PERVERSION OF GODíS CREATED ORDER
Text: "Thou shalt not sow thy vineyard with divers seeds: lest the fruit of thy seed which thou hast sown and the fruit of thy vineyard be defiled." (Deuteronomy 22:9)
Since the beginning of his depravity, man has attempted to improve upon Godís created order. When he violates the moral law, the natural result is disease; but instead of returning to the obedience of Godís law, man attempts to cure the resulting disease that he may be able to sin with impunity.
Thus, one way depravity manifests itself is by the naughtiness of pride which makes man think he can improve upon Godís created order. For instance, God instructed Israel to allow the land to lie fallow every seventh year, during which time he was to refrain from harvesting even that which came up of itself. But man has planted land year after year until he has literally worn out the soil. To compensate his rape of the land, he has substituted chemical imitations of natural fertilization, and has spread these compounds on his land year by year. Might there not be a very real correlation between cancer and all these inorganic chemicals with which we are feeding the people of our land? Add to this chemical pesticides, chemical fungicides, chemical colorings, chemical flavorings, and chemical preservatives.
For many years man has been experimenting with seeds. "New" and "improved" can be read on most packages of seeds until today it is difficult to purchase natural, nor non-hybrid, tomatoes or corn. Is it not a wee bit arrogant for the creature to presume to improve upon the work of the Creator?
God created the "herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit, after his kind, whose seed is in itself." (Genesis 1:11) The All-Wise God saw it was good that plants be able to reproduce. Men by their tampering with Godís handiwork have produced hybrids that cannot reproduce. The tragedy is that while these men profess themselves to be wise, they have in fact become fools, because they have perverted the excellent order established by God.
The seriousness of manufacturing hybrids is enormous, for if a people wanted to control another people, all that would be necessary would be to gain control of the food supply. Since hybrids cannot reproduce, people are dependent upon their annual availability. It was not without purpose God commanded, "Thou shalt not SOW thy vineyard with divers seeds: lest the fruit of thy seed, which thou hast sown, and the fruit of thy vineyard be defiled." For this reason, this writer refuses to plant hybrids.
"One dead in sin has not his senses exercised to discern spiritual good and evil. Having eyes, he sees not; ears, and hears not. He doth not taste and see that the Lord is gracious. He hath not handled the Word of Life. In vain is the name of Jesus like ointment poured forth, and all His garments smell of myrrh, aloes, and cassia. The soul that sleepeth in death hath no perception of any objects of this life. His heart is past feeling, and understandeth none of these things." --John Wesley
THE MARRIAGE RING by John Angell James. This incomparable classic on the subject of marriage is still at the printer. As of this printing, the entire book is "shot" and one-third is printed. It should be released this month --but then, it should have been released this month last year. It has cost us money and a great deal of integrity. Every order will be honored.
In the war with temptation, the man of God has been provided with defensive as well as offensive battle plans. The purpose of this equipage is that he may be able to "stand" against the wiles of the Devil. In no other way can he show himself strong in the Lord. And the thing that distinguishes the people of God is that they shall all be "overcomers."
God has designed Faith to serve as a shield for the defense of His people. They are cautioned to disregard the complaints of their body, and the reasonings of their mind, and to place full confidence in Cod. With the shield of faith they will be able to catch and extinguish the fiery darts of their enemy. They must stand, however, and do all to stand; for to dip our colors in the day of temptation would be to show ourselves dishonorable. Young men in Christ are strong. The Word of God abides in them, and they have overcome the wicked one." (I John 2:14)
If one is to stand in the evil day, he must resist the plague of idleness. Ezekiel points to the abundance of idleness as the iniquity of Sodom and her daughters. (Ezekiel 16:49) Jeremy Taylor called it "the rust of time" and "the burial of a living man." Philip Melancthon depicted it as "the Devilís bathtub," and Martin Luther confessed the reason: "I have within me the seeds of my own destruction!" An Idle moment is a dangerous moment. If we do not harness it for the glory of God, the Devil will think he is entitled to it. Let the man of God burn brightly with doing good works, for darkness cannot be so intense as to extinguish an arc of light.
