Mobile Command Unit

Ok, I broke down and ordered one of those fancy Reformation Study Bibles.

I have the old “Reformation Study Bible,” you know, the edition just after they changed the name from the New Geneva Study Bible? It was a solid Bible and I used it often so when I noticed the crimson hardcover was on sale I picked one up…which is difficult to do considering the weight of the volume! It’s not that heavy, I was joking, it weights in at about 4 lbs.

This edition offers a very clean page style, the font is easy to read and the paper is bright white and thicker when compared to some of my other study bibles. (The ESV Study Bible which is WAY too thin if you ask me). The notes have been updated and revised as you probably already know. The confessions in the back are useful and the sidebar theological notes are extremely valuable, which is why I call it a Mobile Command Unit. I like to bring my Bible along with me to the coffee shop and read it during lunch. Sometimes the Bible I’m reading will solicit a comment or two. The sidebar notes are useful in these situations because it allows you to on the same page when discussing a theological subject when blind sided with random conversation.

It has everything you need to do battle!

reformation study bible crimson

8/10

I gave The Reformation Study Bible an 8 out of 10. It lost a point due to the single column paragraph setup. When reading, studying or even arguing over something from scripture, I’ve found it helps to have a versified two column Bible. Maybe that’s just me. This Bible lost another point due to the limit in translations (ESV/NKJV). It would be nice to have this study Bible with a modern Geneva translation or the King James. I’m thankful for The Reformation Heritage Study Bible which does come in my preferred translations and I would recommend that edition in a hearbeat.

That’s all for now folks.

Yours in the Lord,

jm

Glory for the Newborn Child of God

Source

Monday the 10th of December

in Meditations I

Psalm 63:11

    A beautiful truth that a born again child of God can and will sing is stated in these words (PRC Psalter):

    My Savior ‘neath Thy sheltering wings,
    My soul delights to dwell;
    Still closer to Thy side I press,
    For near Thee all is well.
    My soul shall conquer every foe,
    Upholden by Thy hand;
    Thy people shall rejoice in God,
    Thy saints in glory stand.

    This is the versification of Psalm 63:11. In this verse David wrote: But the king shall rejoice in God; every one that sweareth by Him shall glory: but the mouth of them that speak lies shall be stopped.”

    We should note two elements here. The born again child of God will “rejoice in God” and “shall glory.” For the last step in the work of salvation for the child of God is that God glorifies him and gives him the heavenly joy of a covenant life of fellowship with God.

    Now glory is the radiation, the shining forth of virtue. That lies ahead for every child of God. Not only will he receive a glorified body, like that of Christ, wherein his new man in Christ shall have a life of bliss, but he will rejoice in fellowship with God.

    Glory makes us rejoice. The curse brings us tears and sorrow. That will all be behind us when we reach the glory promised us. Now already we have protection. As David wrote in verse 7: “Because Thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of Thy wings will I rejoice.” Satan and his servants cannot keep the reborn child of God from reaching that heavenly glory. And reaching that glory with both body and soul, he will have an endless life of heavenly bliss.

    Our new life wants that covenant fellowship with God. That is the blessedness that every reborn child of God hopes to obtain. That he will reach, and then he will rejoice in the Lord and shall have glory that never fades.

    What a work of salvation it is then that God wrought in Christ! What a great praise and thanksgiving we owe Him and will in that glory be able to bring to Him!

Read: Psalm 63
Psalter versification: #163:3

Meditations on the Heidelberg Catechism

Song for Meditation: Psalter #21
Why not sing along??

****
Through the Bible in One Year
Read today:
Amos 1 ; Amos 2 ; Amos 3:1-15
Revelation 2:1-17
Psalm 129:1-8
Proverbs 29:19-20 
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Quote for Reflection:

How sweet is it to godly minds to be assured, not only by word, but by sight, that they obtain so much favour with the Heavenly Father that their offspring are within His care?” ~ John Calvin

Christian Soldier

“In the midst of battle, it is easy to get discouraged by the bumps, bruises, and wounds that we suffer. When we see other Christians fail, fall, or pass away, it can be devastating. So, we must be reminded that our Captain has already conquered sin and death. He is risen indeed! His strategies will never fail, and all of His soldiers will triumph. Let us look upward and forward to the time when He will dwell in the midst of His perfected church and will make all things new (Rev. 21:1–4).” Robert VanDoodewaard

