither to torment us before the time?” Matthew 8:29
“Saying, Let us [devils] alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth?  art thou come to destroy us?  I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God.” Mark 1:24

“If you were to die today, tomorrow, or 100 years from now, are you sure you would go to Heaven?

“I go to church.  I am very religious.”

“Church is a good place to learn what the Bible has for us to know and an excellent place to serve God, but no church affiliation or attendance will get anyone higher than the coffin lid.

“According to the Bible, many religious people hindered Jesus and His work.  It was some of that crowd that was responsible for His death.  So, just attending church or being a member of some religion has nothing to do with being saved from one’s sins and bound for Heaven.

“Jesus had much to say about the ‘religious’ but unsaved temple/church attenders:”
“O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” Matthew 12:34  
“Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?” Luke 3:7
“Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?” Matthew 23:33

“If you were to die today, tomorrow, or 100 years from now, are you sure you would go to Heaven?

“I’m a good person.  I have helped many and done many good deeds.”

“Compared to others, you may be not as bad as them, but the Bible says:”
“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:” Romans 3:10
“The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.” Psalm 10:4
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9

“If you were to die today, tomorrow, or 100 years from now, are you sure you would go to Heaven?”

“There is no God, so I will not waste my time worrying about my eternity and trying to please Him.  When one dies, that’s the end of them.”

“One day, all even the God-deniers will realize they were wrong.  There is a God that one day all, at two different judgments, will stand before.”
“The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.  They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.” Psalm 14:1  Also: Psalm 53:1.
“For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” Romans 14:11
“That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;” Philippians 2:10

“If you were to die today, tomorrow, or 100 years from now, are you sure you would go to Heaven?”

“Yes, I would.  One day, I realized I was a sinner with no hope of any place but Hell.  All my iniquities grieved my soul.  But, I understood now that there was one that paid for ALL my sins.

“That person was Jesus.  I begged Him to forgive my wickedness against God.  I knew there was nothing I could do to earn Heaven.  He did it all!

“The only hope I had was trusting on Jesus’ sacrificed blood on Calvary’s Cross that was shed for what I had done.  I then asked Him to be my Saviour, and He accepted.

“So, when I die, although not worthy, Jesus is my Saviour.  He died so I could go to Heaven one day.  Now I am determined to do all I can for Him, as He has done so much for me.”

“To be almost saved is to be totally losts —Author Unknown


Two Eternal Destinations
C. H. Spurgeon

The Czar had died suddenly, and in the dead of night, one of the counselors of the empire came to Princess Elizabeth and said to her, “You must come at once and take possession of the crown.” She hesitated, for there were difficulties in the way, and she did not desire the position.

He then said, “Now, sit down, Princess.” Then he drew her two pictures.  One was the picture of herself and the Count thrown into prison, racked with tortures, and presently both brought out to die beneath the axe.  “That,” he said, “you can have, if you like.”

The other picture was of herself with the imperial crown of all the Russias on her brow, all the princes bowing before her, and all the nations doing her homage.  “That,” he said, “is the other side of the decision.  Tonight, your Majesty must choose which it shall be.” With the two decisions vividly depicted before her mind’s eye, she did not hesitate long but cast in her choice for the crown.

I lack the skill to draw such a picture of the decision you must make.  You will either sink forever down in deeper and yet deeper woe, filled with remorse because you brought it all upon yourself, or else, if you decide for Christ and trust in Him, you shall enter into the bliss of those who forever and forever, without grief, enjoy felicity before the throne of God.

To my mind, there ought to be no halting as to the choice.  Make the right decision!  I pray God’s Holy Spirit will help you make it today.  The choice of Heaven or Hell is yours alone: torment or bliss.  What is your decision?

“Worry not who are, but whose you are!” —  Spurgeon

The BIBLE VIEW #942 — Character

In This Issue:
Good and Bad Character
The Character and Attributes of God
Honesty Is a Principle
We Remember Their Character
Test of Sanctified Character
Character
Where Are Your Convictions?

Volume: 942    January 29, 2024
Theme: Character

All need to read the Bible every day.  Do you have difficulty doing so?  Sign-up to receive a daily e-mailed devotion, which includes a KJV chapter a day and much more!


Good and Bad Character
Bill Brinkworth

A person is exhibiting good character, as given by many biblical examples, when:

  • He uses the old biblical standard for morality, wisdom, and good behavior rather than the constantly changing public opinion.
  • He sticks to his word, no matter what it costs him.  His word, including commitments, means something to him.
  • He fights temptation rather than giving in to it.
  • He is more interested in what is right than what is popular.  His principles cannot be altered or compromised by peer pressure.
  • He puts others’ needs in front of his desires.
  • He consistently does the same thing, even when no one is looking!
  • Doing what he thinks is right is more important than any embarrassment, public opinion, or other negative thing it may cost him.
  • He learns from his mistakes and does not intentionally repeat them.
  • He has godly, rather than selfish, priorities.
  • He is as honest with himself as he is with others.
  • He lets principles, rather than emotions, pride, or opinions, guide him.
  • He seeks and follows truth, even if it costs or pains him to do so.

