PB Anthology of Primitive Baptist Literature. 1

Title Page. 6

Index. 6

Acknowledgments. 53

Foreword. 53

The Power Of Love - Sam Bryant 55

2 PETER 3:16, Wresting the Scriptures. 68

A BETTER COUNTRY DESIRED.. 69

A CALL TO ARMS. 72

A PLAIN PATH.. 73

A PROFESSION OR A CALLING?. 74

A TRIBUTE TO ELDER RAYBON LORD.. 76

A TRIUNE HELPER.. 89

AARON’S PRIESTLY GARMENTS. 90

Abel 100

Abijah - Sylvester Hassell 101

ABOUT PREDESTINATION.. 101

Abraham and Isaac on Mount Moriah. 102

Absolutism.. 116

Absolutism: The fatal connection - Harold Hunt 118

Absolutism: Objections - C. H. Cayce. 131

ABSOLUTISM: What does it really teach?. 134

According To The Glorious Gospel 147

Acts - The Book of - Sylvester Hassell 158

Acts 4:27,28. 159

Acts 4:28 - C. H. Cayce. 176

Acts 4:28 - Harold Hunt 185

Acts 4:37 - C. H. Cayce. 198

Adam.. 207

Adams Transgression - Harold Hunt 208

Adoption. 222

The Broadest of All Subjects. 223

What is Adoption?. 223

The Choice of the Child. 224

Adultery. 230

Agent, Free Moral 245

Ahaz. 245

Ahaziah. 246

Albertus Magnus. 247

Albigenses, The. 248

Alexander 248

Alexandria, The Academy Of 248

ALL COME TO REPENTANCE, 2 Peter3:9. 249

Allah. 251

Amaziah. 252

AMAZING GRACE. 252

Ammonius Saccas. 262

Amon. 263

AN EMPTY VAPOR.. 263

Anabaptists. 264

Anselm.. 264

Antinomianism.. 264

Antiochus IV, Epiphanes. 265

Apocrypha, The. 266

Apostolic Succession. 268

APPLES OF GOLD.. 268

Aquinas, Thomas. 271

Archaeology, Biblical 271

ARE WE GOING TO BE PRIMITIVE BAPTISTS. 274

Arianism.. 274

Arius. 274

Ark Of The Covenant, The. 275

Arminianism.. 275

Arminius, James. 275

Arnold of Brescia and The Arnoldists. 277

Asa. 277

ASK FOR THE OLD PATHS. 278

Associations. 279

Athaliah. 280

Atonement 281

Augustine, St. of Hippo. 306

Augustinianism.. 306

AVOID THEM... 306

Azariah. 307

Babylonian Captivity (of the Popes) 307

Baptism.. 307

Baptism, Authority to. 312

Baptism, Burial in. 314

Baptism, Infant 315

Baptism, John's. 317

Baptism, Two Kinds of 317

Baptism: A Simple Command. 318

Baptism: Believers the Proper Subjects. 333

Baptism: Christ's Marriage to the Church. 341

Baptism: Immersion the Mode. 342

Baptism: The Purpose. 348

Baptist Church, First in America. 354

Baptist: Origin of the Name. 355

Baptists, Strict 355

Baptists, The: Their Origin. 356

BE RAISED AGAIN.. 357

Believing in Christ 358

BERNARD of France. 373

Beza, Theodore. 373

Bible Truth and My Desire. 373

Bible, The. 413

Biblical Jewels. 446

Black Death, The. 486

Black Rock Address, The. 486

Boleyn, Anne. 497

Boniface. 498

Boniface VIII, Pope. 499

Bradwardine, Thomas. 500

Browne, Robert and the Brownists. 500

Bullinger, Henry. 501

Burning Bush, The. 501

Cain. 501

Calvin, John. 502

Campbell, Thomas and Alexander 531

Campbellism.. 532

Canaan, The Land of 572

Cannot Sin. 574

Carey, William.. 584

Carlstadt 584

Cassian, John. 584

Castaway. 585

Cathari, The. 604

Catherine of Aragon. 605

Cayce: 1896-1899. 605

1896 - 1899. 605

Cayce: 1900-1905. 612

1900 - 1905. 612

Cayce: 1906. 644

1906. 644

Cayce: 1907. 728

1907. 728

Cayce: 1908. 792

1908. 792

Cayce: 1909. 842

1909. 842

Cayce: 1910. 893

1910. 893

EDUCATE THE JAPS. 948

MY IMPRESSIONS. 949

Cayce: 1911. 954

1911. 954

Cayce: 1912. 1002

1912. 1002

Cayce: 1913. 1048

1913. 1048

Cayce: 1914. 1079

1914. 1079

Cayce: 1915. 1142

1915. 1142

Cayce: 1916. 1210

1916. 1210

REPLY TO J. M. HICKS. 1213

DIFFERENCE IN BELIEF. 1215

February 29, 1916. 1216

March 14, 1916. 1220

March 21, 1916. 1224

CAMPBELL'S MOVEMENT. 1224

THE TWO WITNESSES. 1225

June 13, 1916. 1226

IN GEORGIA.. 1227

THE BELOVED DISCIPLE. 1229

June 20, 1916. 1229

THE BAPTIST CHURCH.. 1230

June 27, 1916. 1232

August 22, 1916. 1241

August 29, 1916. 1243

ARTICLE COPIED.. 1245

THE CURTAIN RAISED.. 1245

ARTICLE NO. 3. 1257

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS. 1266

AN ENQUIRER.. 1267

THE NEW BIRTH.. 1277

Cayce: 1917. 1280

1917. 1280

TIME SALVATION.. 1280

January 9, 1917 - 1282

THE RESURRECTION-OLD EDITORIAL. 1294

January 30, 1917. 1297

February 20, 1917. 1301

March 6, 1917. 1309

March 13, 1917. 1310

July 3, 1917. 1313

CARD PLAYING.. 1315

DEBATE POSTPONED.. 1317

July 10, 1917. 1317

July 17, 1917. 1321

July 17, 1917. 1322

AN OVERSIGHT. 1323

A FALSE STATEMENT. 1338

September 4, 1917. 1341

September 11, 1917. 1343

September 25, 1917. 1351

CLOSE OF VOLUME THIRTY-TWO.. 1364

Cayce: 1918. 1365

1918. 1365

INTRODUCTION TO VOLUME XXXIII 1365

January 8, 1918. 1366

ELDER J. B. LITTLE. 1372

February 19, 1918. 1374

SONG SERVICE. 1374

March 5, 1918. 1376

March 5, 1918. 1377

A DEBATE. 1378

July 16, 1918. 1378

Cayce: 1919. 1385

1919. 1385

January 14, 1919. 1385

September 23, 1919. 1393

Cayce: 1920. 1395

1920. 1395

WHAT NEXT?. 1401

QUESTION OF ORDER.. 1403

June 1, 1920. 1405

June 15, 1920. 1407

June 15, 1920. 1408

July 1, 1920. 1409

July 15, 1920. 1412

July 15, 1920. 1412

August 1, 1920. 1416

ARTICLES LEFT OUT. 1423

Cayce: 1921. 1423

1921. 1423

December 1, 1921. 1427

Cayce: 1922. 1428

1922. 1428

Cayce: 1923. 1465

1923. 1465

Cayce: 1924. 1515

1924. 1515

Cayce: 1925. 1544

1925. 1544

Cayce: 1926. 1578

1926. 1578

AN

ANTHOLOGY

OF PRIMITIVE BAPTIST

LITERATURE

and Literature Reflecting

Primitive Baptist Thought

Conservative, Biblical,

and as doctrinally sound

as we know how to make it

2004

Elder Harold Hunt, Editor
2516 E. Clark Ave.
Maryville, TN 37804

ALPHABETICAL

-A-

A TRIBUTE TO ELDER RAYBON LORD Anthology: A TRIBUTE TO ELDER RAYBON LORD
A DEFENCE OF PARTICULAR REDEMPTION, William Rushton
PartRedem: 01- A DEFENCE OF PARTICULAR REDEMPTION


AARON'S PRIESTLY GARMENTS Anthology: AARON’S PRIESTLY GARMENTS
ABEL, Harold Hunt
Anthology: Abel

ABIJAH, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Abijah - Sylvester Hassell
ABRAHAM AND ISAAC ON MOUNT MORIAH Anthology: Abraham and Isaac on Mount Moriah
ABSOLUTISM: defined, Harold Hunt
Anthology: Absolutism

ABSOLUTISM: The fatal connection, Harold Hunt Anthology: Absolutism: The fatal connection - Harold Hunt

ABSOLUTISM: Objections, C.H. Cayce Anthology: Absolutism: Objections - C. H. Cayce
ABSOLUTISM: What does it really teach?
Anthology: ABSOLUTISM: What does it really teach?

