All of our questions in this article have brought us to the source of all grace; the source is Golgotha, Calvary, the Cross of the Lord Jesus. It is at the Cross where all our sins were placed upon Jesus, the Sin-Bearer; it was at the Cross that Jesus, the Just One, became the justifier of the believer in the righteousness of God. This is the fundamental of the Gospel; this is the core truth of which the cardinal truth, the central truth, is eternally fixed. No wonder the song-writer stated, "So I'll cling to the old, rugged cross till my trophies at last I lay down." There is a deadline here; there is a final resting, forgiving, and saving place here.
Articles 41–60 of 348 for All Records
We now must give attention to the great power of the Devil set against God’s children seeking to continue their lives with the Lord. The Devil casts thoughts in the mind of the believer to hinder any deepening of his desire for the things of God. To understand this wicked craft, we must go back in biblical history and reflect upon the beginning of these powers of darkness.
When God created all the angelic host, He certainly knew that one of them would rebel against Him. When the seventy came back rejoicing that even the devils were subject unto them, Jesus, the Son of God, responded to His disciples, “I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven” (Luke 10:18). These words are a revealed insight that nothing Lucifer thought or did before his fall from heaven surprised God. We have carefully observed the verses in Isaiah 14 of the rebellious thoughts within his heart. We have also observed in Revelation 12 how his communications with other angels convinced one-third to rebel with him against God. Did Lucifer finally go before God and attack Him, gainsay Him, and defy Him at the height of his rebellion? How long did all of this take in the process of angelic time? What was the sequence of events: initial thoughts against God privately within his heart; then speaking with the angels in falsity and lies to convince them to cast in their lot with him; and finally, a confrontation with God?
Psalm 68 commences by giving God praise in dealing with His enemies. As this psalm continues to unfold, we read of praise to God for His doings at Sinai and in the wilderness; and then of praise to God for the conquest of Canaan and a series of victories culminating in the full establishment of David as king over Israel. Within this context of praise, we read, “The Lord gave the word.” The understanding is that He gave the watchword, the word of promised victory, a word that initiated the period to do battle with the enemy. And, “great was the company of those that published it [that word].” This verse announces that there were those who went from house to house heralding the watchword of the Lord. These were the damsels calling the men to battle, declaring confidence in the Lord in their going to battle, because the word of surety had been given by God.
Our burden in this article takes us back to the great prophet Moses and his writing of the inspired Pentateuch, the term commonly designated for the first five books of the Old Testament. In Deuteronomy 17:14–17, Moses prophetically reveals the coming of kings for Israel; he warns that when such leaders arise in history, they are not to multiply horses, wives, or gold. The prophet then commands in 17:18–21 that each king is to make a copy of the Pentateuch for himself in order to rule the nation by that Word.
The Bible is the singular revelation from God that reveals the plan of God for the full conformity of an individual to the image of God’s Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. It is the revelation that proclaims the universal Gospel for all mankind. It is the revelation that carefully unveils the self of all who come to its pages. It is the revelation that discloses how Christ can take the life and form it to become what God desires for the individual.
The Christian must first understand that God is eternal and dwells in the dimension of eternity. He has no beginning; He has no end. There is no past or future with God. He dwells in the infinite present tense of His continual existence.
In the light of this truth concerning God, all His purposes and plans are found in eternity. God created the universe, including the angels, in dateless time (Gen. 1:1). Our concept of time did not come into existence until Genesis 1:3. When God created the dimension of time, He automatically declared the concept of beginnings—establishing a past, a present, and a future.
Edwin Hubble (1889–1953) has been called the “Pioneer of the distant stars.” His studies proved the existence of galaxies other than our own Milky Way and opened the vastness of the study of the universe. What was once considered at 100 billion galaxies in the universe has now recently been expanded to nearly 2 trillion galaxies. These changes are prompting questions among physicists like “what is a universe?” and “is there a concept of other universes?” Have we come to the understanding of multiverses? Is there an all-encompassing omniverse where all the various concepts exist? As the term epistemology has become the extensive word for the universe of knowledge, omniverse has now become the blanket word for all the known and yet to be known concepts of existence, whether visible or invisible. This word therefore includes the concept of the existence and the dimension of time.
In the book of beginnings, we have the word genesis, dealing with “origin” and generation, dealing with “posterity.” Eleven generations are presented in the first book of the Bible. The Hebrew word for generation has the understanding of “births,” an account of a man and his descendants. The Greek word bears a similar meaning. Sometimes the term refers to a race or class distinguished by common characteristics, such as a “faithless and perverse generation.” There are also contexts where it can refer to an age, or the average lifespan, or a generation. Sometimes it is used as a figurative transference of thought applied to duration in eternity. Ephesians 3:21 declares, “Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end [Gr., ‘to all generations of the age of the ages’]. Amen.”
