The BIBLE VIEW #867 — Separation

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In This Issue:
Separate Yourself

Volume: 867     July 16, 2022
Theme:  Separation

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Separate Yourself
Bill Brinkworth

An important biblical teaching is believers should be separated from sin and the ungodly activities of the world as much as possible. 

It is taught throughout the Old Testament.  God’s people, particularly Israel, were to keep their distance from the heathen, so they would not be exposed or tempted by the ungodly’s involvement in sin. 

In the New Testament, early believers were also warned to remain as far as possible from the unfruitful, ungodly works of unrighteousness.  God wanted His people nowhere near the grasp of harmful, contagious sin.
“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” Eph.  5:11

The Bible tells us much about living a separated, godly life:

  • From the beginning, God did some separating.  God separated the unrighteous world from Noah and His family when He sent the flood.  The ungodly perished. 

    In Old Testament times, God repeatedly warned His people to separate from the ungodly so they would not end up doing the sins the enemies of God were committing.
    “Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the LORD.” Isaiah 52:11
    “Flee out of the midst of Babylon
    [a sinful nation], and deliver every man his soul: be not cut off in her iniquity; for this is the time of the LORD’S vengeance; he will render unto her a recompence.” Jer. 51:6   God was going to judge the sinful nation.  He did not want His people to be included in the punishment that would be inflicted on the ungodly.
  • God says not to do the sinful or “close to appearing sinful” activities they do.
    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   
  • Our example, Christ, lived a separated life.  We claim to be “Christ-like,” which is what “Christian” means, so we also should live a separated life.
    “For such an high priest [Jesus] became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;” Heb. 7:26

A different way of living does not save anyone.  “Not cursing, chewing, or hangin’ around with those that do” is a good practice, but it will not make one saved.

However, when one acknowledges one’s sin, realizes the price that will ultimately be paid for it, accepts Christ’s payment for one’s iniquity, and accepts Him as Saviour, that person is saved from the penalty of sin.  That person will be changed on the inside, and changes on the outside should soon follow.
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” II Cor. 5:17

This “new creature” should want to live the way the Lord wants him to live.  The child’s Sunday school song reminds us, “The things I used to do, I don’t do them anymore.”

The “new” saved person will produce godly fruits (actions that are pleasing to the Lord), not because he has to do them to keep his salvation, but because his new “heart” will want to do them for the Lord.  A saved person should desire to please his Saviour.
“For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:  9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) 10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.  11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.  12 For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.” Eph.  5:8-12

The new-hearted Christian should realize that much of the way he used to live was not pleasing to the Lord.  To please the Lord, he should want to separate himself from sin and its temptation.

For centuries, separation from sin and even the “… appearance of evil …” (I Thes. 5:22) were preached from most pulpits and practiced by most.  Christians lived differently.  They spoke, dressed, believed, acted, and thought differently.  They were ashamed, as were their families, when they were involved in sin or even imitated the lifestyles of the unsaved.

This thinking and lifestyle are foreign to many of today’s Christians and are often ridiculed by them.  One would be hard-pressed in most churches and Christian households to be able to tell any difference between “Christians” and the unsaved.  

Some church leaders and believers spend more time excusing, justifying, and explaining their worldly thinking and lifestyles than remembering one of God’s most important commandments to His believers — to live holy.
“Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the LORD your God.”  Lev. 20:7  Also: I Peter 1:16.

God has not changed since He had the words penned in Lev.  20:7.  No matter how those around us are living and believing, a Christian is always to live as godly as he can. 

We are on God’s winning side, and we are to live like it.  We are not to live like the ungodly.

When a Christian lives the way God commands, the ungodly will separate from him.  Godly living convicts the ungodly, and rather than change their way of living, they often will alienate themselves from the source of their “feeling guilty.”  Many Christians that do not live a separated life never make any difference to those around them, as their lifestyle is not a godly example.
“Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake.” Luke 6:22

The majority of Christians fail in the area of separation.  Most often, they will not separate themselves from the things of this world and separate themselves unto God.  They want the comfort of knowing they will go to Heaven, but their sincerity is lacking. 

Most will not separate from the places they should not be.  They also act, think, dress, and look like the ungodly.  Their desire is to fit in like everyone else.

If the fad returns to have short skirts, many Christians will quickly be in the store to make sure they look like everyone else.  When the fashion of long hair returns for men, they are the first to drive past the barbershop and find something to tie their hair back.  Too often, Christians are more interested in fitting in with the world than they are fitting in with God and letting Him make them as holy as He can.

It would be more helpful for Christians if they had the attitude, “I’m a Christian.  If the Bible shows me to do something, I will do it without question.  If the world thinks I am peculiar, then that is their problem.  As for me and my house, I will separate from the world and its many questionable behaviors.  I will look, act, talk, and behave like the Bible says a Christian should.”

We should not strive to fit in and appear like everyone else.  Remember when your mother said to you, “If your friends jumped off a bridge, would you do it?”  We did not like her admonishment, but too many are doing that spiritually; we are doing what everyone around us is doing.  Too many are following the world rather than leading the world by a Christ-like example.

The question or place of confusion for many is, “Well, what is it I should be separated from?  What are the ungodly works of wickedness I am to keep away from?”

Reading the Bible will reveal the main source of what should be avoided — sin.  There are more sins than those found in the Ten Commandments (Ex. 20).  One man counted over 600 sins.  One will not know what he should keep away from if he does not read the Bible and learn what they are.

“Well, many of the sins are for Old Testament times,” is often the retort.  The Old Testament, particularly the Law, is the schoolmaster (Gal. 3:24) that teaches us what God likes and dislikes.  Since God never changes, what was a sin to Him in those days, unless there is a retraction or permission given in the New Testament, is still iniquity today.

People feel more comfortable with a list of sins.  However, because of man’s devices, dealings, and different times, sins change.  A list of sins from Old Testament times would not always apply today.  

Scales no longer have weights, so the sin of “false balances” would not be valid for most today.  However, the principle behind that sin, cheating, and deceiving still can be applied today.  

There were no guns in 1200 BC, but fatally killing someone with one today is still a sin.  Murder has always been a sin, be it with a gun or a stone.  Alcoholic beer is not mentioned in the Bible; however, drunkenness is to be avoided according to God’s Word. 

Abortion also is not mentioned in the Bible, but the principle of not killing another and taking one’s life is forbidden by God.  Many insist the dress codes and standards of the Old Testament are only for by-gone days, but the principle that honors the differences in the sexes as God created them has not changed.

Many justify sin and lack of separation with the excuse, “Today is different.”  Sin is sin and always has been.  The principles of what is iniquity needs to be learned from God’s Word and then applied.

Man’s lifestyles and possessions are constantly changing.  A list of what not to do will never be accurate for more than several years. 

It is the spirit of doing the right things that must be established, and then an attitude of discernment will hold true and guide one, no matter what changes in the world.  It is the “spirit” of God’s law that needs to be the ruler to measure what is right and wrong, not just being on God’s list of sins (“the letter” of the law).
“Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.” II Cor. 3:6

When one lives a life far from the edge of being “wrong” or sinful, they will seldom have to worry about “falling into sin.”  I learned this from my first pastor after I was saved. 

Pastor Fedena drew an imaginary line on the platform and walked along it.  He said that many Christians do not want to live a separated life, yet they still want to have an appearance of being a Christian. 

They are so close to sin that it takes very little to unbalance them spiritually.  He illustrated this by stumbling off the line he was walking on and tripping down the platform’s steps.

“But,” he went on to illustrate, “Those that have learned the wisdom to stay away from anything that would tempt them or even give an appearance of their doing wrong,  get far away from that ‘tolerable’ line.”  He moved far away from the imaginary line separating right and wrong.  As he continued, he pointed out, “As I get farther away from the questionable ‘gray’ area, you will see that I am getting closer to God.”  That is what living far from the edge of right and wrong does; it protects us from being tempted and falling into sin.

