Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Discipline of the Lord--Let it Speak to You

Every twig has a voice!

(Thomas Brooks)

"Pay attention to the rod and the One who ordained it." Micah 6:9

Christians should hear the rod, and kiss the rod, and sit mute and silent under God's rod.

Christians should be mute and silent under the greatest afflictions, the saddest providences, and sharpest trials which they meet with in this world, that they may the better hear and understand the voice of God's rod.

As the word has a voice, the Spirit a voice, and conscience a voice--so God's rod has a voice.

God's rods are not mutes. They are all vocal, they are all speaking as well as smiting. Every twig has a voice!

'Ah! soul,' says one twig, 'you say it smarts. Well! tell me, is it good to provoke a jealous God?' Jerem. 4:18.

'Ah! soul,' says another twig, 'you say it is bitter, it reaches to your heart; but have not your own doings procured these things?' Rom. 6:20, 21.

'Ah! soul,' says another twig, 'where is the profit, the pleasure, the sweet that you have found in wandering from God?' Hosea 2:7.

'Ah! soul,' says another twig, 'was it not best with you, when you were high in your communion with God, and when you were humble and close in your walking with God?' Micah 6:8.

'Ah! Christian,' says another twig, 'will you search your heart, and try your ways, and turn to the Lord your God?' Lam. 3:40.

'Ah! soul,' says another twig, 'will you die to sin more than ever, and to the world more than ever, and to relations more than ever, and to yourself more than ever?' Rom. 14:6-8; Gal. 6:18.

'Ah! soul,' says another twig, 'will you live more to Christ than ever, and cleave closer to Christ than ever, and prize Christ more than ever, and venture further for Christ than ever?'

'Ah! soul,' says another twig, 'will you love Christ with a more inflamed love, and hope in Christ with a more raised hope, and depend upon Christ with a greater confidence, and wait upon Christ with more invincible patience?'

Now, if the soul is not mute and silent under the rod, how is it possible that it should ever hear the voice of God's rod, or that it should ever hearken to the voice of every twig of God's rod?


Heb 12:4 In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.
Heb 12:5 And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? "My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him.
Heb 12:6 For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives."
Heb 12:7 It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?
Heb 12:8 If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.

For the Weary Soliders of Christ Jesus

To those who find themselves constantly fighting error in their church and those who leave because of because it, I want to encourage you in the Lord. You are not alone. Many of your brothers and sisters are fighting the same battle. It is exhausting. Its disheartening. We want so badly to just rest when we enter the Lord's house on Sunday, don't we? And yet, we often times can't. Be encouraged. The time is drawing near. He is with us, leading us into victory. Don't loose heart, but continue to fight the good fight. Don't compromise because you are tired. Gear up! Re-group! Let's continue to stand for truth.

1Co 15:57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

2Co 2:14 But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.

Heb 12:3 Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.

Isa 40:26 Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name, by the greatness of his might, and because he is strong in power not one is missing.
Isa 40:27 Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, "My way is hidden from the LORD, and my right is disregarded by my God"?
Isa 40:28 Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.
Isa 40:29 He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength.
Isa 40:30 Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted;
Isa 40:31 but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

Thursday, August 03, 2006


A Treatise Respecting the Nature, Person, Offices,Work, Sufferings, and Glory of Jesus Christ -- By William S. Plumer, 1867


[Here are some of my favorite quotes---there are so many, that THIS is the abbreviated version of what I originally wanted to post! For the entire document, see the link at the bottom. --Denise]

The present state of the world:

Infidelity still uses great swelling words of vanity, makes hard and ungodly speeches respecting Jehovah and his saints, often spews out its venom against all that is pure and holy, asserts the sufficiency of human reason as a guide to heaven, betakes itself to the caves of sorcery, and can boast of nothing better than a death without hope, and a grave without a resurrection.

For nearly six thousand years the pagan world has been seeking an image of the invisible God, and the summit of its aspirings still reaches no higher than the sun, or moon, or stars, or devils, or crocodiles, or peacocks, or serpents, or images of gold, silver, wood, or stone. Its morals never mend. Under its sanctions every precept of the decalogue is broken publicly and privately, ritually and legally. No marvel that when Satan is worshiped, there should be found habitations of cruelty. No nation without God's word has in its language any term expressing what Christians mean by sanctification. Corruption is and ever has been the alpha and the omega of heathenism. All that is stupid in the donkey, silly in the dove, filthy in the swine, fierce in wild beasts, and venomous in serpents—is fitly ascribed to heathenism. "The wicked freely strut about, when what is vile is honored among men." Psalm 12:8...