A person is not exhibiting good character when:

  • He changes his stand from biblical principles and morals to match those that oppose what he is voicing.  A man of good character will not succumb to mob rule or mob mentality!
  • He makes choices that he believes are popular.  He is more interested in popularity or what he can get out of a situation than doing the right thing.
  • He is more interested in instant gratification rather than long-term results.

“Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your future!”


  The Character and Attributes of God

Gleaned from Bible Readings for the Home, 1943

 A Christian should be Christ-like.  Christ was like His Father.  Here is how the Bible describes God’s character:

  • “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” I John 4:8
  • “The LORD is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works.” Psalms 145:17
  • “And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.” Ex. 34:6, 7
  • “But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.” Ps. 86:15
  • “Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;” Deut. 7:9
  • “In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Col. 2:3
  • “Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: (impartial, unprejudiced)” Acts 10:34
  • “The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.” Ps. 145:9

“When you run away from a problem, it most likely will follow you the rest of your life, no matter where you go!”

Honesty Is a Principle
Author Unknown

A slave boy on the auctioneer’s block was approached by a kind-hearted man who asked, “If I buy you and take you to a beautiful home, will you be honest and truthful?”

The young man answered without hesitation, “Sir, I will be honest and truthful whether you buy me or not!”

We Remember Their Character
Author Unknown

Abel, had the best sacrifice
Abraham, waited for God’s promises
Adam, the sinner that tainted all mankind
Daniel, the brave one
David, deep trust in God
Elijah and Elisha, relied on God
Eve, succumbed to serpent-pressure
Jacob, sneaky and an opportunist
Jesus, Holy, obedient, righteous…
Job, patient and trusted on God
Jonah, disobedient to God
Joseph, the chaste and upright
Judas, betrayed Jesus
Obadiah, the faithful
Moses, follower of God
Nehemiah, man with a burden to continue to worship God’s way
Paul, determined to do what God commanded
Satan, enemy of God
You!  What best describes your character:  ________________


Tests of Sanctified Character
Author Unknown

Some of the acid tests of sanctified character will always be:

  1. Can you labor on cheerfully without earthly reward?
  2. Can you toil on hopefully without tangible returns?
  3. Can you travel the road of frequent criticism without bitterness?
  4. Can you sacrifice, pray, and give while others lead the procession and receive the honors?  Are you willing to be the soil where providential events may grow while others fill the places of leaves and blossoms on the trees of time?

“Truthfulness is a cornerstone in character, and if it is not firmly laid in youth, there will ever be a weak spot in one’s character.” — J. Davis


Character
Author Unknown

The Greek word from which our word “character” originates refers to a sharp-pointed instrument or engraving tool.  This definition can also be applied to our personal “character.”  Our character is the means by which each of us makes an impression on the world; our character labels us. 

The instrument itself is not a finished product.  It is a mere tool, but character improves with use like many a fine instrument.  Our actions and reactions temper our disposition and strengthen us to face future obstacles.  Each must forge his character.  Each must be responsible for keeping it in condition.  Each must also be responsible for its results.

Where Are Your Convictions?”
Author Unknown

A certain congressman once voted for the approval of an immoral bill.  He knew he was doing wrong, but he stifled his conscience in obedience to political expediency demands.

Not long afterward, while visiting his home, he met an old friend on the street.  After they had exchanged greetings, the friend frankly told the congressman how disappointed he was by the leader’s vote.  “You voted wrong on that bill, John.  You must have known it was wrong.  How did you happen to vote that way?”

“Well, yes,” admitted the embarrassed politician.  “I’m afraid it wasn’t the right way to vote, but you have no idea what pressure I am under.”

“Pressure?” echoed his friend.  “Where are your convictions, courage, and conscience that can help you bear that pressure?” The question was a searching one.   It mercilessly exposed the congressman’s lack of character to stand by his convictions. 

“Do right until the stars fall!” — Bob Jones, Sr.

The BIBLE VIEW #941 — Our Speech

In This Issue:
But, You Promised!
Mind Your Speech
Your Words

Volume: 941    January 22, 2024
Theme: Our Speech

Update

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But, You Promised!
Bill Brinkworth

“For what if some did not believe?  shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?  4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.” Romans 3:3-4

There was a time when one’s promise would usually be upheld and trusted.  Four copies of notarized signed documents were not needed. 

A person’s handshake and words of commitment were substantial no matter what happened.  Even if there were problems after the agreement, those who gave their promises would uphold their obligations, no matter what.  It was their promise, and it had great value to them and others.

Today, one’s word and signed legal documents are no guarantee that one’s promise will come to fruition.  One’s oral commitment means little in many transactions.

What went wrong?  Why are the promises of politicians, business partners, friends, and other associates of little value many times?

For most, the standard for moral values, the Bible, has lost its importance, and its teachings have never been instilled in lives.  God’s Word defines right and wrong, and many wander through life without godly advice, direction, or conviction. 

Without instilling the Bible’s moral commandments and remembering God’s firm reprisals when one breaks them, there will be no knowledge of them and certainly no fear when God’s ordinances are violated. 