He went back to the line of “what-one-can-get-away-with-and-still-not-be-involved-in-sin.”  As the preacher tried to balance on the line again, he warned, “Those that live close to the edge of where they were before they were saved, and know what sin is, cannot lose their salvation when getting too close to their old lifestyle, but they can get involved in it.  They may lose their testimony that may take a long time, if ever, to get back.  Their witness as a godly example will be ruined.

“When referring to Christian hypocrites, those that got too close to the edge and fell into sin are usually referred to.  It is much safer to get far from the tempting edge and closer to God.  If it is questionable, give God the benefit of the doubt and stay away from its involvement.”

That is what separation is all about: separating oneself from anything that will make one fall and hurt the cause of Christ.  That is why God wants us to separate from many things of this world and, of course, from sin.  

God loves us and does not want His children hurt by sin or weakened by its temptation.  Separate yourself from the world and unto God.

“If you’re a Christian, why would you want to act like, live like, look like, or even talk like the devil’s losing side?”

The BIBLE VIEW #866 — Trials

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In This Issue:
Think on These Things
Trials Can Save Us
Our Burden Carrier
It’s Better If It’s Broken
Too Little?

Volume: 866     July 12, 2022
Theme:  Trials

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Think on These Things
Bill Brinkworth

Sometimes, life can be plain rough, even for Christians.  We may face financial hardships, physical problems, relationship challenges, and hosts of other types of trials.  What do you do?  Where do you run?  How do you escape the load of a burden you sometimes cannot imagine yourselves bearing?

We are told in the Bible that, as heavy as one’s burdens feel, God will never allow more than one can bear: “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” I Corinthians 10:13  Whatever we face, God will only allow us to go through what we can handle with His help.  Somehow, we will be able to deal with the immense trials faced.

With the faith that God will help us, the next avenue of relief from trials and tribulations is prayer: “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God” Philippians 4:6.  Be thankful for what you have and ask God to help you, and hang on by faith that He will!

After knowing that God will somehow help us through our hard times and we seek His aid in the time of need, one more area must be handled so we do not feel defeated and want to give up.  That area is our thought life.

If we have any “strength or moral goodness” (virtues), allow your mind to have only the right thoughts: “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Philippians 4:8

Do not allow yourself to think about what could happen, things that are not true, things that are not right, things that are filthy and unrighteous, things that are scary and frightening, or bad news.  Doing so will never help; it will always make matters worse.

Christian, you have the mind of Christ.  Do not fill it with worldly thoughts because the dark things of this world will only try to put out your “light.”  Keep your eyes and mind on the things of God, and let God do the worrying!   He’s going to be up all night anyway!

O soul, are you weary and troubled?  No light in the darkness you see?  There’s light for a look at the Saviour, And life more abundant and free!

Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face; And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, In the light of His glory and grace.
Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus, by Helen Lemmel


Trials Can Save Us
Author Unknown

Two painters were employed to fresco the walls of a cathedral.  Both stood on scaffolding, constructed so they could paint the high walls some forty feet from the floor.

One man was so intent upon the work that he became wholly absorbed.  He stood back from his picture to examine his piece, gazing at it with intense concentration.  Forgetting where he was, he moved back slowly, surveying the work of his pencil critically until he neared the edge of the plank on which he stood.

At that critical moment, his companion turned suddenly paralyzed with horror and beheld the man’s imminent peril.  In another instant, the fellow artist could fall to his death on the pavement below.  It may have startled the man if he spoke to him, and he may have fallen.  The man’s death was equally sure if he did not say anything.  Suddenly, he had a plan.  He seized a wet brush and flung it against the endangered man’s art, spattering it with unsightly blotches of color.

The painter lurched forward and turned upon his friend with fierce upbraidings.  His life-saving friend quickly explained why he had ruined the other man’s art.  The rescued man looked down where he could have fallen and thanked the man who saved his life with tears of gratitude.

Sometimes we get absorbed with the “pictures” of this world.  In contemplating them, we often step backward, unconscious of our peril.  It is then the Almighty sometimes damages what we are admiring, only to save us from imminent danger.


Our Burden Carrier
D. L. Moody

A minister was moving his library upstairs.  As the minister was going upstairs with his load of books, his little boy came in and was very eager to help his father.  His father told him to get an armful and take them upstairs.

When the father returned, he met the little fellow about halfway up the stairs, tugging away with the biggest book in the library.  He couldn’t carry it up.  The book was too big, so he sat down and cried.

His father found him, took him in his arms, book and all, and carried him upstairs.  So Christ will convey you and all your burdens.  I like to think of Christ as our burden bearer.

“It has been well said that no man ever sank under the burden of the day. It is when tomorrow’s burden is added to the burden of today that the weight is more than a man can bear.” — George MacDonald


It’s Better If It Is Broken
Dr. J. Hamilton, 1871

  • It is the broken ground that opens its bosom for the reception of seed, which springs up and brings forth fruit abundantly.
  • It is the broken cloud that discharges its showers that usher in the spring and cheer the thirsty ground.
  • It is the broken corn that is separated from the chaff and laid up in the garner of the husbandman that saved lives from starvation.
  • It is the broken berries that the olive press’s millstones have crushed and give forth a precious oil that fills lamps that bring light to darkness.
  • It was the broken alabaster box from which the poor penitent woman anointed the feet of the Saviour and its contents that filled the whole house with the odor of the precious spikenard perfume.
  • It was Christ’s broken body that was nailed to the cross and the spear of an enemy that furnishes the blood that cleanses all souls from their sin.
  • It is the broken veil of the temple that opened to us the Holiest of all and gave the believing soul the opportunity to go directly to the Lord in prayer.
  • It was the broken grave that announced the reality of the resurrection and proclaimed to the unbelieving disciple that the Saviour was risen indeed.

So it is with Christians.  It is by breaking and the crushing processes to which they are subjected, by the providence of God, that they become the spiritual salt of the Earth and the lights of this world.

“He who knows no hardships will know no hardihood.  He who faces no calamity will need no courage.  Mysterious though it is, the characteristics in human nature which we love best grow in a soil with a strong mixture of trouble.” — Harry Emerson Fosdick


Too Little?
D. L. Moody

One day in Brooklyn, I saw a young man going along the street without any arms.  A friend with me pointed him out and told me his story.  When the war broke out, he felt it was his duty to enlist and go to the front.

He was engaged to be married, and while in the army, letters frequently passed between him and his intended wife.  After the Battle of the Wilderness, the young lady looked anxiously for the accustomed letter.  For a little while, no letter was received.

At last, one came in a strange hand.  She opened it with trembling fingers and read these words, “We have fought a terrible battle.  I have been wounded so awfully that I shall never be able to support you.  A friend writes this for me.  I love you more tenderly than ever, but I release you from your promise.  I will not ask you to join your life with the maimed life of mine.”

That letter was never answered.  The next train that left, the young lady was on it.  She went to the hospital.  She found out the number of his cot, and she went down the aisle between the long rows of the wounded men.  At last, she saw the number, and hurrying to his side, she threw her arms around his neck and said, “I’ll not desert you.  I’ll take care of you.” He did not resist her love.  They were married, and there was no happier couple than that one.

We depend on one another.  Christ says, “I’ll take care of you.  I’ll take you to this bosom of mine, as maimed as you are.”  Surely, you can be saved if you accept the Saviour’s love.  God loves us, my friends.  He loves us unto the end.  
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

“As the rainbow would never be seen were it not for the clouds and the rain, the beauties of holiness would never shine so brightly were it not for the trials which the Spirit of God employs to promote them.”  — Dr. Tweedie

The BIBLE VIEW #865 — Gossip

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In This Issue:
“Beware of the Drowning Man!”
Three Things to Remember
The Spreader
Slander

Volume: 865     July 6, 2022
Theme:  Gossip

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“Beware of the Drowning Man!”
Bill Brinkworth

It is said that it is very dangerous when trying to swim out and save a drowning person.  Too often, the rescuer is drowned by the flailing, panicking drowner.

The natural reaction of the one going down, for possibly the last time, is to keep their head above water.  In an effort to survive, he can grab hold of the rescuer, and in trying to get another breath of air, drown the person who is trying to help him.

