The BIBLE VIEW #873 — Your Testimony

In This Issue:
He Says He’s a Soldier
What Others See
“It Will Always Shine!”

Volume: 873     August 29, 2022
Theme:  Testimony

Theme: Drifting Away  

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He Says He’s a Soldier
Bill Brinkworth

“You’re sure you’re a soldier?” I queried.

“Yes, sir,” quipped the slovenly dressed young man in civilian clothes.

“Where’s your uniform?”

“Well,” he explained, “I don’t wanna be like everyone else.  I never even bought one.”

“Hmm,” I scratched my head.  “If you’re a soldier, certainly you must have read the soldiers’ training manual.”

“No, never read it at all.”

“You’re a soldier, don’t have a uniform, and never even read the training manual?” I was really perplexed now.  “Certainly, you’ve attended boot camp?”

“No, never had the time.  I always had something to do when the Army wanted me to go.”

“And you’re sure you’re a United States Army soldier?”

“Yes, sir.  I’m very proud to serve my country.  Whenever they need me, they can count on me,” was his proud answer.

“I’m a little confused.  You say you’re a soldier but never wore the uniform, read any procedure manuals, or attended training.  Did you ever fight in any battles?”

“Oh, no.  They wouldn’t let me because I never attended boot camp.  But when they have a war, I’ll be there.”

“Hmmm.” I just had to ask, “Well, what makes you so sure you’re a soldier?”

“I must admit, it seems strange that I haven’t done things most soldiers do.  But, you see, my father was in the service.  His father was also in the Army, and I believe even his father was.  So everyone just knows I’m a soldier, too.”

This fictitious scenario is echoed thousands of times through a similar testimony of professing Christians.  They claim they are a child of God, but do not think, believe, dress, or behave like one.  They never read God’s training manual, the Bible, never faithfully attend church, and are not observed doing anything spiritual.  They are in the battle and have lost, but they do not know it has even started.

God’s Word clearly teaches one way to be saved.  It is not my method or yours that will get one into Heaven.  It is His Heaven, and there is only one way there; His way.

That way is to know we are sinners, as Romans 3:23 clarifies: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”  Because of our sin, none of us has pleased God, and an eternal punishment awaits them.  Romans 6:23 states: “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

There is good news, however.  Although we are sinners and heading for Hell, Christ died for our sins and paid for them (Romans 5:8).  The proper way to get to Heaven is to accept His payment for all our iniquities.  After believing that,  we have God’s promise that we will go to Heaven: “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved (Romans 10:13).” That is God’s way to be with Him forever.

Being a Christian will soon be a public affair.  People will see that the Holy Spirit has made some changes in one’s life.  Family and friends will see moral practices replacing old wicked routines and habits.  It will be evident where the Christian will be on Sunday.  His Bible will also no longer be dusty.

It will no longer be a guessing game to determine if one is a Christian when one is genuinely saved.  The changes in his life and lifestyle will make it clear that he is “born again.” He will be proud to be enlisted in God’s army and will make it evident by looking and acting like a real Christian soldier.

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16


What Others See
Bill Brinkworth

One of the most valuable assets a Christian can have is his testimony.  What others think of him is often what they see him do, how he reacts in certain situations, and how they believe a Christian should live (although their view may not always be accurate).  Paul gave some advice in Ephesians 4  on how to preserve that testimony.  Some of his advice included:

  • Do not live like the rest of the world and put the wrong value on things that are really unimportant (Eph. 4:17-18).
  • Do not lust after things of this world and be consumed with greed for them (Eph. 4:19).
  • Do not let your conversation with others be about lust for this world’s things (Eph. 4:22).
  • Live a righteous life and strive to be a good example (Eph. 4:24).
  • Let your conversation be honest and do not lie (Eph. 4:25).
  • If you get angry, get it right with those involved before the sun goes down (Eph. 4:26).
  • Do not get close to sin and allow the devil to destroy your testimony (Eph. 4:27).
  • Do not steal, but work hard for what you want (Eph. 4:28).
  • Be careful of the words you utter, making sure what you say helps others (Eph.  4:29).
  • Do not sadden the indwelling Holy Spirit by sinning (Eph. 4:30).
  • Do not allow the sins of bitterness, violence, anger, and evil speaking to be part of your life (Eph. 4:31).
  • Be kind to others (Eph. 4:32).

As hard as we try, some will always see our example as wrong, no matter how we adhere to the above advice and other godly principles.  Although it is impossible to please all the people all the time, we have a responsibility to have the best testimony possible.  