ACTS, The book of, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Acts - The Book of - Sylvester Hassell

Ac 2:28,31, C. H. Cayce (July 10, 1930) Anthology: Cayce: 1930 April 26, 1910

Ac 4:28, Harold Hunt Anthology: Acts 4:28 - Harold Hunt

Ac 4:28, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Acts 4:28 - C. H. Cayce
Ac 4:37,
Anthology: Acts 4:37 - C. H. Cayce

Ac 8:16-17, C. H. Cayce (April 28, 1908) Anthology: Cayce: 1908

Ac 9:7, and Ac 12:9 & Ac 22:9, C. H. Cayce (May 19, 1914) Anthology: Cayce: 1914

Ac 10:36-39, C. H. Cayce (September 1, 1925) Anthology: Cayce: 1925

Ac 13:3, C. H. Cayce (April 17, 1906) Anthology: Cayce: 1906

Ac 19:1-8, C. H. Cayce, (June 1, 1909) Anthology: Cayce: 1909

Ac 20:9-10, C. H. Cayce (February 15, 1916) Anthology: Cayce: 1916

Ac 22:3. C. H. Cayce (March 7, 1916) Anthology: Cayce: 1916

Ac 22:16, C. H. Cayce (April 21, 1908) Anthology: Cayce: 1908

Ac 26:18,20, C. H. Cayce (September 25, 1906) Anthology: Cayce: 1906

ADAM, C.H. Cayce Anthology: Adam

ADAM: what did he lose when he sinned, C.H. Cayce Anthology: Adam

ADAM: could he have kept the law, C.H. Cayce Anthology: Adam

ADAM, Did he die a spiritual death, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Adams Transgression - Harold Hunt

ADAM’S TRANSGRESSION: Harold Hunt Anthology: Adams Transgression - Harold Hunt

ADOPTION: Defined, Harold Hunt Anthology: Adoption

ADOPTION, Harold Hunt Anthology: Adoption

ADULTERY, C.H. Cayce Anthology: Adultery

ADULTERY, Harold Hunt Anthology: Adultery

AGENT, Free moral (See under FREE Moral Agent) Anthology: Agent, Free Moral

AHAZ, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Ahaz

AHAZIAH, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Ahaziah

ALBERTUS MAGNUS (See under SCHOLASTIC THEOLOGY) Anthology: Albertus Magnus

ALBIGENSES, The, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Albigenses, The

ALEXANDER (See under Constantine) Anthology: Alexander

ALEXANDRIA, The Academy at, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Alexandria, The Academy Of

ALLAH, Harold Hunt Anthology: Allah

AMAZIAH Anthology: Amaziah

AMMONIUS SACCAS (See under NEO-PLATONISM) Anthology: Ammonius Saccas
AMON (See under MANASSEH) Anthology: Amon
ANABAPTISTS (See under WALDENSES)
Anthology: Anabaptists

ANSELM (See under SCHOLASTIC THEOLOGY) Anthology: Anselm

ANTINOMIANISM (See under The LAW of God) Anthology: Antinomianism

ANTIOCHUS EPIPHANES, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Antiochus IV, Epiphanes

APOCRYPHA The, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Apocrypha, The

APOSTOLIC SUCCESSION, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Apostolic Succession

APOSTASY, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1914 (December 1, 1914)

AQUINAS, Thomas (See under SCHOLASTIC THEOLOGY and The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION) Anthology: Aquinas, Thomas

ARCHAEOLOGY, Biblical, Harold Hunt Anthology: Archaeology, Biblical

ARIUS and ARIANISM (See under Constantine) Anthology: Arianism

ARK of the Covenant, The Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Ark Of The Covenant, The

ARMINIANISM, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Arminianism

ARMINIUS, James, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Arminius, James

ARNOLD of Brescia and THE ARNOLDISTS See under PETER de BRUYS) Anthology: Arnold of Brescia and The Arnoldists

ASA, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Asa

ASSOCIATIONS, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Associations

ATHALIAH (See under Ahaziah) Anthology: Athaliah

ATONEMENT: definition Anthology: Atonement

ATONEMENT. Daily/Throgmorton Anthology: Atonement

AUGUSTINE, Saint, of Hippo, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Augustine, St. of Hippo

AUGUSTINIANISM (See under PELAGIANISM and under John CALVIN) Anthology: Augustinianism

AZARIAH (See under UZZIAH) Anthology: Azariah

-B-

BAPTISM, Immersion the mode, J.H. Oliphant Anthology: Baptism: Immersion the Mode

BAPTISM, Believers the Proper Subjects, J.H. Oliphant Anthology: Baptism: Believers the Proper Subjects

BAPTISM, The Purpose, J.H. Oliphant Anthology: Baptism: The Purpose

BAPTISM, Harold Hunt Anthology: Baptism

BAPTISM, Alien, C. H. Cayce

BAPTISM, Infant, G.H. Orchard Anthology: Baptism, Infant

BAPTISM, Orderly C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1909 (May 18, 1909)

BAPTISM, Baptizing WITH water, C. H. Cayce

BAPTISM, Two kinds of, T.S. Dalton Anthology: Baptism, Two Kinds of

BAPTISM, John's Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Baptism, John's

BAPTISM, why do we not accept baptism administered by the Missionary Baptists, C. H. Cayce

BAPTISM and Rebaptism, C. H. Cayce

BAPTISM, Burial in, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Baptism, Burial in

BAPTISM, Christ’s marriage to the church, S. A. Paine Anthology: Baptism: Christ's Marriage to the Church

BAPTISM and Time Salvation, F. A. Chick

BAPTISM, The One, C. H. Cayce

BAPTIST, Origin of the name, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Baptist: Origin of the Name

BAPTISTS, The, Their origin, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Baptists, The: Their Origin

BAPTIST, The first --- church in America, Sylvester Anthology: Baptist Church, First in America

BAPTISTS, The Separates and the Regulars, C. H. Cayce

BAPTISTS, Strict, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Baptists, Strict

BELIAL, What fellowship hath Christ with Belial, C. H. Cayce (See under Corinthians, 1st, 5:18)

BELIEF by the unregenerate, C. H. Cayce

BIBLE, The, John Gill Anthology: Bible, The

BIBLE, The literary style of the, Harold Hunt Anthology: Bible, The

BIBLE, The sufficiency of the, Lemuel Potter Anthology: Bible, The

BIBLE TRUTH AND MY DESIRE, S. E. Copeland Anthology: Bible Truth and My Desire
BIBLICAL JEWELS, J. C. Stanaland Anthology: Biblical Jewels

BLACK DEATH, The (Bubonic Plague), Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Black Death, The

BLACK ROCK ADDRESS, The, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Black Rock Address, The

BOOK of Life, when were our names written in the Lamb's --- of life, C. H. Cayce (See WHEN WERE THEY WRITTEN? February 26, 1907 in Anthology: Cayce: 1907)

BRADWARDINE, THOMAS

BROWNE, ROBERT and the Brownists Anthology: Browne, Robert and the Brownists

BULLINGER, HENRY Anthology: Bullinger, Henry

BURNING BUSH, The, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Burning Bush, The

-C-

CAIN, Harold Hunt Anthology: Cain Anthology: Cain

CALVIN, John, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1910 (March 15, 1910)

CALVIN, John, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Calvin, John

CALVINISTS,Ten Reasons Primitive Baptists are not Calvinists, Lonnie Mozingo Jr., with Michael Gowens (See in Anthology: Calvin, John)