A disgruntled, unhappy person is often much like the drowning man.  For whatever reason, they are dissatisfied, they share their unrest and discontentment with others.  In most situations, they mean no harm.  They are unloading their burden and anguish on others hoping the person can say something or change something to stop their dissatisfaction.  However, their complaining, or “venting,” does much the same as the drowning man.  He can take the listener down with him.

The one listening may not know what is to follow in the conversation or genuinely may want to be a consoling ear to the one doing the complaining.  Before the “rescuer” knows what has happened, he is a casualty of gossiping lips.  Those words may do more than “sink ships,” as they said during World War II when referring to those that said more than they should have.

Making oneself a listening post for complaining, gossip, or dissatisfaction can result in one having the same thoughts as the one floundering.  The complaints and opinionated talk can spread like an infectious disease.  Soon the grumbler’s frustrations are shared feelings of their audiences.  Here are some common scenarios that trap too many:

  • “Well, maybe that person at work is lazy and making us do his work like the other person said.”
  • “Hmm, Sonya said that the person in the back of class is responsible for all the things missing in our class.  Maybe he is a thief.”
  • “Oh, oh.  She thinks her husband is cheating on her; perhaps mine is doing the same thing.”
  • “Things are not the same in church as they were.  So-and-so says it’s because of what Deacon Jones is doing.  Our problems in church are all his fault.”
  • “My friend says So-and-so looks like he’s hiding something, and he is right; he does look suspicious.  I don’t think I will trust him, either.”

On and on the opinions and observations of others can go into listening ears, doing damage by intentional or unintentional words.  Most often, we want to help, and that is why we listen.  However, words often turn into improper or unjustified judgments or actions by the listeners. 

Here are several guidelines one can keep in mind when lending a listening ear:

  • What the other person is saying is only his side of the story.  If the listener wants to know the truth, he should hear the other person’s side of the situation.  Suggesting to immediately get the other person’s view of what is being said often silences what is being said, as the talebearer may know what he is saying is more emotional than factual.

 “He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.” Proverbs 18:13

“Doth our law judge any man, before it hear him, and know what he doeth?” John 7:51

“One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.” Deut. 19:15

“Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses.” I Timothy 5:19

“It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true.” John 8:17 

  • Why are they telling me?  Can I change the situation for them?  Are they just gossiping, backbiting, complaining, or do they want the problem they are speaking of handled their way?  Can what they are saying result in anything positive?  

If it is discerned what is being said is for the wrong reasons, change the conversation or walk away from it.  Why would anyone want to take part in another’s sin?

“They speak vanity every one with his neighbour: with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak.” Psalm 12:2

“Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.  “Psalm 34:13

“Deliver my soul, O LORD, from lying lips, and from a deceitful tongue.” Psalm 120:2

  • Is what is being said edifying?  Can it be destructive to my ears?  Will it reinforce the problem to them as they share their concerns and make both of us miserable?  Is what is said going to help or change anything, or is it gossip?

“They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent; adders’ poison is under their lips.  Selah.” Psalm 140:3

“He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends.” Proverbs 17:9

  • If a suitable solution is given to solve the speaker’s dilemma, will he follow the advice, or will he keep grumbling to anyone who listens?

“Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of thy words.” Proverbs 23:9

“Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.” Proverbs 9:8

  • Why am I listening to them?  Am I doing it to be a help, or do I want to hear some dirt about someone else?

“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” Ephesians 4:29

  • Does voicing their grievances bring confusion and division to others?  If it brings adverse side effects to others, then their “beefs” are probably not of God.
    “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.” I Corinthians 14:33

It is natural for most of us to want to listen to the concerns of those we are in contact.  It is also quite normal to want to help them with our suggestions.  We must always be aware of what our ears are listening.  Often, a person does not know the damage their words can do to themselves and their listeners.  They may not even know they are “drowning” in their trials and tribulations, but a drowning man can take others down with himself.  Beware of drowning people.

Although some quoted scriptures were in a different context, they were used to show a biblically taught principle.

Oh, be careful little lips what you say, for the Father up above is looking down in love …”   — Words from a child’s Sunday school song


Three Things to Remember
Gospel Banner

Remember, three things come not back
The arrow sent upon its track.
It will not swerve; it will not stay
Its speed; it flies to wound and slay.


The spoken word so soon forgot
By thee, but it has perished not.
In other hearts, ‘tis living still.
And doing work for good or ill.


And the lost opportunity,
That cometh back no more to thee;
In vain thou weepest, in vain dost yearn;
These three will nevermore return.

You cannot stop people’s tongues, and therefore the best thing to do is to stop your ears and never mind what is spoken.” Spurgeon


The Spreader
Author Unknown

On a well-equipped farm, you will find at least one machine that looks like a low-slung wagon.  It is called a “spreader.”  It is used to disperse seed and fertilizer.

Unfortunately, in every town, big or small, you will find men and women that might be placed in the category of the “spreader.” They run about from place to place spreading gossip, which is the dirtiest kind of dirt.  Gossip helps no one and harms everyone.  It is about the meanest manifestation of dirty work that a human can do and not be exiled.

Chances are, if one speaks ill to you about others, when you are not around, he will speak ill of you.” — Barbara Brinkworth 

The BIBLE VIEW #864 — Carnality

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In This Issue:
Baby Christians 
Stay!
Blinded by Carnality
What the Bible Says about Carnality

Volume: 864     June 27, 2022
Theme: Carnality  

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Baby Christians
Bill Brinkworth

In I Corinthians 3, Paul discusses spiritually weak people.  He identifies this type of Christians at the church in Corinth (I Corinthians 1:2) as baby Christians (I Corinthians 3:1).

Because they had not spiritually matured, the preacher had to watch what he said and taught them.  He could only tell them less demanding things about God.  If he revealed the “harder” things of God, they would react improperly to the spiritual “meat.”  They were saved because Paul addressed them as “brethren” (I Cor. 3:1), but they were very carnal (I Cor. 3:3). 

Noah Webster defined “carnal” as “pertaining to the flesh.”  The “baby” Christians’ deep involvement in things of the world clouded any dealings the Spirit of God tried to have with them.  They did what felt good and interested them, but were not spiritually pliable.

Today, Christianity is also weakened by those trying to straddle both worlds.  They never grow in the things of the Lord.  They try to be like everyone else, have all the pleasures this life can offer them, and minimally tip their hat to God.  Obedience to God is not a priority in their thinking.

Any mention of the “harder” things of God, and many today also get uncomfortable or mad.  They can agree on being saved and may even be baptized.  Heads will nod in agreement with Christian practices that do not require sacrifice or changes. 

However, mention separation from sinful practices or from influences that could get one too close to sin, and suddenly, “the preacher is fanatical.”  Suggest obeying the commandments recorded in the Bible, and their justification will be, “I don’t think God meant it for today’s people.  That was for people a long time ago.” Show them where the Bible says that one should give God part of their income (Malachi 3:8-9), and their anger turns their face red and they stammer, “God knows I can’t afford it, so he doesn’t expect me to give.”  Hint that they should be faithful in attending church, and you will hear more justification and excuses for their lack of commitment to the assembly of local believers.

We still have “baby” Christians today.  They never “grow up” spiritually.  They never take the steps of faith necessary to help them grow closer and depend more on their loving Father.  Amazingly, many even model themselves after the early, carnal church of Corinth and ignore Paul’s rebuke of that church’s immature Christian practices.

Carnality will always be a temptation for all Christians.  Encouragingly, some still step out by faith and follow wherever the Holy Spirit leads them.  They are the ones that are saved and commit, “Okay, Lord, show me what you want me to do next in your Word, and I will do it.”  They happily do what they are shown to do and allow God to use them and work in their lives.  They are the ones that have no problem digesting the “meat” that God allows them to hear.  Those Christians are the ones God is looking for and uses the most.

“If Christians do not read and obey the Bible, they will never grow spiritually!”


Stay!
Bill Brinkworth

Paul, like so many Christians today, faced some opposition from other Christians.  Some in the churches where he spoke 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 fleshly retorts.  He let his works for the Lord speak for themselves and let the Lord do the rest of the battling (II Cor. 10:4-8).

Everyone that attends a church has someone falsely accusing him of something or else has his 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 without sin. 

