False Religion

“Though most loudly denounce salvation by works, when examined closely, all false religion is works religion. Augustus Toplady put it this way – “Every religion except one puts you upon doing something in order to recommend yourself to God…It is the business of all false religion to patch up a righteousness in which the sinner is to stand before God. But it is the business of the glorious gospel to bring near to us, by the hand of the Holy Spirit, a righteousness ready wrought, a robe of perfection ready made, wherein God’s pegasople, to all the purposes of justification and happiness, stand perfect and without fault before the throne.”

This is what I am saying – False religion always makes room for the flesh to glory. The great contest between the religion of the world and the religion of Christ is just this – Who is entitled to the praise and glory of the sinner’s salvation? Is salvation by free-will or by free-grace? To answer that question I make no appeal to the preachers and theologians of the past, though I thank God for what he has taught me through the writings of those faithful men who served him in past generations. And I make no appeal to the preachers and theologians of the present, though I truly thank God for his faithful witnesses who minister to my soul. I turn, instead to the Book of God, our only rule of faith and practice (Psa. 115:1).

Who is entitled to the praise and glory of salvation? What does the Bible say? “Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake!”

Is salvation by the free-will of man, or by the free-grace of God? What does the Bible say? “It is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy!” (Rom. 9:16).

What do I mean when I use that vile, ugly, reprehensible term – “free-will”? I mean anything decided, determined, or done by the sinner to attain God’s salvation.” – Don Fortner

Advertisements

Election

Election

Here are eleven things expressly taught in the Word of God about election:

1. Election is “IN CHRIST.” No less than fourteen times in the first fourteen verses of Ephesians chapter one the Holy Spirit expressly tells us that every benefit and blessing of grace that comes to sinners from God is in Christ.

2. Election is UNTO SALVATION. Certainly, there is a sense in which it must be said that God’s elect were saved from eternity (Rom. 8:29); but we must never be deceived into thinking that election is salvation. Election is unto salvation. Election is not, as some teach, unto “Christian service.” Election is unto salvation.

3. Election is an act of pure, absolute, DIVINE SOVEREIGNTY. God has mercy on whom he will have mercy (Rom. 9:11-18). God was not moved by anything outside Himself to choose the people He chose to save.

4. Election took place in ETERNITY. God did not choose His people in time, but before time began, in eternity. He chose us before the foundation of the world, from the beginning, when nothing existed except God Himself in the tri-unity of the eternal Godhead.

5. The source and cause of election is God’s eternal LOVE for His people. He loved us freely, from everlasting, before ever the earth was made. Our love to Him is not the cause of His love toward us, but the result (Jer. 31:3; 1 Jn. 4:19).

6. God’s election was an act of free, UNCONDITIONAL grace. Grace is always free and unconditional. The moment a condition is put to it, it ceases to be grace. To say that God chose us because of something He foresaw in us, or foresaw we would chose to do, is to frustrate the grace of God, making it the reward of our work (Rom. 11:6).

7. Election is God’s PERSONAL choice of specific sinners to eternal life in Christ. Here is a sweet cordial of grace which shall never cease to amaze and rejoice the hearts of believing sinners – The Lord God chose me to eternal salvation in Christ, because He loved me with an everlasting, unconditional love!

8. Election is IRREVERSIBLE. “The gifts and callings of God are without repentance” (Rom. 11:29). Those who were chosen to salvation in eternity shall not be unchosen in time!

9. Election is EFFECTUAL. There is no possibility that one of God’s elect shall perish (2 Tim. 2:19).

10. Election is DISTINGUISHING. To talk of universal love in God toward reprobate men is to talk nonsense. Read Isaiah 43:1-4! 11. Election is BLESSED, for it is the cause of all blessedness (Ps. 65:4; Eph. 1:3-6).

Don Fortner

Firebrand Preaching

I love firebrand preaching.

Al Martin, Ian Paisley (check out his Fundamentalism vs. Apostasy sermon), Paul Washer, L.R. Shelton, Paris Reidhead, and who could not like “The God of the Bible Kills People” by brother Rolfe Barnard? Don Fortner and Henry Mahan can turn it up, Alan Cairns can rail with the best of ’em, the list goes on. These men have been given a gift for passionate preaching and I love it!

Sola Deo Gloria.

jm

Praise Him!

