Bible Top 1000

Not Just Doctrine
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When the Israelites were standing before the Jordan River, they didn't need new recipes for baking manna! They needed the Captain of the LORD's Host to make Himself known with specific instruction as to how to cross the river and conquer the land. To the extent they heard and obeyed, they prospered. Every time they rebelled in some way they failed.

Noah, likewise, didn't need general instruction in serving God: he needed to know about the coming flood and how to prepare. Lot had to hear and obey a very specific and timely word: "Hurry and get out -- now! I'm going to destroy this place." The Word of God is not just doctrine, but a living word, relevant to the present need.

There's a principle stated in Amos 3:7 that can be seen throughout the Word: "Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets." Whenever there's anything God does that affects His people, that they need to know about, He always tells someone about it. When He reveals it to someone, they're responsible to tell His people in general. This kind of revelation doesn't come to any and everyone, but to those God appoints.

The end of the age and the destruction of this world is not a mere academic question to be debated, with one man's opinion as good as another's. If God is speaking, we need to listen. If He's not, then we're truly in a wilderness of confusion. I believe He's speaking and that the sheep will hear.

Satan's purpose in encouraging and inspiring false doctrine is to cause people to miss Christ and be destroyed. It's also to create confusion, to misdirect, hinder and spoil the sheep, those few who actually are God's out of the whole.

Just as was the case in Noah's day when false doctrine caused people to be unprepared and consequently to perish, so it is -- and more so -- in our day. False doctrine in Noah's day was anything people believed that caused them to reject his message of warning.

Spring Reminder

"It is time to seek the Lord."
(Hosea 10:12)

This month of April is said to derive its name from the Latin verb aperio, which signifies to open, because all the buds and blossoms are now opening, and we've arrived at the gates of the flowery year. If some of us are yet unsaved, may our heart, in accord with the universal awakening of nature, be opened to receive the Lord. Every blossoming flower warns us that it's time to seek the Lord; let's not be out of tune with nature, but may our hearts bud and bloom with holy desires. If you'd tell me that the warm blood of youth leaps in your veins? then, I entreat you, give your vigour to the Lord. It was my unspeakable happiness to be called in early youth, and I could joyfully praise the Lord every day for it. Salvation is priceless, let it come when it may, but oh! an early salvation has a double value in it. Let's encourage young men and maidens, since it's possible to perish before they reach their prime, "It's time to seek the Lord." Those who feel the first signs of decay, quicken your pace: that hollow cough, that hectic flush, are warnings which you must not trifle with; with you it's indeed time to seek the Lord. Did I observe a little grey mingled with your once luxurious hair? Years are stealing on apace, and death is drawing nearer by hasty marches, let each return of spring arouse us to set our house in order. Those of us who are now advanced in life, let's be entreated and implored to delay no longer. There's a day of grace for us now---let's be thankful for that, but it's a limited season and grows shorter every time that clock ticks. Here in this silent chamber, on these first nights of another month, I speak to you as best I can by paper and ink, and from my inmost soul, as God's servant, I lay before you this warning, "It's time to seek the Lord." Let's slight not that work, it may be the last call from destruction, the final syllable from the lip of grace.

"He Opened Not His mouth"

"...he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth."
(Isaiah 53: 7)
"But Jesus yet answered nothing; so that Pilate marvelled."
(Mark 15 :5)

When we think of the great persecution that Jesus endured throughout his Trial and how he stood before the masses in that mocking robe and the crown of thorns, it amazes me that He kept silent.

In a time of so much emphasis being placed on "sticking up for yourself" and "not letting them talk to me like that"...and, oh, the best one, "disrespecting me," would we have kept silent? But Jesus' very silence was condemning his accusers. The very words coming from their mouths as they leveled their accusations at Christ were testifying to His Purpose for coming, His calling and His teaching. They used his own life and teachings to accuse Him, but by doing so, they presented His message over and over.

What a wonderful testimony---that He could keep silent while his testimony and witness went on and on.

So many times our "witness" is comprised completely of the words we say, the things we claim for ourselves. If we keep silent we look and seem just like the worldly men and women around us. When we aren't noisily distracting people with our words all of those little "hidden" sins, the inconsequential "faults" or "just fleshly habits", as we like to call them, are exposed. Sinners recognize them for what they are. And our religious words are forgotten because our un-Christlike actions spoke so much more loudly that no one remembers our words. Jesus' silence did no damage to his message. The silence that left His lifestyle exposed left nothing for people to remember that was unlike God. He didn't have to keep talking to make sure everyone knew who He was. He had already lived it before the People. The honest hearts among the crowd already knew beyond any question what Jesus taught and lived. We must make it our goal to live so closely to God in our lifestyle that every person we meet will ask us to "give answer for the faith that lieth in us." We must live such a consistently Christlike life that even when we're silent, our living will bear witness that "we've been with Jesus." ( "Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus." Acts 4:13 )

Let's live so faithfully before God and man that even when we keep silent our witness stands faithful.