CALVINISM a new form of, Harold Hunt (See in Anthology: Calvin, John)

CALVINISM, it makes men to be Puppets, Guy Hunt (See in Anthology: Calvin, John)

CALVINISTS: don't accuse God, Guy Hunt (See in Anthology: Calvin, John)

CALVINISTS and Arminians: are there only two choices, Harold Hunt (See in Anthology: Calvin, John)

CALVINISM, Believing in Christ, Harold Hunt (See in Anthology: Calvin, John)

CAMPBELL, Thomas and Alexander, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Campbell, Thomas and Alexander

CAMPBELLISM, C.H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1914 August 4, 1914
Anthology: Campbellism

CAMPBELLISM, S. A. Paine (See in Anthology: Campbellism)

CAMPBELLISM, History of, S.A. Paine (See in Anthology: Campbellism)

CAMPBELLISM, Doctrines of, S. A. Paine

CAMPBELLISM on Repentance, S. A. Paine (See in Anthology: Campbellism)

CAMPBELLISM on Confession, S. A. Paine (See in Anthology: Campbellism)

CAMPBELLISM on Baptism, S. A. Paine (See in Anthology: Campbellism)

CAMPBELLISM on Faith, S. A. Paine (See in Anthology: Campbellism)

CAMPBELLISM on the Gospel, S. A. Paine (See in Anthology: Campbellism)

CANAAN, The land of, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Canaan, The Land of

CANNOT SIN Anthology: Cannot Sin

CARLSTADT (See under Martin LUTHER) Anthology: Carlstadt

CAREY, William (See under FOREIGN MISSIONS) Anthology: Carey, William

CASSIAN, John (See under PELAGIANISM) Anthology: Cassian, John

CASTAWAY Anthology: Castaway

CATHARI, The, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Cathari, The

CATHARINE of Aragon, (See under the CHURCH OF ENGLAND) Anthology: Catherine of Aragon

CHALCEDON, The Council of, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Chalcedon, The Council of

CHARLEMAGNE, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Charlemagne

CHARLES MARTEL, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Charles Martel

CHRIST, Jesus (See the Person and Work of CHRIST)

CHRISTMAS, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1915 (February 9, 1915)

CHRISTMAS, R. H. Pittman Anthology: Christmas

CHRYSOSTOM, John, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Chrysostom, John

CHURCH, The Establishment of, S. A. Paine Anthology: Church, The

CHURCH minutes, C. H. Cayce

CHURCH minutes, C. H. Cayce

CHURCH, The 12 Marks of the, Summarized from Hassell (See in Anthology: Church, The)

CHURCH, The Identity of, Sylvester Hassell (See The Historical Identity of the CHURCH in Anthology: Church, The)
CHURCH HISTORY, J. Harvey Daily
Anthology: CHURCH HISTORY by J. Harvey Daily

CHURCH The, The Identity of, Lemuel Potter

CHURCH Succession, Sylvester Hassell (See in Anthology: Church, The)

CHURCH, The oldest church and association in America, C. H. Cayce

CHURCH, The, proof texts for perpetuity of (See in Anthology: Church, The)

CHURCH The, forms of government, Sylvester Hassell (See Forms of CHURCH GOVERNMENT in Anthology: Church, The)

CHURCH Conference, C. H. Cayce (See in Anthology: Church, The)

CHURCH Covenant, Sylvester Hassell (See in Anthology: Church, The)

CHURCH Decorum, Rules of, Sylvester Hassell (See Rules of CHURCH Decorum in Anthology: Church, The

CHURCH CONFERENCE: Who has the right to moderate, C. H.

CHURCH ORDER: How does a church in disorder set itself right, C. H. Cayce

CHURCH ORDER - 42 ARTICLES (FROM THE INTERNET) Anthology: Church Order - 42 ARTICLES (from the internet)

CHURCH HISTORY, J. Harvey Daily Anthology: CHURCH HISTORY by J. Harvey Daily

CHURCH OF ENGLAND, The, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Church of England, The

CHURCH OF SCOTLAND, The (See under the CHURCH OF ENGLAND) Anthology: Church of Scotland, The

CHURCH SUCCESSION, Sylvester Hassell (See in Anthology: Church, The)

CHURCHES, Relations between, S.A. Paine (See Relationships between CHURCHES in Anthology: Church, The)

CIVIL WAR, The, and Foreign Missions, C. H. Cayce
THE CIVIL WAR, It Was Not About Slavery) Anthology: The Civil War - It Was Not About Slavery
THE CIVIL WAR , New England Slave Traders Anthology: The Civil War - New England Slave Traders
THE CIVIL WAR, The Experience of a Slave in the Old South Anthology: The Civil War - The Experience of a Slave in the Old South
CLEMENT, (See under Adademy at ALEXANDRIA) Anthology: Clement

COLOSSIANS, The book of, (See under The Book of EPHESIANS) Anthology: Ephesians, The Book of
COMFORT OF THE SCRIPTURES, R. H. Pittman Anthology: COMFORT OF THE SCRIPTURES
COMMISSION, The, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1911 October 31, 1911

COMMUNION, J. H. Oliphant Anthology: Communion

COMMUNION, Wine or grape juice, C. H. Cayce (See in Anthology: Communion

COMMUNION, Close, C.H. Cayce (See in Anthology: Communion)

COMMUNION, Close, Lemuel Potter (See in Anthology: Communion)

CONDITIONALITY (Time Salvation), Sylvester Hassell Anthology: CONDITIONALITY (Time Salvation)

CONSTANTINE, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Constantine

CONSERVATISM vs. Liberalism, Harold Hunt Anthology: Conservatism vs Liberalism

CONSUBSTANTIATION (See under SCHOLASTIC THEOLOGY) Anthology: Consubstantiation

CONVERSION, T. S. Dalton Anthology: Conversion

CONVERSION, Tom Hagler (See in Anthology: Conversion)

CORINTHIANS, 1st and 2nd Books of, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Corinthians,The Books of 1st and 2nd

CORINTHIANS, 1st, 3:2, C. H. Cayce,

CORINTHIANS, 1st, 5: 9-13, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1929 August 8, 1929

CORINTHIANS, 1st, 5:18, C. H. Cayce

CORINTHIANS, 1st 7:15, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1935 December 5, 1935

CORINTHIANS, 1st, 8:8-13, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1908 January 7, 1908

CORINTHIANS, 1st, 6:9-11, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1910 November 15, 1910

CORINTHIANS, 1st , 9;7-15 C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1910 August 30, 1910

CORINTHIANS, 1st 11:34 C. H. Cayce (See under 1Co 16:24 in Anthology: Cayce: 1930 September 11, 1930

CORINTHIANS, 1st, 14: 34, 35 C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1928 October 1, 1928
Anthology: Cayce: 1915 June 1, 1915
Anthology: Cayce: 1923 June 1, 1923

CORINTHIANS, 1st, 15:22, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1911 March 28, 1911
Anthology: Cayce: 1915 June 8, 1915
Anthology: Cayce: 1928
October 1, 1928

CORINTHIANS, 1st, 15:29, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1912 Anthology: Cayce: 1912 July 9, 1912
Anthology: Cayce: 1915 June 15, 1915

Anthology: Cayce: 1916 March 21, 1916
Anthology: Cayce: 1919 July 1, 1919

CORINTHIANS, 1st, 15:46, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1914 (See under May 19, 1914)

CORINTHIANS, 1st, 16:2, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1910 April 12, 1910

CORINTHIANS, 2nd, 4:3, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1908 September 8, 1908

CORINTHIANS, 2nd, 4:6, C. H. Cayce

CORINTHIANS, 2nd. 5:20, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1915 March 16, 1915

CORINTHIANS, 2nd 7:10, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1911 April 11, 1911

CORINTHIANS, 2nd, 12:2-5, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1910 May 17, 1910

CORNELIUS, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Cornelius

COUNCILS, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Councils

COUNCILS, The Seven Ecumenical Councils of the Roman Catholic Church, Sylvester Hassell (See in Anthology: Councils)

COUNCIL, The --- of Trent (See under The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION) Anthology: Immaculate Conception, The