Our example is not so much about what others think about us, but what others think about Christ by our example.  We are often all the unsaved will ever see about Christ.  Will they determine they do not want to be a Christian because of what they observed in our behavior, or will they consider being one because of how we live our lives?

Your walk talks louder than your talk talks.


It Will Always Shine!”
Author Unknown

A traveler once visiting the lighthouse at Calais said to the keeper, “What if one of your lights should go out at night?”

“Never!  Impossible!” he exclaimed.  “Sir, yonder are the ships sailing to all parts of the world.  If tonight one of my burners went out, in six months, I would hear from America, or India, saying that on such a night, the lights at Calais lighthouse gave no warning, and some vessel had been wrecked.  Lives could be lost because of my neglect.  Ah sir, I sometimes feel, when I look upon my lights, as if the eyes of the entire world are fixed upon me.  Go out!  Burn dim?  Never!  Impossible!”

What a lesson that man’s commitment and fervor should be to the Christian!  The Christian must remember he is a spiritual lighthouse for the world to observe.  Let then his “light” be full, bright, and clear.  The moment he neglects it and leaves his “lamps” untrimmed, some poor soul, struggling amid the waves of temptation, for lack of a beacon of example to light his way, may be dashed upon the rocks of destruction.

“I have ever deemed it more honorable and more profitable to set a good example than to follow a bad one.”  Thomas Jefferson

The BIBLE VIEW #868 — Death for A Christian

In This Issue:
Looking Forward to Heaven
A Christian’s Philosophy of Heaven
Thoughts of Death
Heaven’s Roll Call
Going to “Bed”
How Does the Bible Tell One to be Saved from Hell?

Volume: 868     July 25, 2022
Theme:  Death for a Christian

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Looking Forward to Heaven
Bill Brinkworth

No one will escape the one part of life that is scary to many: death (unless the rapture occurs first, and the person is saved!).  Because of the uncertainty, everyone wonders what happens when their body dies?

For the born-again child of God, there is hope and a promise for life after death (II Corinthians 5:2).  The Bible does not mention, as some cults teach, that when one dies, they breathe their last breath and their “life” is over.  Death will not be the end, however, because everyone has a soul that will live forever.  It will live forever in either Heaven or Hell.

Because of God’s promise about Heaven, many “groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven:” (II Cor. 5:2).   The writer of that verse, Paul, was busy for the Lord while he was here on this Earth, and was expectantly awaiting his eternity in Glory.  So many Christians, while battling infirmities, hardships, and heartaches here, look forward to Heaven — a place of eternal joy.

One reason Paul looked forward to Heaven was one that today’s believers should also long for.  That reason is now we live by faith (II Cor. 5:7), but in Glory, the believer will live by sight.  We must trust God’s Word and not always physically see its promises are true.  One day, however, we will see all the glorious things God has promised come to pass.

With all the positive things to look forward to, Paul, and all Christians, should not be afraid of their eternal future.  When our body gives its last breath in this world, we may be “absent from the body,” but we will be instantly “present with the Lord” (II Cor. 5:8).  We have God’s Word on that!

For the child of God, death is the entranceway to Heaven.  For the one that has not trusted in Christ’s death as payment for their sins, it is the beginning of their real problems!


A Christian’s Philosophy of Heaven
Bill Brinkworth

Most people, Christians included, have much fear and anxiety about their death.  Paul had a much different outlook on his.  His attitude was that his life here on Earth was more important to others than to him (Philippians 1:24).  He considered death a gain rather than a great loss.
“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:21

That is a different view than those living for the party scene.  They look forward to constant excitement and a busy life.  If they did not have ever-changing activities, they would not be happy.  The thought of death and the next life would not be something they would look forward to, as it would differ from what gratifies them.  They would fear an eternal future where they were not the center of attention.

One seeking political power and money is also satisfied when he is running things, and his voice is the one changing the way people live.  Those people would also not be content in Heaven, where God is the only ruling power, and His will is the only one that matters.

A Christian, however, should have a completely different view of his eternal future, as did Paul.  This life is not our permanent home; we’re just “pilgrims passing through.”  While we are alive, we have a purpose of being a good testimony for the cause of Christ and serving the Lord any way we can.