Some members of the church family are more carnal than others.  They see things from a fleshly perspective and 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.  My first thought is usually, “Who would be behind such a move of leaving a ministry 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 believers. Yet, people leave churches all the time for the wrong reasons.

In the past, my wife and I have had things said about us by other church family members.  The false accusations hurt us deeply, but we remembered we were not in attendance for those people but for God.  He wanted us to stay, and we did.

It was a hard time, and much praying was done on our part.  However, we never missed a service and kept at the work the Lord had for us.  Over time, we looked around and noticed that we had our nose to the grindstone doing what God had laid on our hearts, but our accusers were no longer in attendance.  God takes 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 mentioned in the Bible, but Paul is still remembered. Purpose in your heart who you will serve (Joshua 24:15), and let the Lord handle the light work.  Be a “Paul.”

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


Blinded by Carnality
Bill Brinkworth

Many of Paul’s letters rebuked the Corinthian church (I Corinthian 11:17, 22).  Because many in that church never truly rid themselves of the snares of their past worldly lives, it hampered them often from growing in the things of the Lord.  Scriptural instructions intended to help them grow spiritually and get closer to their God and Christian brethren often became a source of contention amongst themselves and caused division instead (I Cor. 11:18-19). One such instance was the way they conducted the Lord’s Supper.

The ordinance of the Lord’s Supper was to help them remember (I Cor. 11:25-26) what Jesus had done for them. It was to be a solemn remembrance of God’s Son’s sacrifice for them when His body was “broken” (nailed to the cross) and His blood spilled for their sins.

Instead, they took that time and made it into a feast. Some went hungry.  Some got drunk (I Cor. 11:21). Others were embarrassed for not having what others had (I Cor. 11:22). The meaning of the Lord’s Supper was forgotten.

Because they lost the supper’s meaning and purpose (I Cor. 11:29), Paul warned that it would bring them harm rather than good.  Instead of blessing and unity, their drinking and eating brought them damnation and division. So wicked did the event become that some got sick and others even died (I Cor. 11:30) because they refused to discern the Lord’s body.  They were to judge and remember their sins.  They did not, and God judged some of them for their added sin.

Believers are to continue this time of remembering the broken body and spilt blood of our Saviour even today (I Cor. 11:26). It is not a “party-time” but a judge-our-own-sins time.  It is a time that we do not look around at others to see their faults, but remember our own.  The intent of this time is for us to remember.  Remember what Jesus did for us and keep our spiritual “slates” clean between Him and us. 

Humility is produced by remembering the pit we have come from.


What the Bible Says about Carnality

  • “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.  7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” Romans 8:5-7  Many worldly Christians think themselves spiritual, but God says they are His enemies.
  • “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon [worldly desires of the flesh].” Matthew 6:24
  • “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” I Corinthians 2:14  A person may be saved on the inside, but he still has the natural side of him He was born with. He will battle the desire to do what his “natural man” wants to do until the day he dies.eaven, bu Those living for the flesh’s wants will not understand the things of God.
  • “Ye adulterers and adulteresses [Those that serve the flesh are committing spiritual adultery.  They are going after the ‘gods’ of this world and are not faithful to the God in Heaven], know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” James 4:4

“Christian, if you feed the ‘carnal’ part of you more than the spiritual part, the worldly, carnal side will grow stronger.  You will battle spiritual weakness and immaturity until you change your feeding habits!

The BIBLE VIEW #863 — God’s Promises

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In This Issue:
You Can Trust Him
Promises about Salvation
Promises about Forgiveness
Promises of Courage
Promises about Fear
Promises of Help in Time of Trouble
Promises for The Lonely
Promises and Commandments for Marriage

Volume: 863     June 20, 2022
Theme: God’s Promises  

Are you reading the Bible every day?  If not, have the FREE Daily View Devotion e-mailed to you.  Learn something taught in a KJV chapter from a short commentary, read the chapter and more spiritual “meat” for the hungry soul. Sign-up at https://lp.constantcontactpages.com/su/a26cc9M

Three FREE forms of the Bible View weekly newsletter are available to reach more with sound, biblical doctrine.  They are the ministry version, suitable for church bulletin inserts or handouts, the e-mail version, and LARGE PRINT editions.  They are available at: http://www.openthoumineeyes.com/newsletters.html


You Can Trust Him
Bill Brinkworth

“Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability [unchangeable] of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: 18 That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: 19 Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;”  Hebrews 6:17

Unlike sinful man, God cannot lie.  What He has preserved in His Word, the Bible, was true when it was penned, and it can be relied upon today with no reservations.

Truth about most matters is difficult to find. News medias too often air only part of the facts they want listeners or readers to believe.  Many politicians state only what they want the public to know.  Others often make statements without knowing or communicating the other side of the argument or story.  Opinions are often touted as facts when they are not!

Absolute truth is hard to find.  However, our Creator knows all sides of situations, loves us, and wants us to have the truth.  Authenticity, realism, exactness, and accuracy of situations and experiences are so important to Him that He has preserved truths for all to know.  What he has saved for us between the pages of our Bible can be relied upon.  If God said it, we can believe it.  God will not lie!

“If God said it, you must believe it!”


Promises about Salvation
“That whosoever believeth in him [Jesus] should not perish, but have eternal life.  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:15-16

“3 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…  5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.  6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.  7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.”  John 3:3-7

“For he hath made him [Jesus] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” II Corinthians 5:21

“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

“We are saved by someone doing for us what we cannot do for ourselves.”
— Lester


Promises about Forgiveness
“And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.  26 But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.” Mark 11:25

“But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.  36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.  37   Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:” Luke 6:35-37  Also: Matthew 5:44.

The habit of judging and condemning others is usually a great deal more serious blemish than are the things we so glibly point out as flaws or faults.” — Author Unknown


Promises of Courage
“Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.” Psalm 27:14   Also: Psalm 31:24.

“I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.  13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:12-13 

Have courage for the great sorrows of life, and patience for the smaller ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace.  God is awake.  — Victor Hugo


Promises about Fear
“For the LORD loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.” Psalm 37:28

“And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful?  how is it that ye have no faith?” Mark 4:40

“For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.” Isaiah 41:13

“But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.” Proverb 1:33

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” II Timothy 1:7

“For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.”  I Peter 3:12


Promises of Help in Time of Trouble
“But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD: he is their strength in the time of trouble.” Psalm 37:39

“The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.” Nahum 1:7

“Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.” Psalm 32:7

“Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance.  Selah.” Psalm 37:24

“My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.” Psalm 73:26  Also: Psalm 73:26.

The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.  3 I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.” Psalm 18:2-3   Also: Psalm 18:2-3, 28:7.

“Troubles are often the tools by which God fashions us for better things.” 
— Beecher


Promises for The Lonely
I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” John 14:18

“Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am.  If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity;” Isaiah 58:9

“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 Corinthians 6:17-18  

“But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me: thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God.” Psalm 40:17


Promises and Commandments for Marriage
Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of the life of thy vanity, which he hath given thee under the sun, all the days of thy vanity: for that is thy portion in this life, and in thy labour which thou takest under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 9:9

Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.” I Corinthians 7:3

Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;” Ephesians 5:25

“For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.” Ephesians  5:31

“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.  19 Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.” Colossians 3:18

The BIBLE VIEW #862 — Discouragement

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In This Issue:
Un-Discouraged
Limit the Griping.  Increase the Praising!
“Hold the Fort, for I Am Coming!”

Volume: 862     June 13, 2022
Theme: Discouragement   

Are you reading the Bible every day?  If not, have the FREE Daily View Devotion e-mailed to you.  Learn something taught in a KJV chapter from a short commentary, read the chapter and more spiritual “meat” for the hungry soul. Sign-up at https://lp.constantcontactpages.com/su/a26cc9M

Three FREE forms of the Bible View weekly newsletter are available to reach more with sound, biblical doctrine.  They are the ministry version, suitable for church bulletin inserts or handouts, the e-mail version, and LARGE PRINT editions.  They are available at: http://www.openthoumineeyes.com/newsletters.html


Un-Discouraged
Bill Brinkworth

“And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on.” Luke 12:22

We all have been vexed by what we have perceived as problems. Worrying over life’s troubles consumes too much time for many.  Sometimes the anxieties are legitimate; sometimes, they are only imagined and never come to fruition.