COUNSELING, Harold Hunt Anthology: Counseling

COVENANTS, The, J.H. Oliphant Anthology: Covenants, The

COVENANT, The Everlasting, Harold Hunt (See in Anthology: Covenants, The)

COVENANT, Church, (See under CHURCH Covenant) (See in Anthology: Church, The)

COVENANTERS, The, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Covenanters, The

CRANDALL, John, (See under Persecution in MASSACHUSETTS) Anthology: Crandall, John

CREATE, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Create

CROMWELL IN IRELAND, Harold Hunt

CRUSADES, The, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Crusades, The

-D-

DALTON-BURNETT DEBATE ON SALVATION Anthology: Dalton-Burnett Debate
DARKNESS, The three hours of darkness at the Crucifixion of Christ, Sylvester Hassell
Anthology: Darkness at the Crucifixion of Christ, Three Hours

DAVID, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: David

DEACON, The Deacon and his duties, J. H. Oliphant Anthology: Deacon, The, And His Duties

DEBATES, Lemuel Potter Anthology: Debates

DECORUM, Rules of Church Decorum, (See under Rules of CHURCH Decorum) Anthology: Church Decorum, Rules of

DEPRAVITY, Total, J. H. Oliphant Anthology: Depravity, Total

De 6:6-7, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1908 November 24, 1903

DEUTEROMONY 11:26; 30:15, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1926 August 15, 1926

DICHOTOMY, (See under SOUL) Anthology: Dichotomy

DINOSAURS, (See under EVOLUTION) Anthology: Dinosaurs
DONOSAURS: AN EYEWITNESS ACCOUNT
P-Hunt: Dinosaurs: An Eyewitness Account

DISCIPLINE, (See article on FELLOWSHIP: J. H. Oliphant) Anthology: Discipline

DIVORCE and Remarriage, (See under ADULTERY) Anthology: Divorce and Remarriage

DOCETISM, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Docetism

DONATION, The --- of Pepin (See under CHARLEMAGNE) Anthology: Donation, The, of Pepin

DONATUS and the DONATISTS, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Donatus and the Donatists

DUALISM, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Dualism

DUNS SCOTUS (See under The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION) Anthology: Duns Scotus

-E-

EATING meats offered to an idol, (See under Corinthians, 1st, 8:8-13) Anthology: Cayce: 1908 January 7, 1908

EBIONITES (See under DOCETISM) Anthology: Ebionites

ECK, John, (See Under Martin LUTHER) Anthology: Eck, John

ECKHART (See under SCHOLASTIC THEOLOGY) Anthology: Eckhart

ECOLAMPADIUS, John (See under Ulrich ZWINGLI) Anthology: Ecolampadius, John

EFFECTUAL CALLING, T. L. Webb, Jr. Anthology: EFFECTUAL CALLING

ENGLAND, The Church of, (See under The CHURCH of England) Anthology: England, The Church of

ELDER WALTER CASH AUTOBIOGRAPHY AND SERMONS Various3: AS.000 Autobiography and Sermons of Elder Walter Cash

ELECT, The very, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1909 April 27, 1909

ELECTION: God chose individual people, not PROFILES of people, Mark Green Anthology: ELECTION: God chose individual people, not PROFILES of people

ELECTION and Predestination, J.H. Oliphant Anthology: Election and Predestination

ELECTION and Predestination, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1942 July 2, 1942

ELIAKIM (See under Jehoahaz) Anthology: Eliakim

ENOCH TRANSLATED, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1924 April 1, 1924

EPHESIANS, The Book of, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Ephesians, The Book of

Eph 1:13, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1918 February 19, 1918

Eph 2:1, George Walker Anthology: EPHESIANS 2:1

Eph 2:1-5, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1915 May 4, 1915

Eph 2:10, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1910 April 26, 1910

Eph 2:15 C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1914 July 28, 1914

Eph 4:17-19, C. H. Cayce, Anthology: Cayce: 1909 (See under December 14, 1909)

Eph 5:5,23,33, C. H. Cayce

EPISTLES, The, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Epistles, The

ERASMUS, Desiderius, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Erasmus, Desiderius

ETERNAL CHILDREN, (See under TWO SEED doctrine) Anthology: Eternal Children

ETERNAL SALVATION AND TIME SALVATION, T. S. Dalton Anthology: Eternal Salvation and Time Salvation

ETERNAL VITAL UNION, (See under TWO SEED doctrine) Anthology: Eternal Vital Union

EUSEBIUS, (See under Constantine) Anthology: Eusebius

Ex 32:14. (See under Ge 6:6) Anthology: Cayce: 1913 June 24, 1913

EUTYCHES and EUTYCHIANISM (See under NESTORIUS) Anthology: Eutyches and Eutychianism

EVEN CHRIST OUR PASSOVER Anthology: EVEN CHRIST OUR PASSOVER

EVIDENCE, Z. Stallings Anthology: EVIDENCE

EVOLUTION, The --- Religion, Harold Hunt Anthology: Evolution
EVOLUTION: Why Do They Believe It?
Anthology: EVOLUTION: Why Do They Believe It?

Eze 16:24-55, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1910 November 22, 1910

Eze 36:25-27, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1914 December 8, 1914

-F-

FAITH: as opposed to rational assent, John Newton Anthology: Faith

FAITH, J.H. Oliphant (See in Anthology: Faith)

FAITH, New birth comes first, C. H. Cayce

FALLING FROM GRACE, C. H. Cayce, Anthology: Cayce: 1930 April 24, 1930

FAMILY WORSHIP, J. R. Respess Anthology: FAMILY WORSHIP

FEAR THOU NOT, George D. Walker Anthology: FEAR THOU NOT

FEAST DAYS under the Law of Moses, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Feast Days, The, Under The Law Of Moses

FEETWASHING, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1911 June 20, 1911

FEETWASHING, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1914 March 24, 1914

FEET WASHING, Is it commanded to be done C. H. Cayce

FEET WASHING NOT A TEST Anthology: Cayce: 1909 January 19, 1909

FEETWASHING, Did the Lord wash the feet of Judas Iscariot, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Feet Washing (See in Anthology: Feet Washing) Anthology: Cayce: 1920 July 1, 1920

FIG, The --- tree, Harold Hunt Anthology: Fig Tree, The

FELLOWSHIP, J. H. Oliphant Anthology: Fellowship

FIGURES, Harold Hunt Anthology: Figures

FINAL JUDGMENT, The, C. H. Cayce

FIRST CAUSE, C. H. Cayce

FIRST CAUSE AGAIN, C. H. Cayce
Anthology: Cayce: 1909 December 7, 1909

FIRST CONVENTICLE ACT, The Sylvester Hassell Anthology: First Conventicle Act, The

FIVE POINTS of Calvinism, The, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Five Points of Calvinism, The

FLAGELLANTS, The, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Flagellants, The

FLAMING SWORD, The, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Flaming Sword, The

FLOOD, The Genesis, Harold Hunt Anthology: Flood, The Genesis

FLOOD, The, God's children in C. H. Cayce

FOREIGN MISSIONS, C. H. Cayce

FOREIGN MISSIONS, Sylvester Hassell; Anthology: Foreign Missions

FOREIGN MISSIONS, How can they justify their claims, C. H. Cayce

FOREIGN MISSIONS and War, C. H. Cayce

FOREKNOWLEDGE OF GOD, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1915 March 2, 1915

FOREKNOWLEDGE and PREDESTINATION, What is the difference, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1915 March 16, 1915

FORNICATION, T. S. Dalton Anthology: Fornication

FOUND UNTO GOD'S PRAISE, Mark Green Anthology: FOUND UNTO GOD’S PRAISE

FOUR HUNDRED YEARS AFFLICTION, The, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Four Hundred Years Affliction, The

FOXES Book of Martyrs (See under the CHURCH OF ENGLAND) Anthology: Foxes, John, Book of Martyrs

FREDERICK BARBAROSSA (See under The CRUSADES) Anthology: Frederick Barbarossa

FREDERICK Elector of Saxony (See under Martin LUTHER) Anthology: Frederick Elector of Saxony

FREE Moral Agency, C. H. Cayce
Anthology: Cayce: 1915 April 27, 1915
Anthology: Free Moral Agency