Sorrows of Sin

elder silas

“The terrible afflictions of soul I cannot describe. I cannot tell of the sorrows on account of sin in thought and word and deed, of the going down into the depths, when deep has called unto deep in my soul, when I have felt that “the bars of the earth were about me forever.” But so far the Lord has showed me his delivering power and grace, and out of every one of these deep and heavy afflictions the Lord has brought me into some deeper and more glorious understanding of his goodness.” Silas Durand, Exercises About Preaching

Calvin’s Institutes

Christianbook.com has the single volume edition of Calvin’s Institutes on sale for $15.99. Years ago I purchased the two volume set by McNeill and Battles and read it through a few times. More recently a good friend sent me the sinlge volume, unabridged, 1845 Beveridge calvintranslation (with the older styled cover) and I do prefer it over the two volume set. A few quotes from Amazon will help explain why one might prefer Bereridge over other editions.

Reformed Christian scholar and theological philosopher Paul Helm:

“Incidentally, if you have the need of a translation of the Institutes, then the reissue of the Beveridge translation (newly published by Hendrickson) may be just the thing. It has new indexes, and has been ‘gently edited’, which means, I hope, only the removal of typos and other detritus. (I have not yet had the chance to check). Beveridge is superior to Battles in sticking closer to the original Latin, and having less intrusive editorial paraphernalia.”

Richard A. Muller, on the two translations (from the preface of The Unaccommodated Calvin):

“I have also consulted the older translations of the Institutes, namely those of Norton, Allen and Beveridge, in view of both the accuracy of those translation and the relationship in which they stand to the older or ‘precritical’ text tradition of Calvin’s original. Both in its apparatus and in its editorial approach to the text, the McNeill-Battles translation suffers from the mentality of the text-critic who hides the original ambience of the text even as he attempts to reveal all its secrets to the modern reader.”

from J.I. Packer in the foreword to A Theological Guide to Calvin’s Institutes:

“No English translation fully matches Calvin’s Latin; that of the Elizabethan, Thomas Norton, perhaps gets closest; Beveridge gives us Calvin’s feistiness but not always his precision; Battles gives us the precision but not always the punchiness, and fleetness of foot; Allen is smooth and clear, but low-key.”

David Calhoun:

“Let me just say a few words about English translations. The first was Thomas Norton back in the sixteenth century. Calvin was very fortunate with his first English translator. Norton did an exceptionally good job. Very soon after the completion of the Institutes in 1559, which was written in Latin, it was translated by Calvin into French and then quite soon into English. John Allen was the second translator. John Allen and Henry Beveridge were both nineteenth-century translators. The Beveridge translation is still in print. It was until fairly recently anyway. Those are not bad but not very good either. Ford Lewis Battles’ 1960 translation is the one that we are using. Even though it has been criticized some, it is by far the most superior translation that we have at present.”

Joshua Butcher’s Amazon review:

The recent reissue of Beveridge’s 19th century translation of Calvin’s Institutes is a very nice complement to the more comprehensive scholarly edition by McNeil (translated by Battles). If you are trying to decide between the Battles and the Beveridge translation here are a few things to consider.

1. The Battles has extensive editing, which includes a thorough cross-referencing of the pertinent quotations that Calvin refers to, as well as the pertinent Biblical texts and intertextual references. McNeil is a quality editor, but as with any editing, the view of the editor is never without a measure of bias. If you are looking to get a fresh interpretation of Calvin, you try reading the Beveridge first, or skip over the footnotes in the Battles.

2. The Beveridge provides alternative readings based upon the French edition of the Institutes. I’ve found this aspect to be quite interesting. Calvin’s style in French tends to be a bit more expansive and colorful than his Latin.

3. The Beveridge has the benefit of being a one-volume hardback, as opposed to the two-volume hardback of the Battles. The one-volume has a bit more heft to carry around, but you always have the complete work with you if you are out and about.

4. The subject headings are different in the two editions. The Beveridge provides a full sentence overview outline at the beginning of each chapter division, whereas the Battles provides subheadings for each minor section. There are pros and cons to each approach, of course.

Whatever edition you decide to get, you will not be disappointed. Calvin’s Institutes is a masterpiece of Western literature, and one of the most important works of the Christian Church of all time.