God has much to say about the sin of worrying in His Word.  Matthew 6:34, along with Luke 12:22, compels us not to worry about our needs and to take life’s obstacles on a day-by-day basis.

We have a lot on our plate for today; do not worry about what may or may not happen tomorrow.  Besides, what situation has worrying ever improved?
“Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.  Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” Matthew 6:34

Looking at all the possible challenges that could happen on another day is very frustrating.  I remember the same feeling when told to weed a 40-foot garden when I was younger.

My mother gave me the chore of weeding a backyard flower patch.  I worked a short time and then looked to the end, where I was to finish.  It seemed so far away and impossible.

I worked a little more and then looked to the far end.  I felt I would never get finished and that it was almost a hopeless task that would never be completed.

Then I came up with a different strategy.  Instead of looking at the whole task, I looked no further than two feet in front of me.

Looking up, I saw my short goal and weeded hard to reach it.  When I achieved that mark, I looked up two feet further and made that my next mission.

Never did I look to the end again.  I kept making short commitments.

I do remember at one point, which did not seem that long after starting, where I did permit myself to look back at where I had started. 

The beginning point was far, far behind me.  I did accomplish something.  I was beginning to realize that the task was obtainable.

Again, I returned to my two-foot tasks.  Before long, my next look at the two-foot objective made me realize it was the end.

Small bites at the task and not fretting over the overall picture made the job seem faster to complete and less agonizing.  I learned from that chore to set shorter goals and keep plodding at them until the main goal was reached.

Life has many challenges that we will face.  God does not give us more than we can handle.  Be concerned with what God gives us to do today.  When tomorrow comes, he will also give us the grace to meet the challenges we face on that day.

“Anxiety springs from the desire that things should happen as we wish rather than as God wills.” — Author Unknown


Limit the Griping.  Increase the Praising!
Bill Brinkworth

One reason people should daily read their Bible is to understand how to handle even the “little” problems.  In II Corinthians 2, we read that Paul learned a principle from experiences and shared it with his Corinthian friends.  He did not want them to learn the same lesson he did the hard way.  What he realized can be known by today’s Christians when the situation is also faced.
“But I determined this with myself, that I would not come again to you in heaviness.  2 For if I make you sorry, who is he then that maketh me glad, but the same which is made sorry by me?…”  II Corinthians 2:1-4

There is time to share one’s problems with friends and acquaintances, but it is not all the time! Paul learned that if he griped, complained, and shared all his sorrows all the time, there would be consequences.  When it came time for his friends to encourage him, none would be left to help him (II Corinthians 2:1-4).  They would all be too sorrowful and discouraged to console him.

Everyone knows a constant griper.  They complain about their job, parents, finances, politics, and much more.

After the grumbler shares their load of concerns and worries, their friends will often be depressed and discouraged.  The source of the complainer’s “pick-me-ups” will be sadder than the complainer.  There will be no one to encourage the person when he needs it.

After a while, many listeners soon realize that listening to the other person’s moaning and groaning gets them so depressed that they avoid being around that person.  The complainer’s problems increase when his circle of confidants is ducking for cover when he comes around.

Constant complaining grows tiresome to some.  It does more damage if the griper is a Christian.

When a Christian is heard grumbling, it also sends a message to the listener.  It leaves an impression to the complainee that God cannot handle the person’s problems.  The person appears defeated because God seemingly could not help them in their situation.  That is not the message that anyone should intentionally want anyone to learn.  Does that mean one should “hold it in” all the time?  No, it is a consideration that should be weighed when negative comments are spoken.

If more gave their difficulties and trials to God, there would be less need to be running to people to share one’s troubles.  God desires to be our first source of defense, not our last.  Go to Him instead of spreading ideas that God is limited in areas of help.  One can then share the goodness of God by telling others how the Lord delivered and helped them.  God can help anyone with anything! 

“Pelopidas, when informed that the number of the enemy was double that of his army, replied, “So much the better.  We shall conquer so many the more.” His confidence and positive outlook were more encouraging than a thousand spears.”  — Author Unknown


“Hold the Fort, for I Am Coming!”
D. L. Moody

I am told that when General Sherman went through Atlanta towards the sea, he left in the fort in the Kennesaw Mountains a handful of men to guard some rations that he brought there.

General Hood got into the outer rear and attacked the fort, driving the men in from the exterior works into the inner works.  For a long time, the battle raged fearfully.

Half of the men were killed or wounded.  The general, who was in command, was wounded seven different times.  When they were about ready to run up the white flag and surrender the fort, Sherman got within fifteen miles.  Through the signal corps on the mountain, he sent the message, “Hold the fort.  I am coming.  W. T. Sherman.”  That message fired up the soldiers’ hearts, and they held the fort until reinforcements came.  The stronghold did not go into the hands of their enemies.

Mr. Bliss wrote a hymn entitled, “Hold the Fort for I am coming.”  We need to hold our “fort” and not give up serving the Lord.  Our Saviour is in command, and He is coming.

Ho!  My comrades, see the signal
Waving in the sky!
Reinforcements now appearing.
Victory is nigh!

Refrain:“
Hold the fort, for I am coming,”
Jesus signals still,
Wave the answer back to heaven,“
By Thy grace we will.”

See the mighty hosts advancing,
Satan leading on;
Mighty men around us falling.
Courage almost gone.
Refrain.

See the glorious banner waving.
Hear the bugle blow.
In our Leader’s name we’ll triumph
Over every foe.
Refrain.

Fierce and long the battle rages,
But our Help is near;
Onward comes our Great Commander,
Cheer, my comrades, cheer!
Refrain.

The BIBLE VIEW #861 — Life-changing Sin

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In This Issue:
Man and The First Sin
The Wages of Sin Loomed Overhead

Volume: 861     June 6, 2022
Theme: The First Sin

Are you reading the Bible every day?  If not, have the FREE Daily View Devotion e-mailed to you.  Learn something taught in a KJV chapter from a short commentary, read the chapter and more spiritual “meat” for the hungry soul. Sign-up at https://lp.constantcontactpages.com/su/a26cc9M

Three FREE forms of the Bible View weekly newsletter are available to reach more with sound, biblical doctrine.  They are the ministry version, suitable for church bulletin inserts or handouts, the e-mail version, and LARGE PRINT editions.  They are available at: http://www.openthoumineeyes.com/newsletters.html


Man and the First Sin
Bill Brinkworth

Sin’s first commission is the one event that changed the history of man.  Genesis 2-3 details the first sin and how it affected the first people on Earth and all following generations. 

Here is the biblical account of the first sin:
God made man from the dust of the ground.  We find that when God made man, His creation was placed in a garden, which was probably created on the third day.  The beautiful place of plenty was called the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:8).  Eden was most likely located east of the Mediterranean Sea and West of the Persian Gulf.  Although the exact spot is unknown today, it was near the Euphrates River, joined by three ancient rivers.

We also find one crucial detail about God’s prize creation, man.  We learn of a feature of man that no other creature that God created had.  The first man was Adam, and he was made with a living soul (Gen. 2:7).
“And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” Gen. 2:7

His Creator immediately gave Adam responsibilities.  Some of the man’s jobs were to take care of the Garden God gave him (Gen. 2:15) and to name the animals (Gen. 2:19-20). 

The first man was also given his first commandment from His Creator.  Although Adam could eat any of the fruits in the Garden, he was forbidden to eat from the “Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil” (Gen. 2:17).  Adam was warned that he would die if he ate of the forbidden tree’s fruit!
“But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” Gen. 2:17

We do not know what kind of fruit it bore.  It could have been an apple, a pear, or some exotic fruit.  Most people imagine the fruit was an apple only because that is what an artist painted many years ago.