FREE Moral Agency, T.S. Dalton (See in Anthology: Free Moral Agency)

FREEMASONRY Anthology: Freemasonry

FRIENDS, The, (See under The QUAKERS) Anthology: Friends, The

FULLER, Andrew, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Fuller, Andrew

FULTON MEETING, The, C. H. Cayce

FUTURE IDENTITY, C. H. Cayce
Anthology: Future Identity
Anthology: Cayce: 1936
August 20, 1936

-G-

GALATIANS, The Book of, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Galatians, The Book Of

Ga 3; 6:18, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1906 May 22, 1906
Anthology: Cayce: 1907 April 16, 1907
Anthology: Cayce: 1917
July 17, 1917

Ga 3:17, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1907 April 16, 1907

GALALATIANS 3:27, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1906 May 22, 1906

Ga 4:4-5, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1912 May 14, 1912

Ga 5:4, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1907 November 26, 1907

GAMBLING, Mark Green Anthology: GAMBLING

GENERAL JUDGMENT AND ETERNAL HELL Anthology: Cayce: 1914August 18, 1914

GENESIS, The book of, Harold Hunt Anthology: Genesis, The Book Of

Ge 3:22-24, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1908 November 17, 1908

Ge 6:1-4, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1907 November 12, 1907

Ge 6:5-7, C. H. Cayce

Ge 6:6, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1913 June 24, 1913

GIDEON AND THE THREE HUNDRED Anthology: GIDEON and the Three Hundred

GNOSTICISM, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Gnosticism

GOD: See under God’s Nature and Attributes

GOD THE FIRST CAUSE, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1909 October 26, 1909

GOD’S RIGHT HAND: Glorious in Power, John Rowe Anthology: GOD’S RIGHT HAND: Glorious in Power

GODLINESS WITH CONTENTMENT IS GREAT GAIN, Dale E. Magers Anthology: GODLINESS WITH CONTENTMENT IS GREAT GAIN

GOOD WORKS, Mark Green Anthology: GOOD WORKS

GOSPEL, The, S. A. Paine Anthology: Gospel, The

GOSPEL, The, Sylvester Hassell (See in Anthology: Gospel, The)

GOSPEL, The, E. W. Thomas (See in Anthology: Gospel, The)

GOSPEL, The, Lemuel Potter (See in Anthology: Gospel, The)

GOSPEL, The, W. H. Crouse (See in Anthology: Gospel, The)

GOSPEL, The Gospel, who is it for, C. H. Cayce

GOSPEL, The Gospel, what is it for, J. H. Oliphant (See Oliphant in Anthology: Gospel, The

GOSPEL, The, Is it a means to regeneration, C. H. Cayce

GOSPEL, Proof texts used in support of gospel regeneration, (See in Anthology: Gospel, The)

GOSPELS, The Four, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Gospels, The Four

GOSPEL Ministry, The, (See under The Gospel MINISTRY) Anthology: Gospel Ministry, The

GRAVE, The, Is it ever called Hell C. H. Cayce (See Lu 23:43 under April 22, 1913 in Anthology: Cayce: 1913

GREAT WESTERN SCHISM (The Great Papal Schism), The, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Great Western Schism, The

GREGORY I (Gregory the Great) Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Gregory I
GRIFFIN'S HISTORY OF THE PRIMITIVE BAPTIST'S OF MISSISSIPPI
Various2: GR Griffin's History of Mississippi Primitive Baptists

-H-

HANGED ON A TREE, Mark Green Anthology: HANGED ON A TREE

HE SHALL SAVE HIS PEOPLE Anthology: He Shall Save His People

HE THAT BELIEVETH AND IS BAPTIZED Anthology: He That Believeth and Is Baptized
HEART, a new, C. H. Cayce

HEAVEN, Eternal, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Heaven, Eternal

HEAVEN: High and Low Seats, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Heaven: High and Low Seats

HEAVEN, War in, (See under Re 12:7-9)

HEBREWS, The Book of, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Hebrews, The Book Of

Heb 2:2-3, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1908 May 26, 1908

Heb 2:9, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1908 April 21, 1908

Heb 5:9, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1914 November 10, 1914

Heb 6:4-7, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1913 February 18, 1913

Heb 6:4-6, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1906 November 20, 1906

Heb 7:1-4, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1909 February 23, 1909

Heb 10:26-27, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1915 June 29, 1915

Heb 10:38-39, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1914 December 1, 1914

Heb 12:14 (See under HOLINESS and Heb 12:14, C. H. Cayce) Anthology: Cayce: 1915 March 2, 1915

HELL, Eternal, Lemuel Potter Anthology: Hell, Eternal

HELL, Eternal, C. H. Cayce (See in Anthology: Hell, Eternal)

HELL, ETERNAL, John R. Daily (See in Anthology: Hell, Eternal)

HELL, ETERNAL, Sylvester Hassell (See in Anthology: Hell, Eternal)

HENRY IV, Emperor of Germany (See under HILDEBRAND)Anthology: Henry IV, Emperor of Germany

HENRY VIII, King of England (See under the CHURCH OF ENGLAND) Anthology: Henry VIII

HENRY of Lausanne, and The HENRICIANS (See under PETER de BRUYS) Anthology: Henry of Lausanne, and The Henricians

HENRY, Matthew, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Henry, Matthew

HENRY, Patrick, and the Baptists, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Henry, Patrick, And The Baptists

HERESY, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Heresy

HEROD The Great, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Herod The Great

HEZEKIAH, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Hezekiah

HILDEBRAND, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Hildebrand

HISTORY Anthology: History

FROM JUDAISM TO CALVINISM Anthology: History - From Judaism to Calvinism

THE ENGLISH BAPTISTS AND THEIR CONFESSIONS OF FAITH Anthology: History - The English Baptists and Their Confessions of Faith

THE SIXTEEN ANCESTORS OF ALL MANKIND Anthology: History - The Sixteen Ancestors of All Mankind

HISTORY OF THE CHURCH, J. Harvey Daily Anthology: History Of The Church

HOLINESS and Heb 12:14, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1915 March 2, 1915

HOLMES, Obadiah, (See under Persecution in MASSACHUSETTS) Anthology: Holmes, Obadiah

HOLY GHOST, The Sin Against, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1922 November 1, 1922

HOLY ORDERS, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Holy Orders

HOW TO INTRODUCE HERESY, George Bretz Anthology: HOW TO INTRODUCE HERESY

HOW TO INTRODUCE NEW THINGS, Adam Green Anthology: HOW TO INTRODUCE NEW THINGS

HUMANITY of Christ, The, (See Elder Lemuel Potter’s article under The INCARNATION) Anthology: Humanity of Christ, The

HUSBANDS LOVE YOUR WIVES Anthology: HUSBANDS LOVE YOUR WIVES

HUSS, John, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Huss, John

-I-

Great I AM, The, Proof Texts Anthology: I AM, The Great

I HAVE SET BEFORE YOU LIFE AND DEATH Anthology: I HAVE SET BEFORE YOU LIFE AND DEATH

I HEAR CRYING, M. Macena Berry Anthology: I Hear Crying

ICONOCLASTIC CONTROVERSY, The, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Iconoclastic Controversy, The

IF YE KEEP IN MEMORY, Mark Green Anthology: IF YE KEEP IN MEMORY

IGNORING GOD’S WORD, Mark Green Anthology: IGNORING GOD’S WORD

IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, The, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Immaculate Conception, The

IMMORTALITY of the Soul, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Immortality Of The Soul

IN THE BEGINNING GOD Anthology: IN THE BEGINNING GOD

IN YOU, AND ABOUND, Mark Green Anthology: IN YOU, AND ABOUND

INCARNATION, The, (Humanity) of Christ, Lemuel Potter Anthology: Incarnation, The

INDEPENDENTS, The, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Independents, The

INFANT SALVATION, T. L. Webb Sr. P-WebbSr: INFANT SALVATION

INFANT SALVATION, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Infant Salvation

INFANT SALVATION (2), Jim Turner, Jr. Anthology: INFANT SALVATION (2)

INFRALAPSARIANISM, (See under John CALVIN)Anthology: Infralapsarianism

INNOCENT III, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Innocent III

INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC, From The Primitive Baptist

INQUISITION,The, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Inquisition, The

INQUISITION, The Spanish, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Inquisition, The Spanish

INTERDICT, The, (See under The Temporal Power of the POPE) Anthology: Interdict, The

INVESTITURES, The Controversy of (See under HILDEBRAND) Anthology: Investitures, The Controversy of

INVITATION System, The, (See under The GOSPEL) Anthology: Invitation System, The

IRRESISTIBLE GRACE, (See under REGENERATION)

IS MAN A RESPONSIBLE BEING?, T. S. Dalton Anthology: IS MAN A RESPONSIBLE BEING?