This edition has some nice features as well:

– An eight-page, four-color insert on coated stock, including a frontispiece featuring the title page of the original publication and a timeline of the Reformation and of John Calvin’s life

– Two ribbon markers

– Gold foil and embossing

– Linen end sheets

Even if you disagree with Calvin…you should read him. His influence on the church cannot be ignored.

Yours in the Lord,

jm

The Day of the Lord?

When does the “Day of the Lord” take place? What say ye?

dayofthelord

Revelation 6:9-17

And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:

10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?

11 And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.

12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;

13 And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.

14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.

15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;

16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:

17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

Pope’s “apostolic succession” from Judas Iscariot

Reblog from Reformed Covenanter:

Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition (2 Thessalonians 2:3)

roman

Papists vainly pretend that the pope is the successor of Peter.  Granted, the pope is the successor of an apostle. As Thomas Manton points out, however, he derives his succession from the son of perdition, Judas Iscariot:

[2.] The son of perdition, wherein he is likened to Judas: John xvii. 12, ‘None of them is lost but the son of perdition.’ Him he resembleth in covetousness, treachery, and final destruction. The term may be explained either passively, or actively:—(1.) Passively, as one condemned to everlasting destruction; as the ‘son of death,’ is one condemned to die: 2 Sam. xii. 5, ‘He shall be a son of death;’ we translate it, ‘He shall surely die.’ So ‘children of wrath,’ Eph. ii. 3; so here, ‘son of perdition.’

(2.) Actively, bringing destruction upon himself and others; one that shall destroy others, and so he is called ‘Abaddon,’ and ‘Apollyon,’ Rev. ix. 11, and is opposite to Christ, who is ‘the author of salvation.’ Heb. v. 9, but Antichrist of destruction. And let us see the parallel between him and Judas; for the person is a type, as well as the name hath a significancy. Antichrist then is like Judas—in profession, a disciple of Christ; in office, a governor of the church; but in practice, a traitor. As they said of the blind man, John ix. 9, ‘Some said, This is he; others, He is very like him.’ The Pope boasteth that his seat is apostolical, his chair is Peter’s chair, and that he is the successor of the apostle. Grant it, but there is an error of the person—not of Peter, but of Judas. Let us see the parallel:—

(1.) Judas was not a stranger, but a pretended friend and apostle: Acts i. 17, ‘He was numbered with us, and obtained part of this ministry.’ Turks [Muslims] and infidels are enemies to Christ, but Antichrist seeketh to undermine him, under a pretence of friendship; ἀντίχριστος is one in show for, and in effect against Christ, and the beast in the Revelation is said to ‘push with the horns of the lamb.’ Rev. xiii. 11. If he were a professed enemy, what mystery were there in it? But mystery was written upon the woman’s forehead, Rev. xvii. 5; and here, ver. 7, ‘The mystery of iniquity.’ It is wisdom to discern the false prophet, Rev. xiii. 18, but there needeth no great wisdom to discover an open and professed adversary.

(2.) He sold Christ for a small matter. Omnia Romae venalia: pardons, indulgences, freedom from purgatory, all to be bought with money; and it is a small matter, considering the things put to sale, the pardon of sins, the souls of men redeemed with Christ’s precious blood. The antichristian state maketh a market of religion; truth is made to yield to interest and profit.

(3.) Judas betrayed Christ with a kiss, under a pretence of honouring him: Luke xxii. 48, ‘Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?’ Antichrist is a true adversary of Christ, though he pretend to adore him; as those that murdered the present prophets would by all means beautify the tombs of the prophets deceased, and bear a respect to their memories, Mat. xxiii. 30.  He pretendeth to be his servant, yea, a servant of servants, but is really his enemy. The apostle telleth us of some that were ‘enemies to the cross of Christ,’ Phil. iii. 18. Who to appearance such friends to the cross as the rabble of nominal Christians? but they are opposers of his spiritual kingdom, the virtue and power of the cross. You have crucifixes every where, painted, carved, gilded; they are ready to worship the cross with a holy worship; they set it in their temples, altars, wear it in their bosoms, and wherever they meet it show it reverence, adorn it with gold, silver, and precious stones. Their popes and prelates have it carried before them; and are not these friends of the cross? No; they live a worldly, sensual life, and all their religion tendeth there unto; therefore enemies of the cross of Christ, because they mind earthly things. This is right antichrist-like, to betray Christ under a colour of adoration.