Little guilt or embarrassment is experienced when a commitment is broken.  Sometimes, conscienceless excuses are justified when one’s promises are broken.  “Well, he was dumb to trust me.  That’s his problem,” “It’s not written and legal, so I don’t have to honor what I told her,” or even “I lost my job.  I promised I’d pay, but I can’t afford my rent anymore, so what does the landlord expect of me?” Those are just a few excuses one hears when one’s commitments are not upheld.

Without one’s upheld promise, transactions and the trust of others will disappear.  Society will change as characters will not be relied upon.  Additional laws will attempt to force people to honor their words and commitments.

However, unbiblical immorality will constantly challenge laws and attempts to do what at one time was natural to do.  Promises will not be upheld.

There needs to be value in what one says.  If one says one will do something, it should be done.  When someone says, “I will be there at 5:00, all efforts to meet that time should be made.” If not, it will be quickly realized by others that one’s word cannot be trusted.” 

Because of unkept promises and valueless words, society will breed untrusted generations.  That danger can be stopped by values, including the keeping of promises.

Keep your word.  If you said you would do something, do it.  Your character is at stake, and it is important.

Others are watching and remembering.  Be the trustworthy example others need to hear.
He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.” Luke  16:10

“Promises may get thee friends, but non-performance will turn them into enemies.”  — Benjamin Franklin


Mind Your Speech
Bill Brinkworth

God gave man the ability to speak.  The purpose of speech is for His creation to communicate with others and to bring glory to Him.  However, man’s sinful, self-centered nature does not always use one’s lips for the intended purpose.

Here are some of God’s wisdom of what to do with the gift He gave us, as is revealed in Proverbs 15:

  • To squelch nasty arguments, lower your voice in heated discussions, and it will diffuse anger.
    A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.” Prov. 15:1
  • Purpose to present facts and not popular answers or opinions.
    “The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things.” Proverbs 15:28
  • Be wise and not hurtful in what you say.  Use the truth to inform others and to help them, not just opinions and assumptions.
    “The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness.” Proverbs 15:2   Also: Prov. 15:7.
    “A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.”
     Proverbs 15:4
  • Be kind and considerate when speaking to others.
    “The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the LORD: but the words of the pure are pleasant words.” Proverbs 15:26
  • There is a time to say certain things.  Wait patiently for the right moment to share your thoughts, experiences, and suggestions.
    “A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it!” Proverbs 15:23

Use the God-given gift of speech to help others, not to separate, hurt, deceive, or sway others in areas that are not right or helpful.  Your testimony, especially if you are a child of God, often rides on what you have said.  Speak carefully.


Oh, be careful, little tongue, what you say,
Oh, be careful, little tongue, what you say.
There’s a Father up above looking down in love,
So be careful, little tongue, what you say.Child’s Song, Author Unknown

Your Words
Bill Brinkworth

God’s words, as preserved in the Bible, are always honest and can be trusted (Prov. 30:15).  Our words, however, are not always truthful and not as reliable as His.  Everyone sins with their mouth.

“Word” is used at least 704 times in the King James Bible.  Although it often refers to God’s Word, we can see by many references that our speech is important to God.  Some of those verses show us what God thinks about what comes out of our mouths.

In Romans 1, at least 30 sins are mentioned.  At least fifteen of those sins involve what was said.  Some iniquities mentioned are unthankfulness, debating, deceitfulness, gossiping, backbiting, pride, boasting, disobedience to parents, and covenant-breaking.  

Although there are over 600 commandments in the Old Testament, the popularly known “Ten” includes at least three commandments that can involve our tongue.  It should be evident to all that our tongue can be used for good, or it can be used to sin.

Here is some of what the Bible says about the words that can come out of our mouths:

  • Many sins are with the tongue.  Our tongues can be behind some of our iniquities.
    “Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things.  Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!  And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.” James 3:5-6
    “But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.” James 3:8
    Thy tongue deviseth mischiefs; like a sharp razor, working deceitfully.” Psalms 52:2
    “Who whet their tongue like a sword, and bend their bows to shoot their arrows, even bitter words:” Psalm 64:3    Also: Isa. 6:5, Prov. 30:5, Mat. 12:32, Job 15:5, Psa. 15:3, Psa. 73:9, Prov. 6:17.  Prov. 15:2, Prov. 17:4, Prov. 18:21 Prov. 21:6, Prov. 26:28.
  • Be careful what the tongue says.  It can and should be controlled!
    “Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.” Psalm 34:13
    “Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few.” Ecclesiastes 5:2
    “Teach me, and I will hold my tongue: and cause me to understand wherein I have erred.” Job 6:24   Also: Job 27:4, Proverbs 10:31, I Peter 3:10.
  • We will be accountable for every word we say!
    “But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.” Matthew 12:36
    “The LORD shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things:” Psalm 12:3
    For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether.” Psalm 139:4
    “If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.” James 1:26

    There were times when Jesus, our example, knew to say nothing.  Sometimes, following His example and saying nothing in certain situations would be best.
    “And he answered him to never a word; insomuch that the governor marvelled greatly.” Matthew 27:14
  • The tongue can be used for good.
    “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” Colossians 3:17
    “And my tongue shall speak of thy righteousness and of thy praise all the day long.” Psalm 35:28
    “The tongue of the just is as choice silver: the heart of the wicked is little worth.” Proverbs 10:20   Also: I Timothy 4:12, Proverbs 15:4, Proverbs 14:15.
  • There will be a time when we should speak what God wants us to say.  Use your tongue for His glory.
    “And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:11


Like the rest of our body, our tongue was part of God’s creation.  Its creation was not intended for us to use it to sin against our Creator.  

