FINDING THE WAY THROUGH YOUR COUNTRY*
(*Some time ago a gospel tract with the above title was delivered to our home. After reading it I felt compelled to make a number of changes and some additions to it and the following is a result of what was attained.)
may use the term ‘Derry’ or ‘
Christians living in
Over the years, political and social initiatives have tried to unite a community where historical, religious and cultural values have divided.
Well informed Christians should not be misled, disturbed or distracted by what the majority of ‘carnal’ believers inside the ‘church’ (1 Cor. 3: 3), are doing. The apostle Paul had in mind the thought of being settled in the scriptural teachings of reward, a select resurrection, selective rapture and all that pertains to them* - just as confidently as a man can sit upon a seat which he knows to be solid, firm and safe and on which he has often sat; not being discouraged or distracted because he is confident of the foundations of his faith.
[* For some good texts teaching these truths see - 1 Cor. 15: 58; Galatians 5: 19-21; 6: 7; Colossians 3: 25; Philippians 3: 11; Heb. 11: 35b; Rev. 3: 10; Luke 21: 34-36, etc.]
On the other hand, when well informed Christians are steadfast in these unpopular and neglected Scriptural Truths,* they are often criticized for being intolerant, inflexible or dogmatic. The reality is that they so believe in the uniqueness of Jesus the Messiah as the only begotten Son of God, there being no eternal salvation outside of Him, that they cannot entertain or condone anything that would deviate from the true sense of all He said.**
[* For example see - Matthew 5: 20; 16: 25; 24: 14, 46; Luke 13: 24; Luke 20: 35; Mark 9: 10, etc.
** Note. It is important for Christians to have their attention directed to that portion of God’s Word which is being neglected today, viz. The Prophetic portion; and it is all the more strange that the manner in which the prophetic portion is now being treated by leaders (so called) within the Church, that they fail to promote any confidence amongst those who are better informed. However, it is of paramount importance to the redeemed, to recognize the fact that so much of the Holy Scriptures are pure prophecy: by ‘prophecy’ I mean what God has declared in the Scriptures concerning events yet to take place in the future, which is His special prerogative, (Isaiah 46: 9-10).]
Enlightenment with regard to prophecy is an important part of the work of the Holy Spirit, for it is He who is sent to show us ‘things to come’. There is therefore an urgent necessity for a ‘revelation’ from God for the guidance, instruction and encouragement of His redeemed people; and it is obvious from the very necessities of the case, that this revelation is not in accord with the natural desires or ideas of the vast majority of today’s bible teachers and regenerate believers: but demonstrated prejudice and bitterness (see Ezekiel 2: 9-10; Revelation 10: 9).
It has been rightly said: "‘Taking heed to It’ will prevent our needing the rebuke concerning events connected with Christ’s Second Advent given to the disciples for their ignorance as to what was ‘written’ respecting His First Advent - "O foolish men, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!" - which slowness does not seem to have been thoroughly dispelled in their case until after the Ascension (Luke 24: 25, 27, 44). Attention to this fact is certainly incumbent today on all who profess to follow Christ, for it is undoubtedly a duty to expect everything He directs us to expect; and failing in so doing, we so far fail in their duty to Him.
"The manner in which prophecy was fulfilled in the case of our Lord’s first coming is undoubtedly a guide to the minuteness of detail in which we may also expect it to be fulfilled with regard to the future.
"An important principle to be kept in view in studying prophecy is, that the final event of blessing is frequently mentioned first, before the evil and sorrow are described through which the blessing is to be attained; for the blessing is the ultimate object of God in all His dealings with his people."
"It is strange how apt Christians are to give a wrong aspect
to statements of Scripture: for example, in Acts
1, the apostles were in great perplexity. They
saw the glories of their race and nation plainly foretold in Old Testament
Scriptures yet their Master was leaving them! So they were constrained to ask
Him if He would at that time "Restore again the kingdom to
"We have abundant evidence of the fulfilment of this promise in the writings of the apostles after Pentecost, containing as they do a vast amount of teaching on events connected with Christ’s Second Advent, especially in the case of Paul, to whom special ‘visions and revelations’ were made. Peter also exhorts Christians to take heed to prophecy ‘as unto a light shining in a dark place,’ and then we have the complement of all previous prophecy in the Book of Revelation."