Isa 4:1 C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1914 May 19, 1914

Isa 5:8, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1925 December 1, 1925

Isa 14:12, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1907 January 27, 1907

Isa 30:15, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1920 June 1, 1920

Isa 35:6-7, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1915 April 13, 1915

Isa 45:7, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1913 June 3, 1913
Anthology: Cayce: 1914 July 28, 1914
Anthology: Cayce: 1938
March 17, 1938

Isa 58:8, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1920 June 1, 1920

ISLAM (See also ALLAH) Anthology: Islam

ISRAEL, The Kingdom of, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Israel, The Kingdom Of

IT IS MARVELOUS, Charles Holmes Anthology: IT IS MARVELOUS

-J-

JACOB and ESAU, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1915March 23, 1915
JACOB THE SUPPLANTER
Anthology: JACOB THE SUPPLANTER

JAMES, The Book of, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: James, The Book of

Jas 1:8, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1908 November 24, 1908

Jas 1:26-27, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1930 September 4, 1930

Jas 4:8, C. H. Cayce

Jas 5:20, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1910 May 31, 1910

JANSENISTS (See under Blaise PASCAL) Anthology: Jansenists

JEHOAHAZ, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Jehoahaz

JEHOIACHIN, (See under JEHOIAKIM) Anthology: Jehoiachin

JEHOIADA (See under Ahaziah) Anthology: Jehoiada

JEHOIAKIM, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Jehoiakim

JEHORAM, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Jehoram

JEHOSHAPHAT, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Jehoshaphat

JEREMIAH, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Jeremiah

Jer 23:1-2, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1929 November 21, 1929

Jer 23:19-20, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1910 May 24, 1910

JEROME of Prague, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Jerome of Prague

JEROME Savonarola Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Jerome Savonarola

JERUSALEM, The Fall of, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Jerusalem, The Fall Of

JESUITS, The, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Jesuits, The

JESUS CHRIST Anthology: Jesus Christ

JEWS, natural and spiritual, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Jews, Natural and Spiritual Jews

JEWS, The, Were they all chosen to eternal life, C. H. Cayce

JOASH (See under Ahaziah) Anthology: Joash

Job 7:1 and Job 14:6, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1913 September 9, 1913

Job 14:10-12, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1913 September 2, 1913

JOHN, The apostle, Sylvester Hassell quoting Pressense Anthology: John, The Apostle

JOHN exiled, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1910 April 19, 1910

JOHN, Who did he baptize, C. H. Cayce

Joh 1:11-13 C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1934 October 4, 1934
Anthology: Cayce: 1940 September 5, 1940

Joh 1:9, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1911 April 11, 1911

Joh 3:5 C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1914 November 10, 1914

Joh 3:14, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1914 October 6, 1914

Joh 3:16-17, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1908 April 21, 1908

Joh 5:24, C. H. Cayce

Joh 5:39, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1935 September 5, 1935

Joh 6:44-45, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1925 January 1, 1925

Joh 8:3-11, G. W Stewart

Joh 8:30-47, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1916 June 27, 1916

Joh 8:31,47, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1906 December 11, 1906

Joh 10:17, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1907 December 10, 1907

Joh 11:39, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1906 May 22, 1906
Anthology: Cayce: 1917
July 17, 1917

Joh 13:8, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1922 October 15, 1922

Joh 17:20; 20:31, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1915 March 16, 1915

Joh 21:21, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1916 June 20, 1916

JOHN, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: John, First, Second and Third

JOHN, 1st, 5:1, C. H. Cayce

JOHN of Damascus (See under The ICONOCLASTIC CONTROVERSY) Anthology: John of Damascus

Jon 3:10, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1907 August 20, 1907

JOSEPH: Symbolism, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Joseph

Jos 24:15, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1918 March 5, 1918

JOSIAH, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Josiah

JOTHAM, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Jotham

JUDAH, The tribe ofSylvester Hassell Anthology: Judah, The Tribe Of

JUDAS ISCARIOT, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Judas Iscariot

JUDAS ISCARIOT, was he in the communion service? C. H. Cayce

JUDE, THE BOOK OF, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Jude, The Book Of

JUSTIFICATION, Wilson Thompson Anthology: Justification

JUSTIFICATION by works: T.S. Dalton Anthology: Justification By Works

JUSTINIAN, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Justinian

-K-

KABALLAH and FREEMASONRY, The, Martin Wagner

KEYS of the Kingdom, The, T.S. Dalton Anthology: Keys of the Kingdom, The

KIFFIN, William, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Kiffin, William

KILLED THEIR OWN PROPHETS, Mark Green Anthology: KILLED THEIR OWN PROPHETS

KNIGHTS TEMPLAR, The Order of the, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Knights Templar, The Order Of

KNOLLYS, Hanserd, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Knollys, Hanserd

-L-

LABORS AND TRAVELS OF ELDER LEMUEL POTTER Anthology: Labors and Travels of Elder Lemuel Potter
LAW satisfied, The, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1907
April 9, 1907

The LAW of God: Abridged from John Gill (Emphasis added) Anthology: Law of God, The

LAW, The Abrogation of the Old Law Covenant, Abridged from John Gill: (Emphasis added) (See in Anthology: Law of God, The)

LAW, The, and the Believer, C. H. Cayce

LAZARUS, The raising of, C. H. Cayce,

LEAVE THE CHURCH THE WAY I FOUND IT, Charles Waters Anthology: LEAVE THE CHURCH THE WAY I FOUND IT

LEMUEL POTTER ON CLOSE COMMUNION Anthology: Lemuel Potter on "Close Communion"
LITTLE THINGS by Elder T. L. Webb, Sr.
P-WebbSr: 1. PREFACE

LOOK UPON ZION Anthology: Look Upon Zion

LOVE YOUR ENEMIES Anthology: LOVE YOUR ENEMIES
Lu 4:8, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1914
(See under May 19, 1914)

Lu 7:28, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1935 September 5, 1935

Lu 9:13, C. H. Cayce, Anthology: Cayce: 1912 July 30, 1912

Lu 11:30, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1910 May 31, 1910

Lu 13:1-9, C.H. Cayce

Lu 13:34, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1900-1905 December 5, 1905

Lu 15:8, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1910 April 26, 1910

Lu 17:17, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1911 January 24, 1911

Lu 17:20-21, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1916 (See under July 11, 1916)

Lu 18:15-17, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1914 December 22, 1914

Lu 21:31-35, C. H. Cayce, Anthology: Cayce: 1912 July 9, 1912

Lu 23:43, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1913 April 22, 1913

LUTHER, MARTIN Anthology: Luther, Martin

-M-

MAGNA CHARTA, The Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Magna Charta, The

MALACHI, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Malachi

Mal 4:2, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1920

MANASSEH, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Manasseh

MANASSEH PRINCIPLE, THE, Adam Green Anthology: MANASSEH PRINCIPLE, The

MANICHAEUS and MANICHAEISM, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Manichaeism, Manichaeus and

MANY CALLED, FEW CHOSEN, C. H. Cayce

MARAH, The Waters of, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Marah, The Waters of

Mr 2:21-22, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1907 May 14, 1907

Mr 3:14,19, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1911 May 30, 1911

Mr 7:28-29, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1909 (See under June 1, 1909

Mr 9:38-40, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1913 November 4, 1913