A saved person should strive to control what is uttered by one’s tongue.  Some of the best advice for those desiring to please God and wanting to control their tongue comes from the adage, “If you can’t say anything good, don’t say anything.”  

“The tongue is more to be feared than the sword. — Japanese Proverb

The BIBLE VIEW #940 — Getting Along

In This Issue:
Handling Conflicts
Don’t Let the Carnal Fight the Carnal!
Love Them No Matter What
Foolish Words

Volume: 940    January 15, 2024
Theme: Getting Along

Get the New Testament reading schedule at:
https://openthoumineeyes.com/assets/readntt.pdf


Handling Conflicts
Bill Brinkworth

“Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.  16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.  17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.” Matthew 18:15-17

Everybody has had a problem with somebody sometime.  What does the Bible say to do when you are offended?

It does not say to start a smear campaign and tell everybody your side of the situation to get them on “your side.”   That usually gets a bunch of people bitter at one another.  When you do that and convincingly get others to think you are right and the other wrong, you bring the innocent listener “shame and folly” (Proverbs 18:13) for making him judge a situation without hearing the other side.

The Bible also does not say to hold it all in when another has offended you.  That often results in one having a severe case of “bitterness” against that person.  Waiting around for that person to come to you and get it right is also not on the Bible’s recommended list of ways to handle problems.

If the person is a Christian, God’s Word says to go to the offender.  Many times, that person may not even know they offended you.  Going to the person one-on-one will often solve the problem.

When you go to that person, you may discover:

  • He did not mean it the way you understood it.
  • That you heard it wrong!
  • A new way of looking at a matter.
  • That you were 100% wrong!

I have often been embarrassed when talking with someone and finding that my being upset at them was not justified.  It takes courage to face a person when they have offended you, and they may not always accept your confronting them.  That is why the next step to get the problem solved is found in Matthew 18:17-18.

There may be a time in settling differences between you and another that you may have to bring an unbiased person with you to be a witness in further communications with the offender.  Rarely, it may even be necessary to take the matter in front of the church if the Christian is a member of your church.

People shudder at the Bible’s way of handling a problem.  Most do not deal with the situation correctly.   That is why there are so many disgruntled people in churches.  It is also why many “… soweth discord among brethren” (Proverbs 6:19), and some live with bitterness.

Follow God’s advice in solving a problem between one another.  Our heavenly Father knows best; He has raised billions of children!

“Love is the doorway through which the human soul passes from selfishness to service and from solitude to kinship with all mankind.” — Author Unknown



Don’t Let the Carnal Fight the Carnal!
Bill Brinkworth

Like so many Christians even today, Paul faced opposition from other Christians.  Some in the churches he spoke at questioned his apostleship, and others accused him of walking in the flesh (II Corinthians 10:2).  

No matter the accusation, Paul chose not to fight back.  He decided not to fight those who were carnal with his own carnal retorts.  He was determined to let his works for the Lord speak for themselves and let the Lord do the rest of the battling (II Cor. 10:4-8).

Most who attend a church may have someone falsely accuse them of something or else have one’s feelings hurt at least once.  No church is perfect.  It is a God-commanded assembly of believers, and it may have mostly Christians in attendance, but none of them are perfect. 

Some members of the church family are more carnal than others.  They see things from a fleshly perspective, not how God sees them (II Cor.10:5).  To make matters worse, they often voice their opinions about other members.  When this is done, someone usually gets hurt.

Too many, unfortunately, get wind of what was said about them and leave the church — never to darken the ministry again.  My first thought is usually, “Who would be behind such a move of leaving a church for the wrong reasons — God or Satan?”  It certainly would not be of God to disobey His commandment (Hebrews 10:24-25) to assemble with other believers, yet people leave churches all the time for the wrong reasons.

There have been times that my wife and I also have had things said about us by other church family members.  The false accusations hurt us deeply, but we remembered that we were not in attendance for the accusers but for God.  He wanted us to stay, and we did.  It was a hard time, and we prayed much about the situation. 

We never missed a meeting, and we kept at the work the Lord had for us.  Over time, we looked around and noticed that our accusers were no longer in attendance.  God does take care of his own, but that does not mean that there will not be difficulties.

Paul stayed and did what God told him to do, and God used him greatly.  His accusers names are not even mentioned in the Bible, but Paul is still remembered.  Be a “Paul.”  Purpose in your heart whom you will serve, and then let the Lord handle the light work!