From what abominations has the the gospel saved us! "Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God." 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

Now and then Atheism proclaims its tenets, is confident that mankind are superstitious in their worship of Jehovah, makes its disciples of the drunkard, the licentious, the prostitute, and the blasphemer, and once in a while threatens a terrific eruption of its scalding lava on the face of society. Its latest form of development is in a wretched Pantheism....

Although just now somewhat shorn of his power to persecute, Muhammad,
the prophet of Mecca still practices his sorceries, maddens the passions of men, holds the cup of carnal delight to the lips of his besotted worshipers, and endeavors to light up the horrors of the grave by pointing to a Paradise of sin!

Notwithstanding all that has been done in blessing and in cursing, in fulfilling prophecy, and in setting up Messiah's kingdom, Judaism is still entrenched behind Targums, Paraphrasts, an oral law, endless traditions, and the most inveterate prejudices and enmity against the truth. Thus it is with things claiming no connection whatever with Christianity. When we come to nations professedly accepting the gospel, there is still much to dishearten.

The Catholic church still adheres to her ignorant priesthood, her sacraments of human invention, her apostolic supremacy, and her nearness to Messiah's sepulcher; but knows not that she is poor, and miserable, and blind, and naked, far from Christ's precepts, far from his example, far from his doctrines.
In the pride of her apostolicity she renounces every distinctive truth taught by apostles.

She, that has made the kings, merchants, and dwellers on earth drunk with the wine of her fornications, holds forth other goblets to the nations, saying: "I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. Come, let us take our fill." Follow her footsteps to any region of the world, and you find that "the doctrine of the cross is least understood where crosses most abound." The lamp of God's Word is put under a bushel, candles are substituted, and darkness becomes visible...

Besides, a low state of piety paralyzes half the limbs of the body of Christ. Cold and selfish, many never aim high. A low estimate of evangelical doctrine makes many indifferent to the teachings of Christ himself. Often too do we hear unpleasant whisperings and buzzings in the Christian camp. Some act as if they would rather make a proselyte from a sister church—than a convert to Christ who would not follow with them....

Plumer encourages us:

It should not discourage us that we can do nothing effectually. The excellency of the power is of God. We may plant and water, but God alone can give the increase. This is the best arrangement. If we depend on God, we shall not be disappointed. If he does the work, it will be well done; and to him, without dispute, will be all the glory. Yet we may do much instrumentally.

We may keep ourselves and those under our influence, informed respecting the state of the world. It is a great thing to know and to make known how men are living in sin and dying in despair, having a dismal eternity before them, and their ruin being unnecessary, salvation having been provided, a ministry instituted, and a glorious gospel commanded to be preached....

We may cultivate an ardent love to the souls of men. Oh that there were a thousand times more of that godlike spirit which Shaftsbury scornfully called a "rage for saving souls." No man ever had too much love or pity for those who were perishing under the load of their guilt and in the horrors of their depravity. It is easy to over-estimate wealth, honor, station—but it is not possible to set too high a value on the salvation of a soul by Jesus Christ.

In particular, have faith in Christ, in his mediation, in his ability to execute all his offices. He has dominion over wicked men and devils. All power in heaven and earth is given to him. He saves, and he destroys. He kills, and he makes alive. He has the keys of death and of hell. He does all his good pleasure—in all worlds. For the good of his church he orders all things. He and his people are so far one, that in all their affliction he is afflicted, and in all his glory they rejoice. That which, in Daniel 7:14, is said to be given to Christ, is in the same chapter, verse 27, said to be given to the saints of the Most High. When Christ is glorified, his people shout for joy. When they are glorified, they enter into the joy of their Lord.

Closing with a great prayer glorifying God and His sovereignty, asking for Him to bring things to the stated end in which Christ reigns visibly and surpremely and gloriously, he says:

We are indeed asking great things, but we do it at your command. We ask no more than you have promised to your Son—and no more than he has purchased by his most precious blood—and no more than he himself intercedes for in heaven. Amen.

For the full article, go here.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


Part Two

We left off, looking at what false teachers are characterized by. Now Plumer suggests how to deal with them. Here are some of my favorite quotes. Please check out the full list he gives at the link at the bottom of this article. ~Denise

*As soon as we discern their false teaching, it is our duty to refuse to hear them or to read their books. Never was more wholesome or beneficial advice given than that of Solomon: "Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causes to err from the words of knowledge" (Prov. 19:27). In answer to a question from a corrupt writer, John Newton excused himself for not having read his book, by saying: "If a neighbor sends me a joint of meat, and I find one slice corrupted, I am not bound to eat it at all." Human nature is in most cases too weak to bear a long and voluntary subjection to evil influences without very ill effects. Were men wholly without sin, it would grieve them to be compelled to listen to lies and to slanders on God's truth and government. The less pain such false teachings give us, the more dangerous they are. All pleas for giving our ears to false teachers are in the teeth of the good petition: "Lead us not into temptation."