Although the other animals had companions, the man had none.  God saw that it was not good that man was alone (Gen. 2:18).  The Creator put Adam to sleep and took one of his ribs (Gen. 2:16).  God closed up the incision on the man’s side and made Adam a companion from that rib.  When God brought what He had made to Adam, the man called her “Woman,” which means “she was taken from Man” (Gen. 2:23).  Now Adam had someone with whom he could share his life and work.  They were husband and wife (Gen. 2:25), naked and not ashamed of it.

In the Garden, there was a deceitful and crafty (“subtil”) serpent.  That snake did not slither on its belly as we see them do today (Gen. 3:14), and it talked (Gen. 3:1).  Perhaps, at the time, other creatures in the Garden also talked.

The sneaky serpent was Satan.  We know that the serpent was Satan, as he is called a serpent in Rev. 12:9.  Throughout the Bible, we see Satan’s intervention as one who tries to get mankind to do contrary to what God commands us not to do. He also is a deceiver (I Chron. 21:1, II Cor. 11:3, Rev. 20:2, 10).
“And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” Rev.  12:9.

Satan had a plan to get the man and his wife to break God’s commandment.  He got Eve to question what God commanded Adam not to do.
“Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made.  And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” Gen. 3:1.

The serpent’s ploy confused Eve, as she had only heard God’s commandment indirectly from Adam.  She incorrectly re-iterated to Satan what God had said to Adam.  God never told Adam not to touch the tree.  Adam was to tend (“dress”) the trees, so he had probably come in contact with the tree.  He was told not to eat the fruit of the tree.
And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: 3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.” Gen. 3:2-3.

Satan continued with his deception.  He got Eve to think that God was not telling the truth and that she surely would not die if she ate of the tree (Gen. 3:4).  The enemy of God advanced his attack by convincing Eve that God did not want them to eat the fruit because if they did, they would know good and evil and be as “gods.”  She was also tempted by the idea that she could be like God.
“For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” Gen. 3:5 

Eve fell for Satan’s trickery.  She ate the fruit and gave it to Adam to eat.  Although the woman was deceived, Adam also partook of the fruit.  That brief moment of his disobedience to God’s commandment changed his and Eve’s life, the world, and much that was in it.  It was the biggest disaster that ever happened on this planet!  The first sin was committed.
”And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.”  I Tim.  2:14

Sin is the most destructive activity on Earth.  It has ruined, destroyed, changed, and shortened lives.  Iniquity has broken hearts, sent billions of souls to Hell, separated man from God, and had many other disastrous results.  Because of Adam and Eve’s disobedience, sin was now in the world!  The world would never be the same!

The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil did not have to be there.  God put it there for a reason.  It was an opportunity for the man and his wife to trust God and do what He had commanded.  There was always and will always be a temptation to do wrong.  It is always up to individuals to make the right decisions and not submit to temptation.

Although we have not walked and talked with God in person, as did Adam and Eve, we still have commandments that we should obey.  The Bible is the source where we can learn al of sHis commandments. 

Many of them we have already learned.  We know that lying is against God’s commandment.  We know that stealing is wrong.  It is also understood that it is wrong to disobey our parents.  Most may know what is right and wrong, but when they purposely commit those sins, we are deciding, as did Adam and Eve, to disobey God.

We can see how Adam and Eve ruined their relationship with God and hurt themselves, but we do the same too often.  We may think that what the first man and woman did was more serious than our disobedience to God’s commandments; however, our sin is a life-changing iniquity in God’s eyes.  Sin is against God.   It hurts us and others around us, as did the first sin.

“If God put Adam out of the earthly Eden on account of one sin, do you
think He will let us into the Paradise above with our tens of thousands
of sins upon us?”
 — D. L. Moody

The Wage of Sin Loomed Overhead
C. H. Spurgeon

I am reminded of the story of Dionysius, the tyrant.  He wished to punish the one who had displeased him.  He invited him to a noble feast.

Rich were the foods that were spread upon the table and rare the wines he was invited to drink.  A chair was placed at the head of the table, and the guest was seated upon it.

Horror of horrors!  The feast might have been rich, but the guest was miserable.  However splendid was the array of servants and rich the dainties, yet he who had been invited sat there in agony.  For what reason?  Because over his head hung a sword; a furbished sword, suspended by a single hair.  He sat with the sword above him, with nothing but a hair between him and death.  You may conceive the poor man’s misery.  He could not escape; he had to sit where he was.  How could he feast?  How could he rejoice?

My unconverted hearer, thou art today in a similar position.  You have all thy riches and thy wealth before thee, and with the comforts of a home and the joys of a household.  You are in a place from which thou canst not escape.  The sword of death hangs above thee.  It is prepared to descend; and woe unto thee, when it shall cleave thy soul from thy body.  Canst thou yet make mirth and yet procrastinate?  If thou canst, then surely thy sin is presumptuous in a high degree.

The BIBLE VIEW #860 — Gratefulness

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In This Issue:
Be Grateful
Be Thankful
Count Your Blessings
Be Thankful for…

Volume: 860     May 30, 2022
Theme: Gratefulness  

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Be Grateful
Bill Brinkworth

Christians too often get so encumbered with the cares of this world that they forget who they are and what they have.  They have the promise of Heaven, a caring heavenly Father, His guidance and protection, hope, blessings none of us deserve, and we know God’s truths (or should).  With all we have, we still forget we are on the winning side and how good God is to us.

The well-known Psalm 95:1 is an encouraging eraser for the “woe is me” or “everything is so terrible in my life” attitudes. That verse suggests that instead of complaining, we should “sing” to the Lord.
“O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.” Psalm 95:1

“Sing,” besides singing a song, means to shout aloud for joy, cry out, be joyful, rejoice, and triumph.  The negative poor-mouthing we often utter spurns defeat quickly and robs one of hope. However, if we find something to be joyful about and exclaim the victories we have gotten, our attitude will change. 

Even singing a hymn will help one return to being grateful and appreciative. The rest of the scripture verse also removes the excuse for not “singing” because they believe they have an unworthy voice. Verse 1 says to make a joyful noise if that’s all you can muster.  It’s not the quality of the “song,” it’s the exuberant, thankful heart that glorifies a great God and not the stumbling blocks we dote over.

There was a time when I found myself in the dumps. All I could see were the obstacles and defeats that I encountered. To flip the doldrums around, I sat down and made a list. In the blank leaf in the back of my Bible, I made a list of victories and things I had. It included salvation, a good wife, a home, a church family, and on and on went my inventory of blessings. After reading what I had written several times, I forgot about all I did not have and was most grateful for God’s goodness in my life. To this day, whenever I find myself being ungrateful, I reread that list. It is my “song” that helps me remember how good God is to me.


Be Thankful
Bill Brinkworth

Many of the Psalms reminds believers to be thankful for a mighty God and all He has done for His people.  Psalm 135 is no different.  The chapter starts with “Praise ye the Lord,” and it ends with the same reminder.

Old Testament and New Testament believers should have one grateful emotion in common. We both have so much to be thankful. There are so many reasons we should praise the Lord. 

Some of which we should appreciate the Lord include:

  • His controlling of the weather (Psalm 135:7).
  • God’s deliverance of Egpyt’s bondage of Israel (Psalm 135:8). Today’s believers also need to be thankful for safety in this life and liberation from sin.
  • The miracles God allowed to happen in lives (Psalm 135:9).
  • Deliverance from enemies (Psalm 135:10-11).
  • The land God gave Israel (Psalm 135:12)!  We also need to be grateful for the freedoms and opportunities we still have.
  • His enduring faithfulness to His people (Psalm 135:13).
  • His future judgments (Psalm 135:14). Many believe they have gotten away with their sin or wrong-doing. They have not. Judgment day has not yet come for them, but it will one day!

All have so much for which to praise the Lord. Unfortunately, the majority are blind to His working in their lives.

“The praise that comes of love does not make us vain, but humble rather.”  
— Barrie


Count Your Blessings
Hymn by Johnson Oatman (1897)

1 When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Refrain:
Count your blessings, name them one by one;
Count your blessings, see what God hath done;
Count your blessings, name them one by one;
Count your many blessings, see what God hath done.