“Hopefully, you didn’t go to church for ‘feelings’, so don’t leave if they get hurt.  You should be going to church to be obedient to the Lord!


Love Them No Matter What

We are not only to get along with other Christians, but we are to love them.

  • “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” John 13:34
  • “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.” John 15:12
  • “For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” Gal. 5:14
  • “These things I command you, that ye love one another.” John 15:17
  • “Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.” Romans 13:8
  • “And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you:” I Thess. 3:12
  • “But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.” I Thess. 4:9
  • Also: Heb. 13:1, I Peter 1:22, 2:17, I John 3:11, 23, I John 4:7, 11-12.



Foolish Words
Bill Brinkworth

Proverbs 18 brings to light behavior tolerated by most but not accepted by God.  His Word shows that those types of conduct are foolish.

We see here that foolishness:

  • Is not wanting to understand all sides of a matter.  The fool is more concerned about doing what feels right or seems the best thing for him to do.  This sounds more like the desire today to do what is popular rather than what is logical, moral, fact-related, or helpful.
    “A fool hath no delight in understanding, but that his heart may discover itself.”
    Proverbs 18:2
  • Is making a decision or judgment after hearing only one side of the situation or story.  Without knowing all sides of an account and only portions of what is considered, wrong assumptions will be made.  Facts are often not the fool’s concern, as they prefer decisions based on emotions and not truth.
    “He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.” Proverbs 18:13
  • Are words that are often disliked and shameful.  Sadly, the speaker may not even realize the derogatory impact of his speech on others.
    “A fool’s lips enter into contention, and his mouth calleth for strokes.” Proverbs 18:6
  • Often comes off one’s lips and ruins one’s character, respect, and testimony.  Many times, it is not even realized that one’s worst enemy is one’s thoughts and words.
    “A fool’s mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul.” Proverbs 18:7


After reading the wisdom of these four types of foolishness, it should bring to mind the actions and words heard today from prominent speakers, politicians, media outlets, and others.  Their statements may be eloquent and contain official-sounding, ten-dollar catchy phrases, but much of what we hear is not wisdom.  In God’s eyes, much of what is said and accepted is still foolish.

“The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness.”  Proverbs 15:2

The BIBLE VIEW #939 — Changes

In This Issue:
New Things
Why Are They Different?

Volume: 939    January 8, 2024
Theme: Changes

Get the New Testament reading schedule at:
https://openthoumineeyes.com/assets/readntt.pdf


New Things
Bill Brinkworth

Living a biblical lifestyle is certainly the old way, the way much of mankind has lived for over 6,000 years.  Living that way may be “old-fashioned” to some,  but there are many new things that obeying and living for the Lord can offer.

Here are some of the new things God still offers and desires all to have and experience:

A new birth. When one becomes a child of God, he has a new spiritual birth.  He is a new, different creature.
“Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3: 3
“Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.” I Peter 1:23
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” II Corinthians 5:17

A new joy, happiness, and purpose. Being born again is wonderful.  It comes with new chances in life with great joy and happiness.
“O sing unto the LORD a new song: sing unto the LORD, all the earth.  Sing unto the LORD, bless his name; shew forth his salvation from day to day.  Declare his glory among the heathen, his wonders among all people.  For the LORD is great, and greatly to be praised: he is to be feared above all gods” Psalms 96:1-3
“And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.” Psalms 40:3  A
lso: Psalms 98:1.

 A new heart. God gives, along with salvation, a new “heart” that has new desires, purposes, and hopes.
“Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will even gather you from the people, and assemble you out of the countries where ye have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel.  And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh: That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God.” Ezekiel 11: 17-20 These verses were written about the people of Israel, but the principle can apply to us.
“A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.” Ezekiel 36:26

 A new outlook. Life is seen differently by a child of God.  When one is saved, educated from the Word of God, and obedient to it, life looks a lot different.  Activities and actions of the past now may appear contrary to God’s commands and harmful rather than “fun.”  The “old, dead” Bible now becomes alive and helpful.
“Thou hast heard, see all this; and will not ye declare it?  I have shewed thee new things from this time, even hidden things, and thou didst not know them.” Isaiah 46:6

 A new life (a new mind). Along with other new blessings comes the “mind of Christ” which thinks much differently than before the new birth.
“That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.  Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.  Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil.” Ephesians 4:22-27
“And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:” Colossians 3:10

A new day filled with second chances and other opportunities. Just as a new day brings fresh opportunities and expectations, God gives the born again soul a second chance in life.
“It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.  They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23

A new testament; new covenant. A “testament” is a document declaring the will and desires of a person.  The New Testament that God gave man is not only part of the Bible, but it is His will and the new covenant (commitments or promises) He made with man.  It tells of God’s will for man in this church age.
“And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” Mat.  26:27-28
“And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many.”
Mark 14: 24

A new world. One day, God will destroy this world, and a new one will be created. 
“For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered.” Isaiah 65:7
“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.” Rev. 21:1-2

“If you have not experienced many of the first six changes mentioned above, you may not be saved!  Gulp! “ — Bill Brinkworth


Why Are They Different?
Bill Brinkworth

Luke 7:36-48 answers a question some have.  They wonder, ”Why are so many second-generation Christians not having the same enthusiasm and excitement about the things of God and serving Him as their parents did?” 