Rev. 4.1-3 “Where God is rightly seen, He will be seen exceeding stately and Glorious: O so wonderful! whom nothing can resemble, whom no tongue can express, nor eye behold, nor heart conceive! what were it to imagine thousands of mountains of the most previous stones imaginable, and thousands of Suns shining in their brightness? these are inconceivably short of God, and the Glory that is in Him; what an excellent happiness to be capacitate (to speak so) to know Him, as we are known of Him? Wonder and admire at Him, who is glorious in Holiness, fearful in Praises, doing wonders, terrible in Majesty, and in all perfections past finding out: To Him be praise for ever. Amen” – James Durahm, Commentary Upon The Book of the Revelation

Hanserd Knollys – Revelation 7 & 8

Why go to all this trouble selecting choice quotes and blogging them? To slowly introduce you to Hanserd knollyKnollys’ work a little at a time. Any emphasis was added, thanks.

Rev. 7.1:

This chapter consists of two general parts; first, Christ’s special care of his churches and saints in those evil times, which were to come shortly. {Re 1:1} Secondly, the peaceable and flourishing condition of the church of God, after those evil times, which of the Roman pagan persecutions are past; Re 7:9-17.

Rev. 7.3:

Till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads; that is all God’s faithful servants, both ministers and people, who were to be secured and preserved from these hurtful angels, as (Re 7:5,6) following. Whereby they were distinguished from all others, whom the four angels were permitted to hurt. (Re 9:4) And was it commanded them, that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads; (as Eze 9:4-6). These sealed ones were the seed of Abraham, Israelites indeed, the children of Abraham by faith, (Ga 3:7,26,28,29 Re 14:1-5, etc) that is, a certain number known unto God and Christ, put for an indefinite number, not known unto any but God the Father, Word and Holy Spirit. (Re 7:9)

Rev. 7.10:

and unto the Lamb, who is the Savior of sinners, (Mt 1:18) neither is there any other Savior. (Ac 4:12) This Jesus was the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world; (see Re 5:9) in God’s purpose and decree of the salvation of his elect, chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world. (Eph 1:4-6) Salvation, first, from wrath to come, (1Th 1:10) that is, from, hell, called the second death. (Re 20:6)

Secondly, from the law, not from evangelical obedience unto the moral part of the law (for we are not without law to God, but under the law to Christ; 1Co 9:21), but from the ceremonial part of the law, (Ro 7:6) and from the curse of the law. (Ga 3:13)

Thirdly, from Satan, being delivered out of his kingdom and dominion, and translated into the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ (Col 1:13) Fourthly, from the servitude of sin, (Ro 6:16,20,22,23) that is, from the dominion and reigning power of sin, (Ro 6:11-14) and from law and captivating power of sin. (Ro 7:22-25 8:2) The law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus, hath made me free from the law of sin, etc. and also everlasting and eternal salvation in heavenly glory, called everlasting life, (Joh 3:16) and eternal life, (Ro 6:23 1Jo 5:11,12) through Jesus Christ.

And have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Which they did, first, by faith, applying the precious blood of Jesus, in the promises of the new-covenant of grace: And secondly, by sufferings, wherein they overcame all their persecutors; viz. Satan and all his instruments, by the blood of Christ, and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives unto death. (Re 12:11)

Rev. 8.1:

Now the sealed book was fully opened by our blessed Lord Jesus, the Lamb of God, and the Lion of the tribe of Judah; who is God blessed forever, (Ro 9:5) so that the first principal vision in this prophecy of the Revelation, is fully ended. And here begins the second principal vision thereof, that is, the seven trumpets, from Re 8:8-13:18. The first thing that followed the opening of the seventh seal

was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour By heaven, here we are to understand the church of God, (compared by Christ unto heaven, Mt 25:1 16:18,19 in contradistinction unto the world, called earth. Re 8:13 Re 12:12) And by silence in heaven, we may understand the cessation from churches sufferings, sorrows, weeping, and crying, during the short time of peace, quiet, and rest, which was but half an hour; that is, half the time of the reign of Constantine the Great, who reigned about thirty years, whereof the former fifteen years the church of God had rest from persecution, and peace to serve and worship God, under his government:

And then began the grand heresy of the Arians, whereby the churches rest, and peace was disturbed, interrupted, and troubled by Constantia, Constantine’s sister, whom he greatly favored; and Constantius his son and successor became so eager in maintaning the Arian heresy, and the Arian bishops, that St. Hierom (in Chronicis), said, Omnes poene toto Orbe Ecclesiae Aria-norum consortio polluuntur; Almost all the churches in the whole world are polluted by the agreement of the Arians. Historians relate, that Paul the Patriarch of Constantinople, and Athanasius the Patriarch of Alexandria, who were most eminent opposers of the Arian heresy, were both banished by the Emperor; and some historians testify, that the persecutions of orthodox bishops, ministers, and Christians, by the Arians, were as bloody and barbarous, as the Ten Pagan Persecutions.