If we have done what the Bible says one must do to have God’s promise of Heaven by being saved, we no longer have to fear eternity.  We can have great peace that the world does not have concerning this matter (Psalm 119:165).  We may even find ourselves like Paul, longing to be with the Lord but content serving Him while we are here.
“For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:” Philippians 1:23

This world is the land of the dying; the next, for the believer, is the land of the living.” Tryon


Thoughts of Death
C. H. Spurgeon

History tells us Peter Waldo of Lyons was sitting at a banquet as thoughtless and careless as any of the attendees when, suddenly, one at the table bowed his head and died.  Waldo was startled and went home to seek his God.  He searched the Scriptures and became a great helper of the Waldensian church, which in the Alpine valleys kept the lamp of the Gospel burning when all around was veiled in “night.” A whole church of God was thus strengthened and perpetuated by the influence of death upon a single mind.

Luther, in his younger days, while walking with his friend Alexis, saw him struck to the ground by a flash of lightning. His experience worked in his heart to urge him to study and examine the doctrine of justification by faith. This studying helped him to be the liberator of Europe from papal bondage.

How much we owe to this weighty subject! Among the earnest, prayerful, and holy, many admit that the thoughts of death have brought them spiritual health. Men have been helped to live by remembering that they must die: yea, some men knew nothing of the highest form of life till death aroused them from their deadly slumbers.


Heaven’s Roll Call
D. L. Moody

A wounded soldier lay dying on his cot. Suddenly, the death-like stillness of the room was broken by the cry, “Here! Here!” burst from the dying man’s lips.

Friends rushed to the spot and asked what he wanted. “Hark,” he said, “they are calling the roll in Heaven, and I am answering to my name.” In a few moments, he whispered, “Here!” and passed into the presence of the King.

“Death to the Christian is the funeral of all his sorrows and evils, and the resurrection of all his joys.”   — Aughey


Going to “Bed”
C. H. Spurgeon

The child has to go to bed but does not cry because its mother has gone upstairs with it. It is quite dark, but what of that? The mother’s eyes are lamps to the child. Is it very lonely and still? Not so; the mother’s arms are the child’s company, and her voice is its music.

Oh, Lord, when the hour comes for me to go to “bed,” I know thou wilt take me there and speak lovingly into my ear.  Therefore, I cannot fear but will, with faith and hope, even look forward to that hour of thy manifested love.

Each hour my pulses, like soft drums.
Beat my approach, dear Lord, to thee;
If quick or slow my marches be,
Ere long I shall sit down by Thee.  — Author Unknown


How Does the Bible Tell One to be Saved from Hell?

  1. Know that you are a sinner: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” Romans 3:23  Also: Romans 5:12, I John 1:10.
  2. Hell is the payment for all that have sinned. “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Rom. 6:23
    “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:” Romans 5:12
  3. BUT, there is good news!  Jesus’ death on the cross is the payment for the sins of all that call upon Him for salvation! Just ask Him to save you!
    “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” Romans 10:9
    “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Rom. 10:13

“Our road has a hopeless end unless we follow an endless hope.”
— Author Unknown

The BIBLE VIEW #867 — Separation

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 #865 — Gossip

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

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 #856 — Patience

In This Issue:
Patience, according to the Bible
By Patience…
Has to Be Experienced
Wait Patiently
Bulb to Flower
Can You Do Better

Volume: 856    April 25, 2022
Theme: Patience

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Patience, According to the Bible
Bill Brinkworth

Patience is not a character trait that many strive to develop.  In this fast-paced world, more have to have it their way — now.  Any waiting involved will soon discourage or aggravate many.

People will not wait for what they think they should earn, so they leave a job rather than serve more time and be promoted.  Traffic jams frustrate many and tempers are often lost, resulting in their publically expressing their dissatisfaction.  Some will not attempt to curb their eating habits by persevering through difficult temptations, so they seek some pill or operation that will take the weight off of them immediately.  Others give up sitting on the sport’s bench, because others are playing, and they are not, so they quit.  Students do not have the fortitude to study for themselves, so they cheat on tests.  Impatience looms all around us.

Patience is spoken about much in the New Testament.  It is rarely mentioned in the Old Testament, perhaps because now, in an era that we are to live more by faith and less by sight, patience may be tested more.

Here are some Bible teachings about patience:

God is patient.
“Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus:” Rom. 15:5

Not all have patience.
“For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.” Heb. 10:36

Christians are to seek and have patience.
“But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.” I Tim.  6:11
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,” Heb. 12:1   Also: Eccl. 7:8, Tit. 2:2, I Thes. 5:14.

If people persevere in obedience to do what the Bible teaches, they will reap benefits.
“But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.” Luke 8:15   Also: Rev. 3:10.