In those Luke 7 verses, we read of a very sinful woman. Many have supposed from her description that she was a harlot.  When the woman found Jesus was nearby, she visited Him. She wept as she washed Jesus’ road-weary feet with her tears and anointed Him with ointment.  Because of her apparent love and respect for Jesus and her broken-heartedness over her past sins, Jesus forgave her. 

A parable (Luke 7:41-42) given by Christ explains the key to her broken spirit over her guilt.  The Saviour’s teaching story taught that the one that was forgiven the most was the most appreciative and loving of the Saviour.

This explains why some today, with a sinful past, are the most appreciative after being saved. Drunkards have gotten saved from the clutches of alcohol, and when they got saved, they have a different, hopeful future.  Adulterers who have seen relationships crumble from rampant sin have become faithful, loyal spouses after becoming born again. 

Violent men have become excellent, peaceful fathers after the Saviour came into their lives and changed them from the inside out.  When millions of sin-torn lives trusted the Saviour’s sacrifice and received God’s pardon for their sins, they were transformed. 

After those rescued souls got closer to God and learned what He wanted for them, they made things right that were wrong. They usually concluded that exposure to the ungodly worldliness encouraged them to make wrong turns. To prevent their loved ones from making the same bad decisions, they did all they could to keep others from going the wrong way.

Parents made sure their children were in church. Families had daily Bible-reading devotions. Financial sacrifices were made to send children to Christian schools so they would not be polluted by secular education. 

With all the effort put into them, often those second-generation Christians, although they may have gotten saved, still went in the wrong spiritual direction.  The children, although insulated from powerful, sinful influences, got the desire to “taste” sin. The allure of the shiny things of this world has often led the second generation right back into the mire from which the previous generation was rescued.

Why does this happen so often? Unfortunately, our sinful nature often prohibits us from learning from those who have learned a lesson the hard way.  We ignore advice from those who have already traveled the wrong road and must learn the lesson for ourselves — sometimes the dangerous path. 

It would save much heartache, grief, and destroyed lives if people would listen to those warning them of the wrong direction in which they are headed.  No one should have to repeat the errors of others!

“Insanity is following the bad examples of others and expecting a different result!” — Author Unknown

The BIBLE VIEW #938 — Don’t Tolerate Evil

In This Issue:
Should A Christian Tolerate Sin?
Steps in Accepting Evil
Toleration of Sin Is Not Biblical
Because Christians Were Silent
You Are Not Alone

Volume: 938    December 31, 2023
Theme: Don’t Tolerate Evil

Should A Christian Tolerate Sin?  
Bill Brinkworth

“And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.” Matthew 21:12-13

The world, and unfortunately many Christians, have the wrong idea as to how a Christian should behave.  Many are convinced that a Christian should be tolerant of those doing wrong, be polite, and never tell anyone that, according to the Word of God, they are doing wrong.  Nowhere in the Bible is tolerance to sin suggested.

In verses 12 and 13, we see a contrary example to the pathetic, polite, and “proper” image that most think marks the behavior of a Christian.  In this example, the person who did the opposite was the Saviour Himself – Jesus.

Jesus saw what man had done to the house of God.  Some wanted to make money, so they devised enterprising plans to make a “buck” using the Jewish religion.  They knew the Jews attending the temple were supposed to present animal sacrifices to the priest so their sins would be “covered.”  The attendees themselves were to bring their sheep, doves, oxen, and offerings.

Those exploiters saw an opportunity to make some quick cash from lazy Jews.  They set up tables in the back of the temple and sold those animals to those wanting to give their gifts to the priests.  Soon, the back of the temple was teaming with wildlife and vendors, all trying to make a living on the lazy worshippers. 

The house of God had been turned into a “den of thieves.”  Jesus saw what was happening.  He did not walk quietly and timidly up to the vendors and politely ask them, “Please, gentlemen, take your ambitious enterprise outside the gate, where you can enjoy the sunshine.”

No, sir, He did not. He went up to the tables, threw out the moneychangers, and overturned the tables.  Jesus knew what was right, and that was not the right thing to do in the house of prayer.  There was no hint of polite “tolerance” anywhere in this account or the other accounts in Luke 19:45-46 and Mark 11:15-18.

In another account, possibly three years prior to that event, Jesus did even more to the “thieves” (John 2:14-16).  He not only pushed over their tables, but He chased the vendors out with a whip of chords.

Tolerating sin is not mentioned in the Bible.  When a Christian sees something is wrong, he must speak out.  We are supposed to be the “salt” to change the flavor of this world that naturally will not do right in God’s eyes.  A Christian must also be the “light” in this sin-darkened world.  A Christian would make more changes to this world if he stopped putting up with sin and took a stand against it! 