A vast ‘apostasy’ or ‘falling away’ by regenerate believers from revealed Truth principally through Sacerdotalism and Rationalism - a shrinking back unto perdition (Hebrews 10: 38, 39), is a feature of the end times, before the coming of the Lord to bring to its end professing Christendom; then, after separating all evil doers (‘the tares’), He will gather His saints unto Himself. Matthew 13: 30, 41, 49.
[Quoted from History in Advance by E.C.S. Moore: bold italics are mine.]
However when finding ‘The Way’ Christians will soon discover a unity of identity and purpose * beyond all other; so long as the’re willing to look in the right direction ...
[* NOTE. This ‘unity of identity and purpose’ has been described in the following writing:-
"God’s appeal to
- (Quoted from: The Old Testament Saints by Horatius Bonar, D.D. Words in bold italics and inside square brackets are mine.]
THE WAY TO TOTAL SECURITY
Completed in 1618 the Londonderry/Derry City walls speak of the need for security in days gone by. Yet they prove useless against the enemies of mistrust, anxiety, depression and the broken relationships of today.
Thankfully, in the midst of our struggles and addressing His disciples, our Lord Jesus Christ says:-
‘I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit: for apart from me ye can do nothing", John 14: 5.
All too often regenerate believers don’t recognize this wake up call and fail to respond to these important words of instruction; they ignore the context; and frequently imply the Holy Spirit will always abide with them: irrespective of whether or not they obey Christ’s commands!
Christians often show reasons for such ignorance by adopting an unwilling desire to understand the true meaning of Christ’s ‘hard sayings’, and by maintaining an unquestionable attitude toward church leaders who often make presumptuous claims regarding undeserved blessings; and who (often unwittingly) lead others astray by generating a false sense of security against deserved punishment for wilful sin and disobedience. This popular philosophy is rampant today, and it is so tightly held by Christendom, that it can only foster more and more erroneous forms of interpretations of many very important scriptural doctrines.
However, the truth of the matter is that the Word of God often states the truth in plain language, easily understood by all: the personal indwelling of the Holy Spirit is conditional and the condition is clearly stated in Acts 5: 32:-
"And we are witnesses of these things [sayings]; and so is the Holy Ghost, whom God harth given to them that obey him." R.V.
Of course, this is only part of the story.
THE WAY TO REAL FREEDOM
True freedom is considered a basic human right yet it can be so difficult to find. The deepest need of each regenerate believer is to know freedom from the tyranny of oneself ...
"For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I know not: for not what I would, that do I practise; but what I hate, that I do. But if what I would not, that I do, I consent unto the law that it is good. So now it is no more I that do it, but sin which dwelleth in me. For I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me, but to do that which is good is not. For the good which I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I practise," Romans 7: 15 -19. R.V.*
[* The closer we get to God, the more aware we are of our sinful condition. One important question which I remember being asked by a pastor shortly after my conversion was: "Is Paul speaking here about himself before or after his conversion?" I immediately answered – ‘After.’ And, to this day (almost 40 years since, I believe it was the right answer.
This includes even the best of us ...
"For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God ...,"(Romans 3: 23. R.V.)
The consequences which regenerate believers must face after being found guilty of ‘wilful’ sin after having received a knowledge of the truth (Heb. 10:26) are frightening to say the least. Non-repentance, riotous behaviour, or rebellion against those whom God has placed in authority (Rom. 13: 1, 2) could not be more serious ...
"And inasmuch as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this cometh judgment ..." (Hebrews 9: 27.)
When God’s conditional promises are ignored or misinterpreted; and when His people are seen to be behaving in a way contrary to His way, it is apparent they have no regard or thought of the dire consequences which will inevitably follow as a result. It should not be surprising to find regenerate members of His Church enveloped in a spirit of rebellion, false optimism, and deluded into believing that no loss* will ever be experienced by them: Christians beware! God does not take pleasure in the actions of irresponsible and disobedient children of His, who are living their lives by flippantly ignoring His warnings! Hebrews 10: 38.
[* The word ‘perdition’ is defined in The New Comprehensive Dictionary of the English Language as: "Utter loss or ruin: the utter loss of happiness in a future state."]
the light of numerous passages of Scripture which are addressed to regenerate
believers, it is inconceivable how they can allow themselves to
be duped into assuming that no loss or ruin of happiness in a future
state will ever affect them!
What is the meaning of Hebrews 10: 39?