* False teachers must also be firmly and meekly resisted in all their attempts to lead men astray. When even Peter was betrayed into deception concerning false doctrines, Paul withstood him to the face, and rebuked him sharply. Jude "exhorted" his brethren "earnestly to contend for the faith once delivered to the saints" (verse 3). He who is willing to risk nothing for Christ, does not love Christ. He who, being duly called to defend the truth, declines to do so, does not love the truth. That is a good saying, and none the worse for being old: "Do you love controversy? suspect your love. Do you abhor controversy? suspect your Christianity."

*In dealing with corrupt teachers, it is peculiarly important not to be intimidated by them. "The fear of man brings a snare." "Do not fear anything except the Lord Almighty. He alone is the Holy One. If you fear him, you need fear nothing else. He will keep you safe." (Prov. 29:25; Isa. 8:13-14). Truth is like the spear of Ithuriel. No falsehood can endure its touch. The sword of the Spirit is two-edged and very sharp.

*The longer a godly man lives, the firmer is his confidence in the simple truths of Scripture to renew the heart, save the soul, check error, and bring glory to God.

And some of my favorite “conclusions” by Plumer in this article:

* There is such a thing as truth. Truth is light. It makes manifest. It is one. It is harmonious. No truth contradicts any other truth. In truth are no jars, no discords, no contradictions. Like its Author, truth is simple, eternal, immutable. It came from God, who cannot lie, cannot deceive, cannot be mistaken, cannot be outsmarted. Sin and holiness never were the same, and to all eternity shall be different. Right and wrong cannot agree, because one is conformity to truth and justice, while the other is at war with both. One is from above; the other is from beneath. Truth is the opposite of fiction, fable, falsehood.

*We are bound to distinguish true and false doctrine. The Scripture requires us to test all things, and to hold fast to that which is good; and to test teachers by their doctrine (1 Thess. 5:21; 1 John 4:1). This can be done. We can know the truth. The doctrine of the Pharisees and the doctrine of the Sadducees never did agree with the doctrines of Christ. The doctrine of the Nicolaitans subverted the doctrines of the Apostles. Light and darkness are not more opposite than truth and error. Nutritious food and deadly poison may look alike, but they can be, and they must be, distinguished.

*We cannot in the least depart from sound doctrine without affecting our views of God, His nature, government, or worship. It is necessary to believe that man is a lost sinner, in order to believe that the provisions of the Gospel are not nugatory. If men hold false doctrine, it is because they have not received the love of the truth, and so are swayed by pride, or prejudice, or lack of right affections.

*We must not only hold the truth—but hold it to the rejection of opposing error. After a fashion, the Pharisees held much truth, but they so mixed it up with error that they "made the word of God of no effect." One man in this age has sent forth the opinion that we may well believe all creeds, the more the better. For this strange notion, there is neither reason nor Scripture.

*We must be valiant for the truth. We must hold it at all costs and hazards. Myriads have wisely laid down their lives for the testimony of Jesus. All the truth of Christianity now upon earth has been preserved to us by the intrepidity of confessors and the blood of martyrs. Men, whose office, station, and profession require them to stand up for the truth—yet fail to do so—are among the greatest enemies of God and man (Jer. 9:3).

*Others say—good practice is all we regard; we care nothing for doctrines. But have such forgotten that "as a man thinks in his heart so is he" (Prov. 23:7)? The world furnishes no case of a man being better than his principles. Who would trust a man who believed it was right to lie, and steal, and murder?

*We must not shrink from a just exposure of false doctrine and a faithful vindication of the truth. The pious and amiable John Newton made it a rule never to attack error, nor warn his people against it. He said: "The best method of defeating heresy is by establishing the truth. One proposes to fill a bushel with tares; now if I can fill it first with wheat, I shall defeat his attempts." Surely the truth ought to be abundantly set forth. But this is not sufficient. The human mind is not like a bushel. It may learn much truth and yet go after folly. The effect of Mr. Newton's practice was unhappy. He was hardly dead until many of his people went far astray. Paul says: "Preach the word of God. Be persistent, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching." (2 Tim. 4:2). The more subtle, bitter, and numerous the foes of the truth are—the more fearfulness and decided should its friends be. The life of truth is more important than the life of any man or of any theories.