Putting up with sin and turning “the other cheek” is quite often a cowardly act if one is afraid to make a stand!  This world has gotten so wicked because Christians have not stood up against what is wrong.  It is our responsibility to warn others of the dangers of sin. If we do not stand against sin, who will? 

“To sin by silence, when they should protest, makes cowards of men.” 
— Abraham Lincoln


Steps in Accepting Evil
Author Unknown

“First, we overlook evil,
Then we permit evil,
Then we legalize evil,
Then we promote evil,
Then we celebrate evil,
Then we persecute those who still call it evil.” —    Author Unknown

“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” Isaiah 5:20


Toleration of Sin Is Not Biblical
He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the LORD.” Proverbs 17:15
“And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; 29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.” Romans 1:28-32   Also: Isaiah 5:20.

“Tolerance is a virtue for those who have no convictions.” — Author Unknown

Because Christians Were Silent
Bill Brinkworth

Christians are responsible for sharing the Gospel and the truths from the Word of God.  However, many believers have not done as they are biblically commanded.  They are not the society-changing “salt” or the sin-revealing “light” God requires them to be.  As a result of many’s refusal, rebellion, and ignorance to do as they are commanded, others have suffered. 
“Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.” Mat.5:13  Also: Mark 9:50, Luke 14:34.
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Mat. 5:16  Also: Luke 1:79, John 11:10.

Here are some of the damages and sufferings caused by those who know better but fail to uphold their responsibilities.

  • Millions of people will spend an eternity in Hell because they never heard the Gospel.  Many Christians were “embarrassed,” ashamed, afraid, or too proud to tell others about God’s way to Heaven.
    “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?” Rom. 10:14
  • Millions of people will live a life sinning and defiant to God because they never heard the truth nor ever saw a good Christian example.
    “And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? 31 And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.” Acts 8:30
  • Millions do not know what the Bible teaches as they have never heard biblical truths nor have seen one living the way God commands. Since they have never heard biblical truths, they have incorrectly supposed what they think the Bible teaches or believed false teachings.
    “For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.” Rom. 10:3  Also: Phil. 3:9.
  • Millions think they are going to Heaven because of the good deeds they have done, as so many “Christians” have not taught them otherwise. That fallacy is the foundation of many false religions.
    “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Eph. 2:8-9
  • Millions thought there was no difference between a Christian and the lost because they never saw any variance between the two groups. They have not witnessed holy living. The toleration of sin by many confessing Christians has also added to the confusion of the lost.
    “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,” II Cor. 6:17

Some of those millions could be your loved ones, neighbors, or friends. They may suffer a terrifying eternity because of your closed lips.  Share the truths of the Bible and Gospel now.  It may be too late to change the godless direction of society, but at least a Christian can hear the “… Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things …” from one’s Saviour, Jesus Christ (Mat. 25:21, 23), and one may make a great difference in some lives.

“The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything.” — Albert Einstein

You Are Not Alone
Harry Todd

As you witness for the Saviour
It is a spiritual fight
Sometimes, you will stand alone
Making a stand for Christ.

People will think you’re odd
If you don’t go their way
But live to please the Saviour
No matter what they say.

Keep your standards high.
Don’t let others drag you down.
Just look for the approaching day
When you’ll wear the victor’s crown.

You may think you are alone,
When you stand for what is true
But remember, you’re a Christian
So the Holy Spirit dwells in you.

So remember when you’re alone,
God is with you, it is true;
He has given you the Comforter
Who always dwells in you.

The BIBLE VIEW #937 — Christmas

In This Issue:
Where’s My Present?
Giving God What He Gave Us
The Reason for the Season
The First and Last Time He Comes

Volume: 937    December 18, 2023
Theme: Christmas

Where’s My Present? 
Bill Brinkworth

“Happy Bill’s birthday!” welcomed another party-goer.  “Wait until you see what I got you,” as the present was removed from its hiding place behind his back.

“You got me something?  Oh, wow,” was the exclamation as the curly bow was hurriedly ripped from the gift.

As the gift-receiver tore off the wrapping paper, another excited voice gleefully proclaimed on the other side of the room, “And I got you something, too.”

An ecstatic voice shrilled, “For me?” as she received the large, carefully wrapped package.  Several in the celebration gravitated to that part of the room to see what excited her.

The gift-giver smiled as he could tell his thoughtfulness was appreciated.  He watched her carefully remove the packaging tape and responded with the customary, “Happy Bill’s birthday.”

Soon most of the gathering attendees were giving someone a package they produced from hiding places.  The room was filled with sounds of ripping paper and “You shouldn’t have”s.  A surprised couple of “Oh, I didn’t get you anything”s could also be heard scattered about the room.

In all the gift-giving excitement, no one noticed the surprised person enter the room from the stairwell.  He moved from group to group, almost unnoticed.  As he moved to the child admiring her new laptop, she made sure he saw it and outstretched it to him to get a better look.  “Why, it’s a great one,” he remarked.  After he was shown it, she immediately returned to her group and grabbed another package she was handed.

On he drifted to another group on the other side of the room.  “Oh, it’s Bill!” exclaimed the one standing closest to him.  “Happy birthday, Bill.”