If Christians will not quit through difficult times, and persevere, they will be more patient, better Christians, and will be stronger.
“Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.  4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” James 1:3-4
“Behold, we count them happy which endure.  Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.” James 5:11
And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope:” Rom. 5:3-4   Also: Rom. 15:4, Rom. 2:7, Rom.  12:12, Col. 1:11.

The Lord will help a Christian be more patient.
“And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.“ II Thes. 3:5

Patience in a Christian is a good testimony (example) of them personally and of Christianity.
“Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.” James 5:10   Also: II Thes. 1:4, I Tim. 3:3, Heb. 12:1.

Christians need to wait patiently on the Lord’s working and timing.
“And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.”  II Thes. 3:5  Also: James 5:7-8.

God knows of our patience, or lack of it.
“I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:” Rev. 2:2  Also: Rev. 2:3, 19.

Christians are never to stop being patient in living by faith (Heb. 11:6).
“Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;”   Also: Rom. 12:12.

Those in the ministry should have patience.
“And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,”  II Tim.  2:24
“But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses,” II Cor. 6:4  Also: I Tim. 3:3, I Tim.  6:1, James 5:10.

“The elevator to success is out of order. You’ll have to use the stairs, one step at a time.” — Author Unknown


By Patience …
Henry Smith, 1871

  • By patience, Job heard all the torments that the devil could heap upon him.
  • By patience, Jacob put up with a thousand wrongs from Laban and his children and never complained in 21 years before he departed.
  • By patience, Joseph forgave his brethren when he might have put them to death and gave them food when they feared revenge.
  • By patience, Christ suffered banishment, reproaches, and scourges until He went to His death, like a Lamb to the slaughter.

“Patience may be bitter, but its fruit is sweet.” — Rousseau


Has to Be Experienced
H. W. Beecher

There is no such thing as preaching patience to people unless the sermon is so long that they have to practice it while they hear.  No man can learn patience except by going out into the hurly-burly world and taking life just as it blows.  Patience is gained by staying with and riding out life’s hard-blowing trials.

“For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.” Heb. 10:36


Wait Patiently
Author Unknown

Wait, patiently wait,
God is never late;
The budding plans are in thy Father’s holding,
And only wait His Divine unfolding;
Then wait, patiently wait.


Bulb to Flower
H. W. Beecher

If my child asks me for a pretty tuberose, though I plant the bulb immediately, months elapse before he gets to see that flower.  Our prayers are not always answered immediately, not because God would tantalize us, but because the things we ask are often so large and require such a development that there will be a space of time between the asking and the getting.

“Trees that are slow to grow bear the best fruit.”  ― Moliere


Can You Do Better?
Author Unknown

A man’s car stalled in the heavy traffic as the light turned green.  All his efforts to start the engine failed, and a chorus of honking behind him made matters worse.  He finally got out of his car, walked back to the first driver, and said, “I’m sorry, but I can’t seem to get my car started.  If you’ll go up there and give it a try, I’ll stay here and blow your horn for you.”

The Bible View #847 — Our Time

In This Issue:
What’s Really Important?
Not Much Remained
Some Things Are Missing

Volume: 847      February 22, 2022
Theme: Our Time

The printable versions of THE BIBLE VIEW (including large print and church bulletin inserts) are available at https://www.openthoumineeyes.com/

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 to start receiving it.


What’s Really Important?
Bill Brinkworth

“Better is a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, than an house full of sacrifices with strife.” Proverbs 17:1

A friend of mine has a deep appreciation for the “quietness” spoken of in Proverbs 17:1.  He is a very hard worker.  No dust ever settles under his feet.  His fellow workers will attest to that.  However, there are times when he sits back and relaxes.  He drinks in peace and calm and marvels at how it soothes him.  He manages the right balance between work and having a quiet time.

So many have never experienced or have long forgotten what it is like to have “peace.”  They go, go, and go.  Their day starts in haste, and it ends that way.  Meals, work, school, football games, movies, dance recitals, and chores gobble up their time.  Days are scheduled so that one event after another is planned and that there is no free-time.  There is no quietness for them to relax, “smell the roses,” and enjoy the life God gave them. 

Relationships get neglected.  Because of not having spare time, there are never moments to get alone with their spouse, family, and friends.  Seldom is there ever a time to get apart with their God and learn His will, way, and direction.  One wonders if their “busyness” is a cover-up to avoid reflecting on actions and relationships with others and their Creator.

“Well, we have to do all we do to have what we have,” is often the explanation.  Indeed, those things cannot be obtained by sitting around with your feet propped up, but are all those things really necessary?  Is forfeiting time with family, yourself, and God worth the price you will pay?