What is the meaning of the words: "I forewarn you, that they which practise
- [i.e., as defined: ‘carry out in action; do
as a custom or regular performance; carry out activity in order to become
skilled in its exercise’, etc.] - such things shall not inherit the
Thankfully, God has already provided a way of escape for us.
1. Through repentance:-
"Be thou an ensample to them that believe, in word, in manner of life, in love, in faith, in purity ... Be diligent in these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy progress may be manifest unto all. Take heed to thyself, and to thy teaching." 1 Timothy 4: 12, 15, 16. R.V.
2. Through encouragement:-
"Cast not away therefore your boldness, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience [perseverance], that, having done the will of God, ye may * receive the promise." Hebrews 10: 35, 36. R.V.
[* One would imagine, by the manner in which multitudes of regenerate believers behave today, the text should read : ‘ye will receive the promise.’]
3. Through belief of divine threats and severe warnings to all found guilty:-
"Or know ye not that the unrighteous shall not
"A man that hath set at nought Moses’ law dieth without compassion on the word of two or three witnesses: how much sorer punishment, think ye, shall he be judged worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? For we know him that said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense. And again, The Lord shall judge his [redeemed] people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." Hebrews 10: 28-31. R.V.*
[* All too often it has been made too easy for some bible teachers (so called) to mislead the people of God. We often see futile attempts to evade these warnings by words like: "these severe warnings are only for the ‘professors;’ they have nothing at all to do with the ‘possessors’ " - i.e., the regenerate. Nothing could be further from the truth; one only needs to glance at the context to arrive at a correct interpretation!]
1. Another method of finding the truth is by reading the written account in the Old Testament Scriptures of those who ‘set at nought Moses’ law,’ and ask ones self the question: ‘Was it those who were brought out of Egypt under the blood who perished in the desert?’ Was it they who died: "without compassion on the word of two or three witnesses"? Psalm 106 has furnished us with a detailed account of their behaviour; and the apostle Paul’s words "unto the church of God" (1 Cor. 1: 2), leave us in no doubt that God is holy, unchanging, (Mal. 3: 6),and is no Respector of persons; and He will surely punish - during this age or in the next - wilful sin and disobedience in His redeemed people: "Howbeit with most of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. Now these things were our examples to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. ... Now these things happened unto them by way of example: and they were written for our admonition," (1 Cor. 10: 5, 6, 11.)
Can anyone other than regenerate believers qualify to be judged worthy of ‘sorer punishment’ if found guilty of behaviour comparable
to the description in the following clause in the sentence? The correct answer is easily found: and we do
not need a string of worldly qualifications or letters after our name to
qualify us for the task! Paul’s letter ‘unto the
THE WAY TO LASTING PEACE ON EARTH
Faith in the Word of God is of paramount importance.
It is prophesied, in both the Old and the New Testament Scriptures, that lasting peace shall be established upon this earth by our Lord Jesus Christ ...
"And there shall come forth a shoot out of the stock of Jesse, and a branch out of his roots shall bear fruit ... with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth* ...
[* Compare with Matthew 5: 5.]
"... And the wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox, and the suckling child shall play in the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the basilisk’s [or adder’s] den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.”*
[* There will be no sea on the ‘New earth,’ after this earth has passed away, (Rev. 21: 1). Note the context in the following sentence: "in that day": it is not referring to events which will take place in eternity; it is referring to events which will happen during the millennium.]
"And it shall come to pass in that day,* that the root of Jesse, which standeth for an ensign of the peoples, unto him shall the nations seek; and his resting place shall be glorious [‘glory’].
"And it shall come to pass in that day,* that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people ..." Isaiah 11: 1, 4, 6-11.
[* The fulfilment of these events can only occur sometime in the future during the Millennium - the 1,000 year reign of Christ upon this earth. (See 2 Peter 3: 8 and compare Genesis 2: 17 with Genesis 5: 27.)]
And again ...
"For the earnest expectation of the creation waiteth for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to vanity, not of its own will, but by reason of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also shall be delivered . . ." Romans 8: 19-21.
To make possible these prophecies, God took an amazing initiative to send His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to die on the Cross of Calvary.*
[* The benefits of Christ’s death extend much further than many Christians believe: His death will also have an affect upon the future state of God’s ‘creation’.]
Of course all the benefits of Christ’s death are not forced upon regenerate believers; for they must be willing, with the help of the risen Lord, to turn away from wilful sin; and hold fast the confession of their hope (Heb. 10: 23, 26); and to be ready and willing to share with Christ the suffering which faithful disciples must bear; and to wait for resurrection...