Mr 9:43, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1910 May 31, 1910

Mr 12:31, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1920 June 15, 1920

Mr 16:16-18, C. H. Cayce PAnthology: Cayce: 191515 June 15, 1915

MARTEL, Charles (See under CHARLES MARTEL) Anthology: Martel, Charles

MASSACHUSETTS, Persecution in, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Massachusetts, Persecution in

MATTANIAH (See under JEHOIAKIM) Anthology: Mattaniah

Mt 3:5-9, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1930 January 30, 1930

Mt 5:13 C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1915 March 9, 1915

Mt 5:13-16, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1907 March 19, 1907

Mt 5:32, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1907 May 7, 1907

Mt 5:44, Mark Green Anthology: MATTHEW 5:44

Mt 8:11-12, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1906 November 13, 1906
Anthology: Cayce: 1925
May 15, 1925

Mt 8:22, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1906 May 29, 1906

Mt 9:16-17, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1935 September 19, 1935

Mt 10:6; 28:19, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1929 July 4, 1929

Mt 10:39, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1916 March 14, 1916

Mt 11:12, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1913 February 18, 1913

Mt 11:21, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1916 June 13, 1916

Mt 12:28, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1916 July 11, 1916

Mt 12:43-44, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1906 October 2, 1906
Anthology: Cayce: 1912 November 19, 1912
(See also Anthology: Cayce: 1900-1905
December 12, 1905)

Mt 13, C. H. Cayce

Mt 13:15, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1908 (cf under September 8, 1908)

Mt 16:9, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1914 December 22, 1914

Mt 16:19, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1913 June 24, 1913

Mt 18:8-9,15-17, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1923 April 15, 1923

Mt 18:14, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1911 June 11, 1911

Mt 19:8 Anthology: Cayce: 1909 February 23, 1909

Mt 19:24, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1914 November 17, 1914

Mt 20:16; 22:14, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1929 September 19, 1929

Mt 22:8-9, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1914 May 19, 1914

Mt 22:30,32, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1929 October 10, 1929

Mt 23:37, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1907 August 7, 1907

Mt 24, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1906 June 26, 1906

Mt 24:19, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1907 February 26, 1907

Mt 24; 24, the very elect, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1909 April 27, 1909

Mt 24:37, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1909 August 10, 1909

Mt 25:1-13, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1914 November 10, 1914

Mt 25:14-30, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1915 June 1, 1915

The MAYFLOWER (See under The INDEPENDENTS) Anthology: Mayflower, The

MELANCHTHON, Philip, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Melanchthon, Philip

MELCHIZADEK, Harold Hunt Anthology: Melchizedek

MELCHIZEDEK, KING OF SALEM Anthology: MELCHIZEDEK, King of Salem

MENNO SIMMONS, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Menno Simmons

MERCY, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Mercy

MESSIAH, Old Testament Views of the, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Messiah, Old Testament Views Of The

MESSIANIC Prophecy, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Messianic Prophecy

MINISTERIAL SUPPORT, J. H. Purefoy Anthology: MINISTERIAL SUPPORT

MINISTRY, Support of the, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Ministry, Support Of The

MINISTRY, Support of the, C. H. Cayce

MINISTRY, The Gospel, Lemuel Potter Anthology: Ministry, The Gospel

MISSION BOARDS, C. H. Cayce Anthology: MISSION BOARDS

MISSIONISM, Mark Green Anthology: MISSIONISM

MISSIONS, C. H. Cayce Anthology: MISSIONS

MODERN MISSIONS AND ROME, C. H. Cayce Anthology: MODERN MISSIONS AND ROME

MOHAMMED and ISLAM, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Mohammed and Islam

MONERGISM, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Monergism

MONOPHYSITISM, (See under NESTORIANISM) Anthology: Monophysitism

MONTANISM, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Montanism

MOON, The Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Moon, The

MORAL Free --- Agent (See under FREE Moral Agent) Anthology: Moral Agent, Free

MORDECAI, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Mordecai

MORE GEMS FROM ELDER RESPESS, John R. Respess Anthology: MORE GEMS FROM ELDER RESPESS

MOSES, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Moses

MOURNER'S BENCH, The, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1906 June 12, 1906

MUCH PEOPLE IN THIS CITY, Adam Green Anthology: MUCH PEOPLE IN THIS CITY

MUNSTER REBELLION, The, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Munster Rebellion, The

MUNZER, Thomas (See under Martin LUTHER) Anthology: Munzer, Thomas

MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS C. H. Cayce Anthology: Musical Instruments

-N-

NATURAL MAN, The C. H. Cayce Anthology: Natural Man, The

NEHEMIAH, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Nehemiah

NEO-PLATONISM, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Neo-Platonism

NERO, The Roman Emperor, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Nero, The Roman Emperor

NESTORIUS and NESTORIANISM, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Nestorianism
Anthology: Nestorius

NEVER FORSAKEN Anthology: NEVER FORSAKEN

NEW BIRTH, The, When does it take place, C. H. Cayce (See under September 19, 1911 THE NEW BIRTH) Anthology: Cayce: 1911

NEW WINE: NEW BOTTLES, T.S. Dalton Anthology: New Wine, New Bottles

NEWTON, Sir Isaac Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Newton, Sir Isaac

NICE (or Nicea), The Council of, (See under Constantine) Anthology: Nice, Council of (or Nicea)
NICHOLS-HOLDER DEBATE
P-Debates: NH.000 Nichols-Holder Debate

NINETY-FIVE THESES (See under Martin LUTHER) Anthology: Ninety-Five Theses

NO CONDEMNATION, Mark Green Anthology: NO CONDEMNATION

NORTHERN KINGDOM, The, (See under The Kingdom of ISRAEL) Anthology: Northern Kingdom, The

NOT BY WORKS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS Anthology: NOT BY WORKS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS

NOT WORTHY Anthology: NOT WORTHY

NOVATIAN and the NOVATIANISTS, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Novatian and the Novatianists

-O-

OLD MAN and NEW MAN, F. A. Chick
OLIPHANT - DURAND DEBATE ON TIME SALVATION
P-DuraOli: 01.01 Letters on Time Salvation By Silas Durand & J.H. Oliphant

ORDINATION, why do Primitive Baptists not recognize the ordination of preachers who come to us from the Missionary Baptists, C. H. Cayce

ORIGEN, See under Academy at ALEXANDRIA

ORGANS IN CHURCHES, J. H. Oliphant Anthology: ORGANS IN CHURCHES

ORGANS in worship, C. H. Cayce

OUR PURPOSE, Joe Nettles Anthology: OUR PURPOSE

-P-

PANTAENUS (See article on The School at ALEXANDRIA) Anthology: Pantaenus

PARABLE of the sower, The, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1906 November 6, 1906

PARDON of Sin, The, Abridged from John Gill (Emphasis added) Anthology: Pardon of Sin, The

PASCAL, Blaise, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Pascal, Blaise

PASSOVER, The, Harold Hunt Anthology: Passover, The

PATRICK HENRY’S DEFENSE OF THREE BAPTIST PREACHERS IN VIRGINIA Anthology: PATRICK HENRY’S DEFENSE OF THREE BAPTIST PREACHERS IN VIRGINIA

PAUL AND BARNABAS Anthology: PAUL AND BARNABAS

PAUL, the Apostle, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Paul, The Apostle

PAUL: the Chief of Sinners Anthology: PAUL: the Chief of Sinners

PAUL, When was he born again? C.H. Cayce (See in Anthology: Paul, The Apostle)

PAUL'S THORN IN THE FLESH Anthology: Paul’s Thorn in the Flesh

PAUL'S TRIUMPH Anthology: PAUL’S TRIUMPH

PEASANTS’ WAR, The, (See under Martin LUTHER) Anthology: Peasants' War, The

PELAGIANISM, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Pelagianism

PENTECOST, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Pentecost

PENTECOSTALISM, C.H. Cayce Anthology: Pentecostalism

PEPIN, The Donation of (See under CHARLEMAGNE) Anthology: Pepin, The Donation Of

PERSECUTION by Roman Emperors, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Persecution by Roman Emperors

PETER 1st, 1:22, (See under Jas 4:8)

PETER, 1st, 2:8, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1914 December 8, 1914