The strife and turmoil created by being so busy leaves one empty and drained.  One may have done many wonderful things and have obtained many of their wants, but what have their sacrifices cost them?  Their children have gotten used to parents being too busy to spend time with them, so they created their own lives without their mothers and fathers.  Wives left alone by always working husbands have compensated by having their own life, excluding dates and personal time with their sposes.  Individuals, families, and eventually society grow apart because many self-absorbed people met their own goals and have excluded all others.

As this Proverb reminds us, it may be more enjoyable and profitable to have less (a “dry morsel”) than to have the ulcers and anxiety that often come from a jammed-packed life too busy to enjoy what they should. 

Re-evaluate what your priorities should be. Our lives should be more about people, relationships, and devotion to God than it is about things.  Enjoy quietness.


Not Much Remained
Bill Brinkworth

“Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow.  For what is your life?  It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” James 4:14

After the four-hour labor of three workers, a large area in a wooded area was cleared of trees and brush.  The waste was carried to one place.   A pile 18 feet in diameter and seven feet tall resulted from all that work.  It was a massive heap of trimmed branches and cut trees.

Although I originally intended to burn the heap, I deemed it too large to incinerate.  Instead, I ran the brush through my small wood chipper.

The job was massive and took three days.  After the hard work was complete, the remaining pile of chips was only four feet long and three-foot-high.  Hundreds of feet of trees and brush, when ground up, resulted in only a tiny heap of ¾” wood chips.  There was not much to show for the tree’s growth and our labor.

Several years previously, I had cleared another wooded area.  The resulting pile of small trees and brush was much smaller, about eight feet long and five feet tall.  It was burnt, and after the fire was out and the ashes cooled, there was barely enough of the plant remains to fill a five-gallon bucket.

One day, even this world will have little to show for all the building, civilizations, technology, lives, history, and accomplishments.  After the rapture, Great Tribulation (as recorded in The Revelation), and the 1,000-year millennial reign of Christ, the Earth will be “passed away” (II Peter 3:10, Mat. 24:35, Isaiah 65:17, Dan. 2:44).  Nothing will remain of all man had made for thousands of years. 

Elegant buildings, towering skyscrapers, technology, and all that remained on the Earth will be replaced by a new Earth that God will create.  It will be an Earth without the curse of sin.  All that man valued will be gone.  There will be little to show for humanity’s efforts.
“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 Also: Isaiah 65:17, I John 2:17.

Throughout our lives, we have eaten much, earned much, accomplished much, been to many places, experienced much, seen incredible things, met and talked to thousands of people, and made some difference in this world.  However, when our life is over, like the remnants of the trees and saplings and eventually the Earth, there will not be much left to show for our lives and efforts, just some bones in a casket or a small pile of dust.

Depressing, but a reality that little of man’s efforts will remain to show his existence.  However, there can be a glorious eternal future for all.  Those that are made “righteous” by believing and trusting Christ’s sacrificial death as payment for their sins can have an eternal life (John 3:16, 36, John 4:14, John 5:24, John 6:40).
“And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.” Mat. 25:46

What a waste of life to not invest one’s eternal soul in what will last for eternity (John 6:27).  The unsaved have put no faith or trust in God’s way of Heaven and will be terrified by the Lake of Fire that awaits them. 

However, many saved people will go to Heaven but have not wisely invested their time on Earth.  They have not labored to store up “treasures in Heaven” (Mat. 6:20). They have frivolously spent their opportunity in this life on vain priorities (Gal. 6:8) that will not matter in their eternal future.
“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:  21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Mat. 6:19-21

Christian, you have time here on Earth to do as the Lord commands. You should lay up treasures for your future. Obey the Bible and do for the Lord what He allows you to do for Him. Do not arrive in an eternal Paradise and find that you have done nothing or of little value for your eternity.

“In this world, it is not what we take up but what we give up that makes us rich.” Beecher


Some Things Are Missing
Bill Brinkworth

“And the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the LORD unto his place, to the oracle of the house, into the most holy place, even under the wings of the cherubims: 8 For the cherubims spread forth their wings over the place of the ark, and the cherubims covered the ark and the staves thereof above. … 10 There was nothing in the ark save the two tables which Moses put therein at Horeb, when the LORD made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of Egypt.” II Chronicles 5:7-10

After worshipping God in the tent tabernacle Moses had built while Israel lived in the wilderness,  King David desired to create a permanent place for God.  Because of David’s past, God would not let him construct it, but He would let his son, Solomon, build it.