Rev. 8.2 & 3:

These seven Angels were the messengers of God, who are ready to declare or do his revealed will; and therefore are said to stand before God; by whom we may understand literally the holy angels, and mystically the faithful ministers of God, called angels. (Re 1:20) Seven is a complete or perfect number, as of churches, ministers, seals, angels; so here of trumpets, (and after of vials, Re 15:1,6,7). With these seven trumpets those messengers of God were to sound seven alarms to the church, and also to the world; and they having received orders from Christ, prepared themselves to sound one after another. {read Re 8:6} By this other angel, we are to understand Jesus Christ, called the Angel of the Covenant, (Mal 3:1) and the High Priest of our profession. (Heb 3:1) The Antitype of Aaron, and all the true High Priest under the law, {Heb 7:25,26} as appears also by his standing at the altar. {Ex 40:5} The golden altar of incense, which typed out the deity of Christ, in whom all the fullness of the Godhead dwelt bodily, (Col 2:9,10; see Re 6:9). And by incense, here we may understand mystically the merits of Christ intercession for the saints, as the mediator of the new covenant of grace between God and the saints. Incense, literally, that mentioned, (Ex 30:34,38) but here typically, the virtue and efficacy of Christ’s intercession for the saints. See more in the exposition of the next verse. See KNOLLYS on “Rev 8:4”

Rev. 8.6 & 7:

The seven angels having attended and waited on the Lord for his orders, and having received their commission from Christ, do now prepare themselves to sound their trumpets, orderly one after another. And the first angel sounded. By angel, here we may understand Athanasius, Paulus, Hilarius, Ofius, Paulinus, and other faithful ministers of the gospel, who lifted up their voice like a trumpet, and did bear their testimony publicly against arianism and other errors; and we may also by this angel, understand the kings of the Goths and vandals, whose religion was Arianism; they sounded a terrible alarm to the Roman Empire by their invasions. Upon which followed hail, and fire mingled with blood; that is, great storms of persecution, (Pleffaeus his Mystery of Iniquity, and Heirom de Chronicis), and bloody wars. (See Alaricus in Chronicis Regnorum Veterum and Helvicus in Theat Hist). Alstedius, Genserick, Atyla, and others, with their armies, destroyed Valence, that bloody Arian emperor, who caused eighty supplicants (that were sent to him from some Orthodox bishops, and other banished Christians) to be murdered.

And all green grass was burned up; that is, the ordinances of God, which are as green pastures, where Christ feeds his sheep and his lambs. (Ps 23:1,2 Re 12:6,14) But now both the doctrine and the ordinances of the gospel, were so corrupted that they were like grass, scorched with the heat of the sun, and so burnt up and withered, that the flocks of Christ’s pastures sheep could not feed. (Am 8:11-13 Isa 40:28-31 Zec 11:8,9) The eastern bishops and churches being so corrupted with errors and heiresses, and western bishops and churches being more orthodox and less corrupted; the bishops of Rome began to contend for supremacy, and at last obtained it. Plessaus’s Mystery of Iniquity, (pp. 4, 44).

(Not sure what Plessaus’s means. If any reader of this post knows please comment.)

Rev. 8.8 & 9:

By this second angel, we may likewise understand both ministerial and political angels, who gave the second alarm to the church of God, and to the Roman papal empire; especially the faithful ministers of the fourth century in the western church. And as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea, This great mountain was the patriarch of Rome, burning with pride and ambition, loving to have the preeminence and the supremacy over God’s clergy. Was cast into the sea. By sea, we may understand their ecclesiastical jurisdiction, over all peoples, tongues, nations and languages, which are the sea of many waters. upon whom the Roman whore sitteth. {Re 17:1,10,18} And especially their corrupted worship. (read Re 13) (Alsted in Chronicis Ordinum inter Monachos; and Socrates, Lib. 5. Of his Ecclesiastical History, Anno 395, 396.)