Let no man forget that there is a rejection of truth, which makes ruin certain. "He who believes not shall be damned." A little error is bad; but error in fundamental truth hinders salvation. South says: "I know it is doubted, whether a bare error in judgment can damn a person; but since truths absolutely necessary for salvation are so clearly revealed in Scripture, that we cannot err in them, unless we are notoriously lacking to ourselves; herein the fault of the judgment is resolved into a precedent default of the will; and so the case is put out of doubt." If men are ever delivered from the bondage of corruption, the truth must set them free (John 8:32). And if men are turning from the holy commandment and the precious truth of God to fables and falsehoods, it must be because they love a lie. "For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion—so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness" 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12.

Let us not grow weary in earnestly contending for the faith.

For the whole article go here.


By William S. Plumer

[Below are some excerpts from an article I discovered at Grace Gems. I've abbreviated the list, but Plumer gives far more detail and Scripture along the way. I just wanted to get to the parts that stood out to me and I thought would be helpful to others. Please read the whole article. I'll post the link at the end, since I've had problems putting it into the text at the beginning here. I'm sorry for any inconvenience. ~Denise]

The amount of zeal displayed by false teachers is sometimes prodigious. They compass sea and land to make one proselyte. They often put to shame the lukewarmness of some who hold the truth. Their devoutness sometimes seems astonishing. In them Satan seems transformed into an angel of light. I have never seen more seeming warmth in religious worship than among some who deny the divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ and of the Holy Spirit. They are both sanctimonious and fanatical. They have fire, but it is wild fire. Let us follow no teacher merely because he is moral, zealous and apparently devout.

It is God's plan that "there must be heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you" (1 Cor. 11:19). The Scriptures make it no less clear that our duty requires us to "test the spirits, to see whether they are of God" (1 John 5:1).

Let us then learn the marks of false teachers. What does history say of them? In all ages they are much alike.

I. False teachers exercise much craftiness and deceitfulness in spreading their false doctrines.

II. False teachers commonly promise much more than they perform.

III. False teachers are commonly boastful.

IV. The very same people at times display fierceness and bitterness.

V. False teachers love to make dupes of unstable, ill-informed females and young people.

VI. Notwithstanding their boastings, many false teachers are commonly cowards.

VII. False teachers are sometimes very successful for a season.

VIII. Sooner or later the folly of false teachers shall be manifest.

The character of a polished propagator of false doctrine may be thus sketched. He is cunning, artful and smooth. He is believable and ready to flatter, but he has no real benevolence. At times, he has a show of modesty, but no real humility. He is never sincere, open, and true. He talks very much according to the company he is in. In his heart, he hates scriptural holiness and some of the truths that lead to it; yet at times, he may have an air of sanctimoniousness.

When he dares, he can scoff, and scowl, and show malice like any other wicked man. His artifices better suit the naive, than the judicious, and so he chiefly addresses the unlearned and the unstable. At times, he probably blusters a good deal, but he has none of the true courage of the Apostles. He is not ready to suffer the loss of all things for the truth.

It is easy for providence to lead such men away to secular pursuits. Our country has seen four men, preachers of false doctrine in one city, led away to other pursuits more congenial to their carnal tastes. Law, medicine, trade, politics, literary pursuits are more congenial to such than preaching and praying.

Often false teachers have an unhonored old age. After death, none rise up to call them blessed. They never saved a soul from the error of its ways. Sometimes the death of such is attended with many painful circumstances. They never bear any testimony for God. Their dying chamber is never on the verge of heaven.

Sometimes they hug their delusions to the last, and never awake to a just view of their own case until the stamp of eternity and the seal of immutability are placed upon their character, until they stand before the judgement of God, and begin the doleful and endless wail of lamentation over a life misspent and opportunities of salvation lost forever.

Here arises a great practical question: How shall we treat false teachers when they arise? The answer to this question needs not to be long.

To be continued on the next post.

Link to the full article at Grace Gems here.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

When God Pardons by William S. Plumer

One unpardoned sin would destroy a soul forever.

Many words in Scripture point towards forgiveness, such as:

peace with God,
not imputing iniquity,
taking away sin,
bearing sin,
making an end of transgression,
covering sin,
forgetting sin,
not remembering iniquity,
cleansing and removing sin,
casting it into the sea, or behind the back,
scattering it like a cloud,
burying it,
blotting it out,
pardoning it.

The forgiveness of sins is free. It is "without money and without price." We can do nothing to merit it, or prepare ourselves for it.

When God pardons, He pardons: all sins, original sin and actual sin, sins of omission and of commission, secret and open sins, sins of thought, word and deed.

To those who believe in Jesus, all is freely forgiven. Full pardon, or none at all, is what God gives. Nor is this gift ever revoked by God. When He forgives, He forgives forever!

"Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not count against him."
~Psalm 32:1-2