(4.) Judas was a guide to them that came to take Christ; and one main work of Antichrist is to be a ringleader in persecuting for religion. Christ is in heaven, death hath no more power over him; his natural body is above abuse, but his mystical body still suffereth: Acts ix. 6, ‘Why persecutest thou me?’ Antichrist is the head of the persecuting state, others are his emissaries and agents, to take Christ in his members. It is a politic religion, that must be carried on with worldly artifices, with power and cruelty.

5.) Lastly, The covetousness of Judas is set forth. He was a thief, one that carried the bag, John xii. 6. England, to its bitter cost, knoweth the polling exactions of the Papacy; all its dealings with us were to fill the bag out of this puteus inexhaustus. Now all these things should open our eyes; we may behold the man of sin, the son of perdition; one egg is not more like to another than Judas and Antichrist.

Thomas Manton, Eighteen Sermons on the Second Chapter of the Second Epistle to the Thessalonians, containing the description, rise, growth, and fall of Antichrist, with divers cautions and arguments to establish Christians against the Apostasy of the Church of Rome (1679) in The Complete Works of Thomas Manton, D.D. (22 vols, London, 1871), iii, 32-33.

Effort in the Flesh

burden“In the great majority of cases, professing Christians are too puffed up by a sense of what they suppose they are doing for God, to earnestly study what God has promised to do for and in His people. They are so occupied with their fleshly efforts to “win souls for Christ” that they feel not their own deep need of the Spirit’s anointing. The leaders of “Christian” (?) enterprise are so concerned in multiplying “Christian workers” that quantity, not quality, is the main consideration. How few today recognize that if the number of “missionaries” on the foreign field were increased twenty-fold the next year, that that, of itself, would not ensure the genuine salvation of one additional heathen? Even though every new missionary were “sound in the faith” and preached only “the Truth,” that would not add one iota of spiritual power to the missionary forces, without the Holy Spirit’s unction and blessing! The same principle holds good everywhere. If the orthodox seminaries and the much-advertised Bible institutes turned out 100 times more men than they are now doing, the churches would not be one bit better off than they are, unless God given a fresh outpouring of His Spirit. In like manner, no Sunday School is strengthened by the mere multiplication of its teachers.

O my readers,

face the solemn fact that the greatest lack of all in Christendom today is the absence of the Holy Spirit’s power and blessing. Review the activities of the past 30 years. Millions of dollars have been freely devoted to the support of professed Christian enterprises.

Bible institutes and schools have turned out “trained workers” by the thousands.

Bible conferences have sprung up on every side like mushrooms.

Countless booklets and tracts have been printed and circulated.

Time and labors have been given by an almost incalculable number of “personal workers.” And with what results? 

Has the standard of personal piety advanced? Are the churches less worldly? Are their members more Christ-like in their daily walk? Is there more godliness in the home? Are the children more obedient and respectful? Is the Sabbath Day being increasingly sanctified and kept holy? Has the standard of honesty in business been raised?

The Need:

Those blessed with any spiritual discernment can return but one answer to the above questions. In spite of all the huge sums of money that have been spent, in spite of all the labors which has been put forth, in spite of all the new workers that have been added to the old ones, the spirituality of Christendom is at a far lower ebb today than it was 30 years ago. Numbers of professing Christians have increased, fleshly activities have multiplied, but spiritual power has waned. Why? Because there is a grieved and quenched Spirit in our midst. While His blessing is withheld there can be no improvement. What is needed today is for the saints to get down on their faces before God, cry unto Him in the name of Christ to so work again, that what has grieved His Spirit may be put away, and the channel of blessing once more be opened.

Until the Holy Spirit is again given His rightful place in our hearts, thoughts, and activities, there can be no improvement. Until it be recognized that we are entirely dependent upon His operations for all spiritual blessing, the root of the trouble cannot be reached. Until it be recognized that it is “‘Not by might, (of trained workers), nor by power (of intellectual argument or persuasive appeal), but by MY SPIRIT, says the Lord” (Zechariah 4:6), there will be no deliverance from that fleshly zeal which is not according to knowledge, and which is now paralyzing Christendom. Until the Holy Spirit is honored, sought, and counted upon, the present spiritual drought must continue. May it please our gracious God to give the writer messages and prepare the hearts of our readers to receive that which will be to His glory, the furtherance of His cause upon earth, and the good of His dear people.

Brethren, pray for us.”

A. W. Pink