If a Godly man is to stand, he must give no occasion to the things that would prompt temptation. Temptations must not be invited through the literature or the music of the day to put its nose in the tent. The man of God must break the neck of temptation. Woe to them who think it is smart to start the flame of lust that may sear the conscience and consume their passions. The way to stop the incessant dripping of a faucet is not to slow the drip but to shut it off at the source; and the faucet that regulates our every action is the mind. Evil, therefore, must not be meditated upon. God overthrew the old world because every imagination of the thoughts of their hearts was only evil continually. (Genesis 6:5) While men look on the outward appearance, it is the "heart" of man to which God looks.
How can a person cleanse his heart with his doings, and goings?
"By taking heed thereto according to Thy Word," for not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. (Romans 2:13) "With my whole heart have I sought Thee:" cried the Psalmist, "0 let me not wander from Thy commandments.
Thy Word have I hid in mine heart", that is, his memory, his understanding, his affections. The reason he did it was that he might not sin against God. (Psalm 119:9-11)
In order to stand, a Godly man must run from all occasions for sin. He must not enter into the path of the wicked, nor go in the way of evil men. "Avoid it," cried Solomon to his son, "pass not by it, turn from it and pass away." He must train his eyes to look "right on" and his eyelids to look "straight before" him. He must not turn to the right hand, nor to the left; and must remove his foot from evil. (Proverbs 4:14,15,25,27) Like Joseph before him, he may have to flee evil company. Retreat is preferable to surrender. When the patriots fled from Bunker Hill, they declared it was to fight another day.
"Stand, therefore:" but put no confidence in yourself.
The arm of flesh will fall you
Ye dare not trust your own.
"We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."
"Surrender never!" My father once defined "defeat" as "voluntary surrender." Have faith in God, and "put on the whole armor of God that ye may he able to withstand in the evil day."
The offensive weapon at our disposal is the Word of God. If we are to contain the swell of temptation when it threatens to overflow our banks, the Word of God must be planted in our hearts like trees beside a river. The Word of God affords us a lamp to our feet and a light for our way. It is able to build us up, and to give us an inheritance among them who are sanctified. It is able to reprove us, to correct us and to instruct us in that which is right. It is a means of faith for it serves as a channel from the throne of God to our own heart. It can make us like a tree planted by the rivers of water. All who delight themselves in it are they who in reality are blessed. The Word cleanses the flesh and mind, and will act as a deterrent to sin. (Psalm 119:105; Acts 20:52; II Timothy 3:16; Romans 10:17; Psalm 1:2, 3; 119:9-11)
"Prayer is not only part of the armor," said Chrysostom, "but it enables us to use the rest." Since there is no power but of God, let US prostrate ourselves before Him because "we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
God is to be feared in public. He is to be feared in private.
"Thou, God, seest me" when I leave my home and mix myself in the mass of humanity. He sees me as well in the dark as in the light. Say to yourself, "I walk upon His earth. I breathe His air. His gift of life courses my veins. If I am determined to sin, let me go where God cannot see me, for nowhere else can I be sure of being safe.
Text: Jeremiah 3
Christians are united with Christ at their conversion. At that time they promise to love the Lord faithfully, and vow they will be for Him and only for Him, forever. But how quickly can our first love cool! How soon may we take up a love affair with possessions, refinements or athletics. How soon may we seek the approval and the applause of men. This constitutes spiritual adultery, and is a theme that was frequently taken up by the prophets. (Israel is often said to have gone "a- whoring" after the gods of the people in whose land they dwelled. The pursuit of those things that appeal to the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes or the pride of life is nothing short of idolatry. "Ye adulterers and adulteresses, 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)
The numbers of lovers and the numbers of places where this idolatry may be committed aggravates the heinousness of the sin.