"... I saw underneath the altar the souls* of them that had been slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: and they cried with a great voice, saying, How long, O Master, the holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And there was given them to each one a white robe; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little time, until their fellow-servants also and their brethren, which should be killed even as they were." Revelation 6:9-11.
[*NOTE. The soul at the time of death, descends to Hades and must remain there until resurrection. (See also, Luke 16: 19-31; Acts 2: 25-34; Psalm 89: 48; Numbers 16: 30, 33, etc.)]
"If any man will [is willing to] come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.’ Luke 9: 23.
And again ...
"... Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations; and I appoint unto you a kingdom, even as my Father appointed unto me, that ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom: and ye shall sit on thrones judging ..." Luke 22: 28-30.
And again ...
"... and joint heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may also be glorified with him." Romans 8: 17.
Could anything be made more plain or any easier to understand? No suffering for Christ, the truth, or for righteousness sake - then there will be no ‘crown’ (Rev. 2: 10); no moral standards during this life - then there will be no ‘inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God,’ (Gal. 5: 21; Eph. 5:5); no true testimony for Jesus and for the word of God - then there will be no ‘first resurrection’, (Rev. 20: 4-6).
By seeking forgiveness and asking Christ Jesus into our lives as Lord, Christians are given a brand new start . . .
"... if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." 2 Corinthians 5: 17.
THE WAY TO REAL LIFE
Finding the right relationship with God in His way is also the key to helping us live in harmony with one another...
"Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye ... And let the peace of God rule in your hearts . . ." Colossians 3: 13 & 15.
Jesus wants us to experience peace with Him and with one another ... to know purpose, fulfilment and age-lasting security …
"I came that they might have life, and may have it abundantly." John 10: 10.
The ‘bottom line’ for each one of us is not whether or not our tradition has been Protestant or Catholic, but whether or not we have responded to God’s challenge facing us today ...
"... after the Way which they call a sect, so serve I the God of our fathers, believing all things which are according to the law, and which are written in the prophets: having hope toward God ... that there shall be a resurrection both of the just and unjust." Acts 24: 14, 15.
We cannot afford to neglect any of Christ’s or His apostles’ words, or ignore any of God’s conditional promises...
Now (the present time) is always the right time for the regenerate believers to consider their ways, and we need to take heed to His instruction, and seek His help ...
"Take heed lest there shall be any one that maketh spoil of you through his philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ." Colossians 2: 8.
And again . . .
"All things therefore whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, even so do ye also unto them: for this is the law and the prophets. Enter ye in* - [to the millennial kingdom] - by the narrow gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth unto destruction, and many be they that enter in thereby. For narrow is the gate, and straitened [narrow] the way, that leadeth unto life,* and few be they that find it." Matthew 7: 13, 14.
[*NOTE. On this occasion our Lord is addressing disciples: ". . . His disciples came unto him: and he open his mouth and taught them saying" (Matt. 5: 1, 2). Consequently, the ‘life’ He offers to them is not eternal
life: it is age-lasting life in the Millennium as a reward for their fidelity.
Therefore, the eternal
THE WAY TO A CORRECT AND BIBLICAL CONCLUSION
It has been rightly written: -
"God’s object is partly no doubt to lead us to consider His ways as revealed in His Holy Word; for we read of some on whom ‘Woe’ was pronounced for not regarding the work of Jehovah etc. (Isa. 5: 12), being too much taken up with the pleasures of this life: but also of others who, during the darkened period of this age, will be led to fear Jehovah and think upon His Name (Malachi 3: 16-17), shewing this is not a mere matter of curiosity, but one of the deepest importance to us individually.
"Psalm 103: 7 should act
as an incentive to the study of prophecy. God ‘made
known His ways (His purposes, plans,
methods, etc.) unto Moses;’ i.e., took him into His counsels; whereas He
merely shewed ‘His
acts unto the children of
[Bold italics are mine Ed.]
"And we have the word of prophecy made more sure; whereunto you do well that ye take heed, as unto a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day-star arise in your hearts: knowing this first, that no prophecy of scripture is of private [special] interpretation. For no prophecy ever came [was brought] by the will of man: but men spake from God, being moved by the Holy Ghost," (2 Peter 1:19-21). R.V.
"... And now I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and give you the inheritance among all them that are sanctified." Acts 20: 32. R.V.