And the third part of the sea became blood; (like one of the plagues of Egypt). (Ex 7:10,11) That is, a great part of the worship and ordinances of God were so corrupted and polluted by the inventions of men of corrupt minds, and by the superstitious and idolatrous traditions of the Roman papal clergy, that many who drank of those mystical waters died, etc. One part were sealed and secured; another part were preserved by the incense of Christ’s mediation and intercession; and a third part, whose names were not in the Lamb’s Book of Life, were false worshippers, and they died, etc. {Re 13:8,15-17 14:9-11 8:9} By those creatures, we may understand the Roman clergy, who had life; that is, who formerly seemed to be lively and zealous defenders of the faith, died; that is, some recanted, others where corrupted, and others were destroyed, etc.

By this third angel, we may understand the ministers of the next century, namely, Augustinus, Hieronymus, Prosperus, Optatus, etc. The great star that fell from heaven was Nestorius, the then Bishop of Consiantinople, and several ministers with him, who corrupted the doctrine of the gospel, touching original sin, justification, election, satisfaction for sin and free-will, and polluted the pure worship of God, by bringing in penance’s, holy days, fasts, and feasts of their own inventions; Also superstitions, the worshipping of angels, praying to saints deceased, etc. These heterodox prelates and priest, are said to fall from heaven; that is from the true church, sound doctrine, pure worship, and heavenly life. And of shining stars to become burning lamps; that is, they lost all that spiritual light which they had by the gifts of the Spirit, {as 1Co 12:4,8} but being learned men, they kept the lamp-light of their acquired arts. Which they had from the school-men; and thereby they flamed and shined like a burning lamp; (as the lamps of the five foolish virgins did, until they went out). {Mt 25:1-2,8-11}

Rev. 8.11:

Historians tell us, that in this century came in Extream Unction, in imitation of the sacred ordinance of anointing the sick (or infirm) with oil. (Jas 5:14-16) Falex, Patriarch of Rome, appointed the Chancel or Choire to be separated from the Stoney Church, for the second service, and sacrament to be said and administered in the Chorie or Chancel, as the most holy place in the temples of stone, called the church, the parish church, etc. And the patriarch Gregory, caused the image of the virgin Mary to be carried in procession; and candles were then brought into the temples or churches for Candlemas-day (Cent. Magd. Cent. 5). At that time also, Benedict the Father of Monks, and little Denis the maker of cycles for Easter, are said to live. Thus popery crept gradually into the church by the fall of the stars, angels, ministers, etc.

Rev. 8.12:

By this fourth angel we may understand Gergorius a man of greatlearning who opposed John Bishop of Constantiople; that took the name of universal bishop, (Gegor. Lib. 4, Epist. 32,34,36,38, ad Johnnem Constant Lib. 7, Epist. 30, also Cent. Magd. Cent. 6 cap. 1:7). And other faithful ministers, who opposed innovations in worship, and unsound doctrines at that time. By the sun, moon, and stars, in the heaven of the visible church on earth, we are to understand all sorts of spiritual light, which God hath ordained and set in the church; that is, the Holy Scripture of truth. (Ps 119:105,130) The able ministers of the New Testament. (Mt 5:14) A third part of these were smitten, so that a third part them was darkened.

Rev. 8.13:

By this angel, we may understand Christ or some of his holy angels, or some of his prophetical angels; that is, some of his ministers, or messengers: And for the better understanding of this verse, I shall premise a few things; First, that heaven and earth, in this prophecy, of the Revelation, are often used metaphorically. (read Re 6:12,13,14 7:1-3 9:1) Secondly, that the inhabitants of the earth are put in opposition to them that dwell in heaven. {Re 12:12} Thirdly, as by heaven is meant Sion so by earth we may understand Babylon. {Re 17:15,18 Re 18:2,10} Now I proceed; by the inhabitors of the earth, here we are to understand those people who are members of, and continue in the anti-Christian state of the Roman papal church, (called mystery Babylon, Re 17:5 the great whore and mother of harlots) both ministers and people, who have been made drunk with wine of her fornications, (Re 17:1,2) and do worship the beast, or his image, (Re 13:1,7,8) or received the mark in their forehead, or in their hand. Those are the persons and people against whom these three woes are denounced by Christ and angels. (Re 18:13 14:9-11) If any man worship the Beast and his Image, and receive his Mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture, etc.