2 Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, ev’ry doubt will fly,
And you will be singing as the days go by.  [Refrain]

3 When you look at others with their lands and gold,
Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold;
Count your many blessings, money cannot buy
Your reward in Heaven, nor your home on high.  [Refrain]

4 So, amid the conflict, whether great or small,
Do not be discouraged, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.  [Refrain]

“Count your blessings, not your troubles, and it will make you grateful rather than discouraged!” — Bill Brinkworth


Be Thankful for…
Bill Brinkworth

Much of the good in our lives comes from the benevolent hands of God. However, He gets so little credit for what He has done. Psalm 107, along with many other hymns found in the Psalms, reminds the singer to proclaim to the unrealizing world what we are thankful for.

This chapter alone starts eight of its 43 verses with “O give thanks.” Five times “praise” is used, and five times God’s “goodness” is mentioned in Psalm 107. There is a great focus on counting our blessings and being thankful for what He has done in our life.

Among a plethora of what we should be grateful for, this chapter reminds us to be thankful for God’s:

  • Goodness (Psalm 107:1, 8-9, 21, 31).
  • Mercy (Psalm 107:1). The previous chapter also reminded believers of God’s generous, undeserved mercy.
    “Praise ye the LORD.  O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.” Psalm 106:1
  • Redemption and deliverance (Psalm 107:2, 6, 8, 10, 13-14, 16, 19-20, 28). Our salvation is redeemed by the blood of Jesus, and many times our situation is bought by the work of our mighty, protecting God.
  • Guidance, as He led, provided, and directed Israel (Psalm 107:3-5, 7, 9).
  • Changing situations (Psalm 10:24-27, 29-30, 33-38, 41) that hinder His people.

Israel’s worship songs often were reminders of what they should be appreciative. Although America has a holiday dedicated to being thankful (Thanksgiving Day), ALL people, especially Christians, should be grateful every minute of every day. Just think where we would be if He withdrew His goodness to us. We certainly would be most miserable.

Give thanks to the Almighty that has done so much for you.  Write on a piece of paper or a blank page at the back of your Bible things for which you are thankful. When times are more challenging, just a glance at those reminders of His goodness to you will help a grateful attitude return to an encouraged spirit.  Some even keep a journal of all the wonderful things God has done in their lives. We should never forget the mighty help of our God in our lives.

Thank you, Lord!

“The worship most acceptable to God comes from a thankful and cheerful heart.”Plutarch

The BIBLE VIEW #859 — Religion

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In This Issue:
Be of Christ, Not of Man
Don’t Follow the Religious.  Be the Righteous!
Real “Religion”
Avoid It Not
The Real Thing
When to Go

Volume: 859     May 16, 2022
Theme: “Religion”  

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Be of Christ, Not of Man
Bill Brinkworth

In the early church at Corinth, they had a problem that occurs even today within a church family.  The new church had some declare allegiance to the one who baptized them (I Corinthians 1:12).

Today, one hears of similar allegiances.  Instead of those claiming to follow the teachings of early church leaders and biblical principles, we hear of some claiming to be “Ruckmannites,” “Calvinists,” “Jimmy Swaggart”s, or another popular preacher they model their religious doctrines after.  Even a denominational name is used to make it sound like their association with them shows they are as correct as they think their leadership is.

A spiritual leader may be close to God and even faithful to biblical teachings, but following any man closely does not guarantee anyone else will be biblically correct.  A church label may indicate generally believed doctrines, but each congregation and member may have different beliefs.

I attend a Baptist church.  I believe that historically Baptist beliefs have been one of the closest to what the Bible teaches.  However, many Baptist congregations are as dead as a doorknob.  Some of them have had “Ichabod” spiritually engraved as their epitaph.  God has long ago departed from them.  Most “religious” labels mean very little.

What labels often do, however, is create divisions among the brethren (I Corinthians 1:11).  The contentions these divisions create often make a ministry have a poor testimony to those around it.  Ultimately, disputes among Christians give the Lord a bad testimony. 

Can you imagine what the unsaved must think of a church that cannot get along with each other?  “They’re Christians, and they can’t get along with each other.  I certainly don’t want to be a Christian if I end up like that!”

Paul reminded those fighting among themselves that Christ was not divided.  If we are born again, we are on the same side.  Above all, our testimony that the world should see should be only one label.  That label should be “Christian” — or “Christ-like.”

Men will argue about their religion; write about it; fight for it; die for it; anything, but live for it.”  — C. Colton


Don’t Follow the Religious.  Be the Righteous!
Bill Brinkworth

Pharisees were a powerful, controlling Jewish group that boasted about and led “spiritual” activities in Jesus’ time.  They were known for their separation from the scripturally “unclean” practices of the worldly Gentiles.  Their understanding came from the intellectual scribes that had much to do with explaining and preserving the Scriptures.  At the time, if anyone were considered to be “godly” people, certainly it would have been the Pharisees. 

However, Jesus had much to say against that sect.  They were some of the “religious” people that opposed Jesus and tried to stop His preaching.  That group taught contrary to what the Word of God taught.  It was the Pharisees that led people in the wrong direction about spiritual matters.

John 8 tells much of what Jesus knew about this religious, but unrighteous, group including:

  • Their judgments and discernments of what they saw and heard were often determined by their weak flesh and not by God’s influence (John 8:15).
  • They did not know God (John 8:19).  Although this group was known for their wisdom of the Scriptures, Jesus knew that they were not of God.  They did not even know the true God, and He was not their Father (John 8:44).
  • Their garb and practices led people to believe they were religious, but Jesus knew that they were not of God, but of the devil (John 8:23, 44).
  • Their man-made “religion” would not save them.  Unless they believed and trusted in Jesus alone, they would die and face judgment for their sins (John 8:24).
  • They did not realize that they were held captive by their sins.  They were not spiritually free (John 8:31-37).
  • The truth of God did not direct their lives (John 8:37).  They were not obedient to the Word of God they had claimed to follow (John 8:37-39).

Today, the Pharisees may not control us, but we still have “religious” among us that are not righteous.  Even if they are faithful in going to church, doing “spiritual” things, or even talk the “Christian talk,” they may be as spiritually dead as were the Pharisees. 

The Bible reveals that the errors of today’s unrighteous “religious” are much the same as the Pharisees that Jesus rebuked.  “Religion” does not save or change anyone!  Only a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and trusting and obeying God’s Word will change a person — from the inside out!

“The chief danger that confronts the coming century will be religion without the Holy Ghost, Christianity without Christ, forgiveness without repentance, salvation without regeneration, politics without God, Heaven without Hell.”
— General William Booth, Founder of the Salvation Army


Real “Religion”
J. Newton

The “religion” of some people is forced, something they feel obligated to do, not necessarily wanting to do.  Those people are like those that cause themselves to take a cold shower.  They take it not for pleasure but for necessity and health.  Reluctantly, they go into the frigid waters and are glad when they get out. 

Real “religion” to a true believer is like water to a fish.  It is his element.  He lives in it, and he could not be happy without it.

“Real ‘religion’ is a personal relationship with the resurrected Redeemer, not man-made, ritualistic routines under the guise of pleasing God.”
— Author Unknown


Avoid It Not
John Bate

Man does not refuse to cross the ocean because of its storms, travel by air because of accidents, or fight on the battlefield because of weaponry and deaths.  Nor does he fail to study science and philosophy because of their mysteries.  Likewise, man should not refuse to learn and practice God-ordered Christianity because of the various difficulties connected with it and by obeying His commandments.

“He must increase, but I must decrease.”  John 3:30


The Real Thing
John Bate

  • One real dollar bill is worth a thousand counterfeits, however dim, wrinkled, and worn the genuine is.
  • One good, fruitful tree in an orchard is far more valuable than scores of trees, which may have beauty, but no fruit.
  • One genuine Christian, to God and the world, is worth a thousand hypocrites.
  • One acceptable prayer to God does more than the million that He rejects, even if the righteous’ prayer is simple, broken, and unpolished.