After hearing that name, most in the room stopped their gift-giving and opening and turned to the visitor and echoed, “Hello, Bill.” Some greeted him with, “Happy birthday, Bill.” Hands waved at him.  

One “Hey, old man” echoed inside the dining room.  Throughout the room, giggles ensued over that remark.  It was not long until all turned back to their peers and engaged in their party activities.  Bill was once again left to himself.

Soon, the party got back on track, and Bill stood alone.  No one even heard him sadly whisper, “And where’s my present?  It’s my birthday!”

Forgotten at one’s own birthday party would be horrifying and heartbreaking, however, it happens every year.  A day put aside years ago by our Christian-oriented forefathers to remember the birth of Christ is still practiced by most but has lost its true meaning. 

Gifts are given to one another.  Feasts are prepared for those attending family gatherings.  Benevolence is at an all-time high.  Even the least unfortunate are remembered and given something by strangers. 

Festivities are displayed everywhere in the decorations throughout towns and decorations on trees in living rooms.  Unfortunately, like Bill’s party, the purpose of the celebration is often forgotten.  The reason for the Christmas season is to remember the birth of our Saviour, Jesus.  Sadly, He is little remembered or honored.  In some circles, even mention of His name is forbidden.

This year, make your Christmas different.  Ignore the world’s tendency to remove any mention of Christ on the day that was put aside to honor His birth.  Let all know that Jesus is the reason for the season with as many opportunities to say “Merry Christmas” as possible.

Above all, make sure you give the Reason for the season the best gift of all.  No, Christ has no desire for any material present.  He desires your heart, your time, and your devotion.   All year long, give to Him:

  • Your obedience to His Commandments:
    “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” John 14:15
  • The praise He deserves:
    “I will praise the LORD according to his righteousness: and will sing praise to the name of the LORD most high.” Psalms 7:17
  • Your willingness to live for Him:
    “Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.” Psalms 100:2
  • Your love:
    “And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.” Deut. 6:5
    “My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.” Pro.  23:26

This year, give the Lord what He wants — you!

“ This year, I did not see one reminder that the Christmas season is about Jesus.  His birth was not remembered in one television program, not in one store, not in any town-wide decorations.  I did not even see one manger scene!  It has happened, at least where I live, that Jesus was banned from His own birth remembrance!  What a sad season Christmas has become!” — Bill Brinkworth


Giving God What He Gave Us
Author Unknown

A little girl told an older friend that she would give her papa a pair of slippers for Christmas.  “Where will you get your money?” asked the friend.

The little girl opened her eyes wide and said, “Why, Father will give me the money.” The friend was silent as he realized the father would buy his own Christmas present.  Even though the father paid for his own present, it still thrilled him to receive his daughter’s gift.

All that we give the Lord is given to us by Him. When we give Him anything, it is, as was the small child, only giving Him something He gave or allowed us to have.  Still, God loves it when we give to Him. Putting God first in our lives thrills Him.
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” James 1:17

“The best gift is not under our tree; it was on the tree at Calvary!” — Roy Phillips


The Reason for the Season
Deb McCoy

Christmas is a joyous time of the year,
Displays of decorations, lights, and holiday cheer.
So much commotion and excitement overflows,
And don’t forget the gifts and children’s faces all aglow.

Let’s take a moment and reflect on that very first Christmas night,
The angel had announced the birth of the Savior to bring the world Light.
Born in a dark stable came our most gifted treasure,
Our gratitude and praises no price can we measure.

Celebrating Christmas should be a reflection of selflessness and love,
The window of the soul is illuminated by the Spirit of Christmas sent from above.
This year may peace on Earth and goodwill to men,
Be reflected in each of us time and again.

May you be filled with the joy of this holiday season,
Let it shine in your heart and be reminded of its true reason.
It’s all about Jesus.  What gift will you bring?
Salvation in Christ will make your heart sing.

This Christmas and throughout the coming year.
Discover the riches of this treasure, and may your heart be filled with holiday cheer.
Celebrate Christ this Christmas, and you will find,
Hope and comfort offered to all mankind.

Sign outside a church one month before Christmas: “Come on in, and avoid the Christmas rush.”


The First and Last Time He Comes
Oliver B. Greene

The Lord Jesus Christ, whom we should exalt, especially on Christmas, is not just a baby in a manger.  He is not a character in a children’s story.  He is far more.

  • The first time He came, He came veiled in the form of a child.  The next time He comes, and we believe it will be soon, He will come unveiled, and it will be abundantly and immediately apparent to all the world just who He really is.
  • The first time He came, a star marked His arrival.  The next time He comes, the heavens will roll up like a scroll, and all the stars will fall out of the sky, and He will light it.
  • The first time He came, there was no room for Him.  The next time He comes, the whole world will be unable to contain His glory.
  • The first time He came, only a few attended His arrival — some.  The next time He comes, every eye shall see Him.
  • The first time Jesus came as a baby.  Soon, He will come as Sovereign King and Lord.

“I am the one that is making the list, and I don’t have to check it twice!”
— God