After the ornate temple was completed, Solomon moved in many of the objects needed for worship.  One of the most prized and important was the Ark of the Covenant.  The ark and its “Mercy Seat” lid were where God would sit.

When placed in the wilderness tabernacle, the ark contained reminders of what God had done for Israel.  Inside the golden chest was originally the stone, ten commandments God had Moses inscribe, a pot containing miraculously provided manna as a reminder of how God fed Israel, and Aaron’s budding rod that God used to prove who He was.

Because of Israel’s sin, they lost control of the Ark several times to the enemy.  Although God’s people eventually got the Ark back, some reminders of God’s miraculous interventions were missing from the chest. When it finally was put in the new temple, many of those memories were lost.  All that remained inside was the copy of the Ten Commandments.

Many Christians start similarly.  After they are saved from eternal punishment for their sins, God fills their life with new, precious proofs and reminders of His goodness to them.  They were “new creatures” (II Cor. 5:17), just as God promised He would make of them if they would trust and follow His commandments.

However, missteps, mistakes, and sin often take away the remembrances of what God had done for many. One treasured memory after another is forgotten and lost as the child of God falls further from obedience to God’s commandments. 

Soon little remains of the encouraging presence of God they once experienced and were joyful over.  Their joy has been robbed by less important “priorities.” Worldly things become more important than obeying and serving the Lord.

Christian, do not allow your real treasures to be lost! Do not let temptations and iniquity steal the joy and usefulness God desires you to have. What God has done and will do in your life is more valuable than the temporary things this world may offer.  Guard what He has given and is doing with you by staying far away from sin and disobedience.

The Bible View #834 — God Is in Control!

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

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

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It’s Under God’s Control
Bill Brinkworth

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

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

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

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

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



How Long?
Bill Brinkworth

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


My God Reigneth
Bill Brinkworth

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



How Peace Was Won
Author Unknown

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

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

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

The Bible View #818 — Wait Patiently

In This Issue:
Handmade Socks
It Will be Here If It’s God’s Will
Bible Verses on Patience
Two Helpful Bears
Wait!

Volume: 818    July 12, 2021
Theme: Wait Patiently

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Handmade Socks
Bill Brinkworth

One Sunday morning, a teacher assistant mentioned that she made socks. I was very interested in her craft as my feet always seem cold.  The idea of a thick, handmade, wool sock intrigued me. Surely, a custom knitted foot covering would be most likely a warm solution for my frigid toes.

She offered to make me a pair of heavy warm socks, and I quickly accepted her kind offer.  It was not long until she presented me with the product of her labors.  After putting them on at home, they certainly were warm, but the fit was not snug, and after a little walking, they always had to be pulled up.  The idea of a custom-made sock sounded, felt, and appeared wonderful when hearing of them, but they did not fit right.  My store-bought foot coverings, which I usually wore, were snug and fit my feet perfectly. What I already had was just what I needed.

Most people’s choices in life, without God’s intervention, are often like those socks.  An idea of something different may sound enticing, but it may not be what is needed.

Often, without asking and waiting for God’s provision of what He deems to be the right spouse for us, our pick turns out to be the wrong one.  The wife may have looked beautiful or the husband handsome, but those qualities no longer mattered, as our choice was not the right fit.  If only God was asked to choose the right mate and His choice was patiently waited for, the perfect fit for a life partner might have been provided.

People jump at the possibility of a new career and job.  The different livelihood sounded great; the wage was far more than was currently earned. A job interview showed even more opportunities.  It certainly appeared like the dream job that was always wanted. 

Not long after starting the new position, it was quickly realized that the old job was much better.  Yes, there were many future possibilities at the new position, but the people at the new job were hard to get along with, and it was not a nice place to work.  If God was waited to open or close the doors of opportunity, the worker might have been in the perfect position for him.

Finding the right friends is so important.  Too many, however, pick the wrong companion.  It seems the new “bestie” is not who it was thought she was and that any confidence shared with her is soon spread around to others.  If only God were asked to supply the right friend and patiently waited for, one would not be in the bad relationship they now have found themselves.

All of our decisions are important.  The wrong choices can result in a large heap of regrets.  What we see, hear, or determine is not always the right fit for us.  Our picks are often blindly chosen as we do not always see the whole situation.

God, however, knows us better than we know ourselves.    He realizes what we need, not just what we want.  To make His help more necessary, He also knows everything about the other person, job, and situation just as well. When He is asked to choose, one can be assured that it will be the right pick for us. 