The fact that people are exposed to frequent calls for repentance and they remain impudent and impertinent by their continuance makes this a "crying" sin. "Thou refusedst to be ashamed." This callousness and inability to blush characterizes the adulteress for she wipes her mouth and says, "I have done no wickedness." (Proverbs 30:20)
Has the Lord been an ill husband? Have they gone astray because He has left them as the object of His love, and the "apple of His eye?"
In the law, it was forbidden when once a husband sent away his wife and she was defiled, to take her again to be his wife. (Deuteronomy 24:4) Yet God, after we have wandered astray, and have "played the harlot with many lovers", calls to us, "Yet return again to Me."
Israel had not been seduced into the sin as others. She had "sat for them" --waiting in the place of temptation, even after God warned her "avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away." (Proverbs 4:15) She went up upon "every high mountain and under every green tree" and there "played the harlot" with "stones and with stocks" and had defiled the land. (Verses 6, 9) How many believers are there in our own land who bow before the gods of silver and gold (How many are "lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God!" (Daniel 5:23; II Timothy 3:4) Yet God offers them hope and urges them to cry aloud and say, "My Father, Thou art the guide of my youth!" "Return," He encourages, "and I will not Cause Mine anger to fall upon you: for I am merciful and I will not keep anger forever." (Verses 4, 12)
He lays down two requisites to His healing them of their backsliding. First, they must acknowledge they have rebelled against the Lord their God. They must confess they have scattered His ways and have not obeyed His voice. Second, they must turn, and return to the Lord because He is married to them." (Verses 15, 14) Nevertheless, they are warned that He will not reserve His anger forever nor keep it to the end because they have spoken and done as much evil as they could. (Verse 5)
How can God put such as Israel among the children? How can He put such as you and me among His own? If we call Him our "Father" and Will return to Him for good, then He promises to heal our backslidings. (Verses 19, 22) "Wilt thou not from this time cry unto Me, ĎMy Father, Thou art the guide of my youth!í"
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Text: "Casting all your care upon Him, for He careth for you."
-I Peter 5:7-
The Christian, like everyone else, is beset with cares. There are family cares, personal cares, as well as cares for the church of the living God. There are temporal cares and spiritual cares; cares concerning the present and cares concerning the future. With such as these the mind is often distracted. Cares can steal our peace, and drown our joy. Immoderate and excessive cares, like so many stones in the shoe, can trouble us until we are unfit to bear one anotherís burdens.
All such cares arise from unbelief, for they call into question both the goodness and the wisdom of God. "Care-fullness", or the person who is full of care, questions the truth 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); for the person who has learned this will have confidence in God. He will believe God is great enough to work all things according to His own will; and that God is good and "doeth good."
The mind that is stayed on God knows God has everything in control. He is confident God knows what He is doing; and He will either divert the trouble he fears, or God will support him under it. Cares issue from the heart that does not believe God cares.
We are therefore exhorted to cast our care upon Him. Is it not His cause? Why should we worry at the outcome? Cast every circumstance
upon His wise and gracious ability. "Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?"
The reason we are invited to cast our care upon Him is because
He cares for us. We find rest for our souls when we firmly rely upon the tender mercies of our God.
The soul that on Jesus
Hath leaned for repose --
will patiently endure. Striking sail, he will commit himself to the will of God.
RADIO --Several years ago some dear friends made it possible for us to get on radio. If God will again make it possible, it is our desire to return to broadcasting. We would need one or two people who would agree to sponsor us on a regular basis.
"Some there are of cauterized consciences, that, like devils, will have nothing to do with God, because loth to be tormented before their time. They feeling such horrible hard hearts and privy to such notorious sins, they cast away their souls and all for lust, and so perish woefully because they lived wickedly, having through custom in evil contracted such hardness, as neither ministry, nor misery, nor miracle, nor mercy could possibly mollify. As ducklings dive at any little thing thrown by man at them, yet shrink not at the Heavenís great thunder; so it is with these, Ďtill at length they become like the smithís dog, whom neither the hammers above him, nor the sparks of fire falling about him can awake." -John Trapp
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