“I don’t like to use the label ‘religious’, as it usually brings up connotations of something man-made, not necessarily God-ordained.  I prefer the term “biblical.” — Bill Brinkworth


When to Go
John Bate

When considering being saved, some people imagine they should bring themselves into a condition of moral excellence before they seek salvation.  That is like:

  • A sick person waiting until he is well before he sees the physician;
  • Or an invalid waiting until he fully recovers before he seeks a change of air and place;
  • Or a hungry man waiting until his appetite is satisfied before he sits down to eat;
  • Or a person shivering with cold, waiting until he is warm before he lights a fire.

You go to the physician because you are sick, to the fresh air to improve your health, to the food because you are hungry, and to the fire because you are cold.  In the same way, you should seek the Saviour as you are because you have a great need.

“All that the Father giveth me [Jesus] shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” John 6:37

The BIBLE VIEW #858 — Drifting Away

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In This Issue:
Keep from Backsliding — Again!
Hymn Writer Loses Joy of Salvation
Go to the Devil

Volume: 858    May 9, 2022
Theme: Drifting Away  

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Keep From Backsliding – Again!
Bill Brinkworth

If there is a point when a Christian says, “I used to do” some spiritual feat that they are not doing any longer, chances are they are backslidden.  They may be “slidden” away from the spiritual height they once were. 

Some of the common “I used to do’s” include: I used to attend church, read my Bible, have a prayer life, go on visitation, teach a Sunday school class, fast, have a closer relationship with the Lord than I do now, and on the list can go.  If they are honest, every Christian will omit that they have been in a backslidden condition more than once.

Sometimes, not only can an individual be farther away from God than they were in the past, but also a nation or people can.   Such was the case with the people of Israel, as can be read in the book of Nehemiah.

The main center of Israel’s worship, Jerusalem, was deserted and in disarray in Nehemiah’s day.  No longer did its temple host sacrifices and the worshipping of God.  The place of worship was destroyed, as were the city’s walls and gates.  Streets were cluttered with debris.  No longer was the city used for worship because the people were backslidden away from their Creator.

God raised up a man, Nehemiah, who had the burden and fortitude to rebuild the center for worship.  It was difficult rebuilding the city.  Individuals opposed him.  The government tried to stop him.

As hopeless as the situation first appeared, others quickly joined him in the battle to return the city to what it should have been.  The people came out and joined him in the reconstruction. 

When the enemies increased, the rebuilding became more difficult.  There were times they built with one arm and wielded a weapon in the other to protect themselves.  However, the task got completed.  The place for worship was repaired and ready to be used.

As in any “backslidden” condition, it is hard to return to where one once was.  Reconstruction can be more difficult than the original “construction” in an individual’s life.  When people decide to return to where they once were with God, it is difficult to do, as Nehemiah realized.  The only way out of the backslidden condition is to do hard work, as did Nehemiah and the other Israelites.

After one has returned to the level he had once been, there is still a danger of backsliding again.  Nehemiah knew this, and after the city was rebuilt, he took several steps to make it difficult for the same disarray to happen to his people’s lives and worship. Those measures included:

  • Returning to proper worship.  Nehemiah’s situation differed from ours, as in his day they were under the law.  Still, he made sure that all who served in the temple were qualified by their lineage to be in the priesthood and were willing to worship correcrtly.

To return from a backslidden condition, we must make sure we worship properly in a good, Bible-obeying church.  Many get far from God, and when they want to get closer to Him, they pick the same worship (or lack thereof) that may have helped them get into the far-from God condition initially.  The spiritually wrong leaders or way of worship may lead them in the same wrong direction.  

When attempting to return to the Lord, make sure worship or the place you attend, has godly guidance.  Many have wanted to turn back to God, but the liberal, watered-down preaching they heard never included enough of the Word of God to guide them away from their backslidden condition.

  • Making changes.  Nehemiah’s charges had to stop their sin and get back to obedience to God.

No one can have two masters.  We cannot serve ourselves and God.  It must only be God that we serve, or we can end up far from Him.  The same selfish decisions that got us in the spiritual condition before will get us there again if we do not make the right choices!
“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”  Matthew 6:24

  • Scripture.  Today, reading the Word of God is one of the most important measures one can take to prevent spiritual decline.

The source God has left behind for us to know His will and way is in the preserved King James Bible (for English-speaking people).  It has been kept so we would know what God desires of us. 

The Word of God cannot be replaced by opinions, Christian radio or television, or other media.  Although those sources can be a spiritually positive influence, we must read God’s Word ourselves.  Without doing so, we will not know God’s will and way. Too many have gotten far from God because they trusted another to feed them spiritually.  Because the spiritual “food” was tainted and not feeding one spiritually, they were not strong enough to make the right decisions.

  • Obeying God’s Word.  There is no way to return to God unless we follow, by faith, what God speaks to our hearts about and shows us in His Word.  Obedience is the difference between the “used to be”s and the ones sitting in the front row pew and serving God in a ministry.  The only way to get closer to God is to obey Him!
  • Remembering the spiritual errors they made in the past so they would not be repeated.

Ex-backsliders must know what they did to get themselves in the far-from-God position.  It will seldom be “he made me do it”, or “it wasn’t my fault”.  Usually, it is personal decisions that got us into a not-obeying-God-state.  We could have always said “no” to temptations.



Some paid a tremendous price to say “no” to disobedience.  They may have lost their job, friends, social standing, or even their lives, but they chose to obey.  To prevent backsliding, one must take responsibility for what was done wrong against God and avoid it in the future.  Seldom, if ever, are we “victims” in not obeying God.

As a Christian, we can follow and obey God every single day of our lives, but we will always have a weakness that we will have to battle the entirety of our lives.  That weakness is our sinful nature.  We may be forgiven, but we can quickly follow that nature and not God. 

When we obey God, we please Him.  Disobedience will cause us to backslide from a close fellowship with God.  There is always hope for a return to a close relationship with Him.  One should leave the self-life and return to the spirit-led life.  Do all you can to avoid backsliding again!

Christian, are you backslidden?  Come on home!



Hymn Writer Loses Joy of Salvation
H. Bosch

Robert Robinson, author of the hymn “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing,” lost the happy communion with the Saviour he had once enjoyed. In his declining years, he wandered into the byways of sin.  As a result, Mr. Robinson became deeply troubled in his spirit.  Hoping to relieve his mind, he traveled.

In his journeys, he talked with a young woman about spiritual matters.  She asked him what he thought of a hymn she had just been reading.  To his astonishment, it was none other than his own composition.  He tried to evade her questions, but she continued to press him for a response.

Suddenly, he wept.   With tears streaming down his cheeks, he said, “I am the man who wrote that hymn many years ago.  I’d give anything to experience again the joy I knew then.” 

Although greatly surprised, she reassured him that the “streams of mercy” mentioned in his song still flowed.  Mr. Robinson was deeply touched.  Turning his “wandering heart” to the Lord, he was restored to full fellowship.

Come, Thou Fount
Hymn writer Robert Robinson

(1) Come, Thou Fount of ev’ry blessing, Tune my heart to sing Thy grace; Streams of mercy, never ceasing, Call for songs of loudest praise.  Teach me some melodious sonnet, Sung by flaming tongues above; Praise the mount — I’m fixed upon it — Mount of Thy redeeming love.

(3) O to grace how great a debtor, Daily I’m constrained to be!  Let Thy goodness, like a fetter, Bind my wandering heart to Thee: Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, Prone to leave the God I love; Here’s my heart, O take and seal it; Seal it for Thy courts above.

“Inbred corruption is the worst corruption.  ‘Lord,’ said Augustine, ‘deliver me from my worst enemy, that wicked man — myself.’”— Spurgeon


Go to the Devil
Author Unknown

Before the turn of the last century, an ardent and dedicated Christian wrote a tract entitled “Come to Jesus.” It became famous and influenced many for Christ.

Later, he became engaged in a theological dispute.  In reply to a publication against his tract by an opponent, he wrote an article bristling with sharp and cutting words.  Looking for a title, he asked his friend.  His friend wisely suggested: “Call it ‘Go to the Devil’ by the Author of ‘Come to Jesus.’”  The writer destroyed the article.

“When a man, who professes to be converted, says that he goes into the world and sin for pleasure, it is as if an angel went to Hell for enjoyment.”  
— Spurgeon