Ask God for direction in all things and wait PATIENTLY for His provision.  If you do not have His clear leadership, stay, and be content with what you currently have until His guidance is shown. His selection will be the right choice for you. 

“Opportunity is not always God’s will!”  — B. B.



It Will be Here, If It’s God’s Will
Bill Brinkworth

When buying a new car, a real “beauty” was discovered and was very enticing to buy.  The forceful salesman insisted that I purchase it immediately, as it was such a good deal “that it wouldn’t be on the lot long.”

Usually, I do not buy a big item without first praying.  I told the salesman, “I want the car, but I have to go home and pray about it first.”

Wanting the sale right away, the dealer warned, “You will probably lose this wonderful opportunity if you don’t get it now.”

“If it is God’s will for me to have this car, you won’t be able to sell it until I come back,” I confidently replied.

The salesman looked very confused.

“Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.”  – Rousseau

Bible Verses on Patience
“… I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.” Psalm  40:1
“… Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from him cometh my salvation.” Psa. 62:1 “Salvation” here is referring to deliverance from a bad situation.
“Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.” Psa. 25:5
“It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.” Lamentations 3:26
“Are there any among the vanities of the Gentiles that can cause rain? or can the heavens give showers? art not thou he, O LORD our God? therefore we will wait upon thee: for thou hast made all these things.” Jeremiah 14:22
“The eyes of all wait upon thee; and thou givest them their meat in due season.” Psa. 145:15  “Due season” is referring to God’s timing, not ours.
“Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;” Romans 12:12“Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.” I Thessalonians 5:14
“And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,” II Timothy 2:24

“There is no such thing as preaching patience into people unless the sermon is so long, they have to practice it while they hear.”  – Beecher



Two Helpful Bears
Christians Advocate

There lived an old couple who quarreled frequently.  The whole village knew about it, and when at last they ceased their fighting, questions were asked as to how it all came about.

“Two bears did it,” said the wife.

“Two bears?  questioned a neighbor.

“Ah!” said the husband, “but these are two new bears which we found in the Bible.  We have learned to love, “Bear ye one another’s burdens…” and “… forbearing one another in love.”



Wait!
The Believer’s Magazine

God’s delays are not denials;
He has heard your prayer;
He knows all about your trials,
Knows your every care.

God’s delays are not denials;
Help is on the way;
He is watching o’er life’s dials,
Bringing forth the day.

God’s delays are not denials;
You will find Him true,
Working through the hardest trials,
What is best for you!

“Wait in prayer.  Call on God and spread the case before Him.  Express your confidence in Him.  Wait in faith, for unfaithful, untrusting waiting is but an insult to the Lord.  Wait in quiet patience, not murmuring because you are under the affliction, but blessing God for it.”  — Spurgeon

The Bible View #816 — Forgiven

In This Issue:
Purged
Remember, You Are Forgiven!
Forgiveness
Moody’s Mother’s Forgiveness

Volume: 816    June 28, 2021
Theme: Forgiven

Purged
Bill Brinkworth

“Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his [God’s] Son [Jesus], whom he hath appointed heir of all things, . . . when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;” Heb. 1:2-3

The Apostle Paul starts his letter to the Hebrews by bragging about Jesus.  Although much is pointed out about our Saviour, one little word is easily skipped. That word is “purged.” The term explains why anyone can go to Heaven and why they can have a peaceful life.

Noah Webster defines “purge” as “to cleanse or purify by separating and carrying off whatever is impure.” When one accepts Jesus’ death on the Cross as payment for all his sins, he is purified of the one dirty thing that keeps all out of Heaven. He is purified from all the iniquities he has committed and the ones he will do in the future. His sins were all carried off by Jesus when He died.

Mr. Webster further defined “purge” as clearing “from guilt or moral defilement.” When Jesus’ finished work at Calvary is accepted to cover one’s transgressions, he is relieved from any shame his sin can bring him.

Many have been saved and know God has forgiven and forgotten past sins, but they still hang on to guilty thoughts of what they have done.  Paul has told us there is no need to have any guilt.  Since God has forgiven us, we must forgive ourselves. 

A Christian is purged! All our sins are carried away.  We do not have to continue in them, and we certainly do not need to dwell on what God has forgiven.

“As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.” Psalm 103:12


Remember, You Are Forgiven!
Bill Brinkworth

When we are saved, our whole life should change. We are forgiven, and our sins are forgotten. Our old ways are dead and hidden (Colossians 3:3), as far as God is concerned. We are to bring our bodies under subjection (“mortify” – Col. 3:5). No longer are we to let sin control our lives (Col. 3:5-10). We should put our “old man,” what we used to do and be, far away from us.