The Bible is clear that time was made by God. He made the sun, moon, and stars as parts of the measuring of time for this planet. He also made the seasons of the year, yea, the revolutions and change of times. He can make bad times better and turn night into day. He can make the sun go backward or stand still, as in the days of Joshua and Hezekiah. It is God’s prerogative to change times. He also decrees how long one influence shall prevail and when another shall become operative. The seasons are in His hands, shorter or longer, as well as the occasions when it is suitable to do a thing. Yes, God controls the time.
Because of the depth of man’s falling away from God’s original intent, his very thinking has been affected. Globally today, mankind has fully entered the dark, cold, foreboding caverns of the death of reason. Mankind now dwells on the other side of reason, the side of existentialism and postmodernism. The political and demonic powers that lead the world today have created an abounding of angst (fear) and hopelessness, spreading perplexities so complicated that man lives simply to get by from day to day with an aimless existence.
In all the great movements in God’s providence (though some have been of greater influence and magnitude), none has arisen at a more crucial hour in Church history than the Fundamentalist movement. We must remember that Fundamentalism was not a denomination but a trans-denominational movement in its influence. We must also keep in mind that the beginning of any historical movement is very fluid; only its future will determine where it will flow and how it will end—in greatness of truth or in tragedy of spiritual demise. Fundamentalism began not as an organization but rather as an organism.
When God gave man the Bible, He gave him the most wonderful treasure that could ever be received through the medium of language. The miracle of language or speech (the utterance of articulate sounds or voices) was appointed by God for mankind to express and communicate thoughts. It is evident in the creation of man that God furnished both the faculty of speech and speech itself (the knowledge and use of words as vocal sounds or ideas). This gift of language existed even before the formation of woman, at which time we read of the first uttered words of Adam.
Our first article unfolded the principle of present history rejecting Truth and coming to believe in the Lie. Often in history powers have intentionally created their own truth (which was a lie) and have successfully convinced great numbers to embrace their lie as the truth. Roman Catholicism was able to hide its pervading and deceptive leaven in Church doctrine thereby destroying truth. What remained was a created myth for the world to believe. Such a powerful deception necessitated the Protestant Reformation to boldly and aggressively bring the truth of God’s Word back to the public arena, dispelling the doctrinal myths of Rome.
Man since his fall has known multitudes of defections from the truth. But Paul reveals in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 “a [Gr., ‘the’] falling away first.” Apostasies eventually bring man to the final apostasy to arise globally in the End Time of the last days. A season in world history is approaching when defection from truth will be known in every compartment of life. It will be a time when the whole world will believe the Lie.
Forty-five years ago, an unpretentious meeting took place on the outskirts of Dunn, North Carolina, in the home of Dr. O. Talmadge Spence. This meeting proved to have far-reaching importance for Dr. Spence, his family, and a remnant of individuals. The birth of the “Christian Purities Fellowship” was Dr. Spence’s last major attempt to call his fallen, spiritual-mother denomination back to her legacy of the Fundamentals and separatist living.
Back in 1973 my dear father, Dr. O. Talmadge Spence (who went to be with the Lord in July 2000), began a publication entitled Straightway. He took this word from Mark 1:18 that reads, “And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed him.” In this context Mark’s commentary on two of the Lord’s disciples depicts the tonal quality of his book as a part of the harmonious quartet of the Gospels.
In recent weeks the American Bible Society has stated that the growing number of English Bible versions on the market today has reached over five hundred. When both Higher and Lower Biblical Criticism arose over 150 years ago in the Liberal and Modernist camps, no one would have imagined the rise of hundreds of English translations vying for the popular market. Who would have thought that the discovery of a manuscript in a wastebasket of a monastery at the foot of Mt. Sinai would have caused the Protestant world to clamor over a text that has become the womb of the new English-translation movement throughout the English-speaking world?
Today (on February 21, 2018) we heard of the passing away of Dr. Billy Graham at the age of 99. He will go down in world history as a “Christian” gentleman who for sixty years was a world evangelist, a spiritual advisor to presidents of the United States, and the official spokesman for twentieth-century “evangelical” Christianity. His accolades will be numerous; memorial services around the world will be attended by prominent leaders, both governmental and religious. He was a man who became a friend to all, including to other prominent religions of the world. Even the liberals will be kind in their words of commendation of him and his memory.
The journey of the wise men to Bethlehem marks one of the precious events surrounding the historical story of the birth of Christ. Matthew 2:1 declares, “Behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.” Who these wise men were and what they believed have been the conjecture of various writers over the past two millennia. Although difficult to accurately resolve, some information about these men and the star that guided them is more reliable than other.
Luke 2:7 states, “And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.” Ancient tradition places the birthplace of our Lord in a cave, for caves were used as stables in most countries with rocky terrain. The Greek word for inn is kataluma, denoting the simplest of inns. It is similar to a Syrian khan—a refuge from thieves, a shelter from the heat and dust, a place where a man and his beasts may lodge, where a trader may sell his wares, and a pilgrim may slake his thirst. However, in such inns the visitor had to do everything for himself.