We are new creatures in Christ (II Cor. 5:17) and have a fresh start.  We have a “new man” (Col. 3:10) that we should put on and strive, with God’s goodness and help, to “wear” well!  Our new attitudes and actions should try to be:

  • Holy and dear to God’s heart (Col. 3:12).
  • Merciful to others, as we have received much mercy from God (Col. 3:12).
  • Kind  (Col. 3:12).
  • Humble  (Col. 3:12).
  • Meek  (Col. 3:12).
  • Longsuffering (Col. 3:12).
  • Willing to put up with what others do to us repeatedly  (“forbearing” – Col. 3:13).
  • Forgive what others do to us and others.  God certainly has forgiven us thousands of times.  Why cannot we forgive those that have wronged or offended us (Col. 3:13)?
  • Loving and caring to all — unconditionally (Col. 3:14)!
  • Peaceful to one another (Col. 3:15).
  • Thankful (Col. 3:15, 17).
  • Ruled and guided by God’s Word (Col. 3:16).
  • Submissive to authorities, God says are over us (Col. 3:18-22).

It would be impossible to do all God has told us to do, as new creatures in Christ, and not be happy and content. However, it is when we allow the “old man” to be temporarily resurrected that we have our problems. When our old ways return, they rob us of the peace and joy that should be ours. Has the “old you” gained control in your life again?  Ask the Lord to forgive you and help you regain what is yours!

Feed the ‘new man,’ the spiritual you, and he will grow stronger every day.  Do not feed the ‘new man,’ and he will suffer from spiritual malnutrition.


Forgiveness
Edmonsan, 1871

When on the fragrant sandal tree
The woodman’s ax descends,
And she who bloomed so beauteously.
Beneath the weapon bends,
E’en on the edge that wrought her death,
Dying, she breathes her sweetest breath,
As if to token in her fall
Peace to her foes, and love to all.

How hardly man this lesson learns,
To smile, and bless the hand that spurns;
To see the blow, to feel the pain,
And render only love again!
One had it — be He came from Heaven,
Reviled, rejected, and betrayed;
No curse He breathed; no plaint He made,
But when in death’s dark pang, He sighed,
Prayed for His murderers and died.

“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


Moody’s Mother’s Forgiveness

D. L. Moody

Before I was fourteen years old, the first thing I remember was the death of my father. He had been unfortunate in business and failed. Soon after his death, the creditors came and took everything.

My mother was left with a large family of children. One calamity after another swept over the household. Twins were added to the family, and my mother was taken sick.

The eldest boy was fifteen years of age.  Mother looked to him as a stay in her calamity, but all at once, he became a wanderer. He had been reading some of the trashy novels, and the belief had seized him that he had only to go away to make a fortune.

Away he went. I can remember how eagerly mother used to look for tidings of that boy. She used to send us to the post office to see if there was a letter from him.  I recollect how we used to come back with the sad news, “No letter.”

I remember how in the evenings, we used to sit beside her in that New England home. We would talk about our father, but the moment the boy’s name was mentioned, she would hush us into silence. Some nights when the wind was strong, and the house would tremble at every gust, mother’s voice was raised in prayer for that wanderer who had treated her so unkindly. I used to think she loved him more than all the rest of us put together, and I believe she did.

On Thanksgiving Day, she used to set a chair for him, thinking he would return home. Her family grew up, and her other boys left home.

When I got so that I could write, I sent letters all over the country but could find no trace of him.  While in Boston, I remember how I used to look for him in every store.  I looked amongst people for anyone who had a mark on their face, as my brother had.  I never found him.

One day while my mother was sitting at the door, a stranger was seen coming toward the house, and when he came to the door, he stopped. My mother did not know her boy. He stood there with folded arms and a great beard flowing down to his breast.  His tears trickled down his face.

When my mother saw those tears, she cried, “Oh, it’s my lost son,” and implored him to come in. He stood still.

“No, mother,” he said, “I will not come in until I hear first you have forgiven me.”

Do you believe she was not willing to forgive him? Do you think she was likely to keep him standing there? Instead, she rushed to the threshold and threw her arms around him, and breathed forgiveness.

Ah, sinner, if you but ask God to be merciful to you, you can ask Him for forgiveness. Although your life may have been in sin, ask Him for mercy, and He will not keep you waiting long for an answer. He is looking and waiting for you!

“It is vain for you to expect, and it is imprudent for you to ask of God forgiveness on your behalf if you refuse to exercise this forgiving temper to others.” — Hoadley