PETER, 1st, 2:10, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1913 February 18, 1913

PETER 2:13, 14, 1st, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1908 September 8, 1908

PETER 3:18-21, 1st, Spirits in prison, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1906 October 23, 1906

PETER 3:21, 1st, F. A. Chick

PETER 4:18, 1st, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1936 August 6, 1936
Anthology: Cayce: 1909 November 23, 1909
Anthology: Cayce: 1907
March 12, 1907

PETER 2nd 2:2 C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1908 May 19, 1908

PETER 2:22, 2nd C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1908 September 8, 1908 Anthology: Cayce: 1909 February 23, 1909

PETER, 2nd, 3:9, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1911 June 13, 1911

PETER 3:9, 2nd, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1911 June 13, 1911

PETER of Bruys and the PETRO-BRUSIANS, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Peter of Bruys and the Petrobrusians

PETER, The Apostle, Sylvester Hassell (Quoting Pressense Anthology: Peter, The Apostle

PETER, The Books of 1st and 2nd, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Peter, The Books of 1st and 2nd

PETER The Hermit (See under The CRUSADES) Anthology: Peter The Hermit

PETER LOMBARD (See under The SACRAMENTS) Anthology: Peter Lombard

PETER the Venerable (See under PETER de Bruys) Anthology: Peter The Venerable

PETROBRUSIANS (See under PETER DE BRUYS) Anthology: Petrobrusians

PHARISEES, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Pharisees

PHARISEES AND SADDUCEES, Joe Nettles Anthology: PHARISEES AND SADDUCEES

PHILEMON, The Book of, (See under The Book of EPHESIANS)Anthology: Philemon, The Book Of

PHILIPPIANS, The Book of, (See under The Book of EPHESIANS) Anthology: Philippians, The Book Of

Php 4:3, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1907 July 2, 1907

PHILO (See under NEO-PLATONISM) Anthology: Philo

PHILPOT, J. C. Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Philpot, J. C.

PILGRIM FATHERS, The (See under The INDEPENDENTS) Anthology: Pilgrim Fathers, The

PLINY, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Pliny

PLOTINUS, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Plotinus

POPE EUGENIUS III (See under The CRUSADES) Anthology: Pope Eugenius III

POPE of Rome, The, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Pope of Rome, The

POPE, The Temporal Power of the Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Pope, The Temporal Power Of The

PORPHYRY (See the article on NEOPLATONISM) Anthology: Porphyry

PRACTICE, Faithfulness in, Mark Green Anthology: PRACTICE, Faithfulness in,

PRAY WITHOUT CEASING Anthology: PRAY WITHOUT CEASING

PRECIOUS PROMISE, Corvin Dove Anthology: PRECIOUS PROMISE

PREDESTINATED UNTO THE ADOPTION Anthology: PREDESTINATED UNTO THE ADOPTION

PREDESTINATION & PROVIDENCE, PERSEVERANCE & PRESERVATION, Ronald Lawrence Anthology: Predestination & Providence, Perseverance & Preservation

PRESERVATION of the Saints, The, Harold Hunt Anthology: Preservation of the Saints, The

PRESSING INTO THE KINGDOM, Mark Green Anthology: PRESSING INTO THE KINGDOM

PRIESTHOOD, The Mosaic, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Priesthood, The Mosaic

PRINCE OF LIFE, The, Mark Green Anthology: PRINCE OF LIFE, The Mark Green
PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICES OF THE PRIMITIVE BAPTISTS, J. D. Holder Various2: PPC.01 Preface
PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICES OF THE REGULAR BAPTISTS, J. H. Oliphant P-Princip: PP.001 Preface
PRODIGAL SON, The, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1906
August 14, 1906

PROGRESSIVISM: the organ, C.H. Cayce Anthology: Progressivism

PROMISES OF GOD, The, Philip Conley Anthology: PROMISES OF GOD, The

PROPHETS, The, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Prophets, The

PROPITIATION, Atonement, and Reconciliation, Abridged from John Gill Anthology: Propitiation, Atonement, and Reconciliation

PROTESTANT Reformation, The, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Protestant Reformation, The

PROTESTANT, The Term, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Protestant, The Term

PROVE ALL THINGS, Mark Green Anthology: PROVE ALL THINGS

PROVIDENCE in the life of Job, Mark Green Anthology: PROVIDENCE in the life of Job

Ps 55:12-14, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1914 December 22, 1914

PSEUDO-ISODORIAN DECRETALS, The, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Pseudo-Isodorian Decretals, The

PUBLIC OFFENCES, Lemuel Potter Anthology: Public Offences

PUBLIC OPINION, Harold Hunt Anthology: Public Opinion

PUNISHMENT, Eternal, (See under Eternal HELL) Anthology: Punishment, Eternal

PURITANS, The, (See under The INDEPENDENTS) Anthology: Puritans, The

-Q-

QUAKERS, The, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Quakers, The
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS, R. H. Pittman
P-QApittm: Questions and Answers

-R-

REDEMPTION, Abridged from John Gill Anthology: Redemption

REDEMPTION STUDY NOTES, extracted from John Gill Anthology: REDEMPTION STUDY NOTES

REDEMPTION, Arguments Against Universal, John Gill Anthology: Redemption, Arguments Against Universal

REDEMPTION, Particular, C.H. Cayce Anthology: Redemption, Particular

REDEMPTION, Particular, extracted from John Gill

REDEMPTION, The Causes of, Abridged from John Gill Anthology: Redemption, The Causes Of

REDEMPTION, THE OBJECTS OF, Abridged from John Gill Anthology: Redemption, The Objects Of

REGENERATION, different names for, C. H. Cayce

REGENERATION, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Regeneration

REGENERATION: When does a person become a child of God? C.H. Cayce (See in Anthology: Regeneration)

REHOBOAM, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Rehoboam

REJOICE EVERMORE Anthology: REJOICE EVERMORE

RELIGIOUS FREEDOM, W. N. Tharp Anthology: RELIGIOUS FREEDOM

REMARKABLE PROVIDENCES Anthology: Remarkable Providences

REMONSTRANTS, The, (See under James ARMINIUS) Anthology: Remonstrants, The

REPENT, does God, (See under Jon 3:10.)

REPENTANCE, C.H. Cayce Anthology: Repentance

REPRESENTATION, Adam Green Anthology: REPRESENTATION

REPRESENTATIVE Principle, The, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Representative Principle, The

RESURRECTION, The, S. F. Cayce

RESURRECTION, The, J. T. Oliphant Anthology: Resurrection, The

RESURRECTION, T.S. Dalton (See in Anthology: Resurrection, The)

RESURRECTION Proof Texts (See in Anthology: Resurrection, The)

RESURRECTION, Harold Hunt (See in Anthology: Resurrection, The

REVEALED, Mark Green Anthology: REVEALED

REVELATION, The Beasts of the, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Revelation, The Beasts Of The

REVELATION, The Book of, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Revelation, The Book Of

REVELATION, The Mark of the Beast, Sylvester Hassell (See in Anthology: Revelation, The Beasts Of The)

REVELATION, The Two Horns of the Earth-Beast, Sylvester Hassell (See in Anthology: Revelation, The Beasts Of The)

Re 5:6, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1915 March 23, 1915

Re 11:3,7-8, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1930 February 27, 1930

Re 11:7-8 C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1916 March 28, 1916

Re 12:1 Anthology: Cayce: 1913 April 8, 1913

Re 12:1-8, C. H. Cayce, Anthology: Cayce: 1911 September 19, 1911

Re 12:7, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1915 January 12, 1915

Re 12:7-8 Anthology: Cayce: 1917 January 9, 1917
Anthology: Cayce: 1935
October 3, 1935

Re 13:8, C. H. Cayce

Re 16:13, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1918 March 5, 1918

Re 17:8, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1914 (See under May 19, 1914

Re 22:14. C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1914 November 10, 1914

Re 22:17-19, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1915 April 13, 1915

Re 22:18-19, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1908 September 8, 1908

REVEREND, R. H. Pittman Anthology: Reverend

RICHARD COEUR-DE-LION King of England (See under The CRUSADES) Anthology: Richard Coeur-De-Lion King of England

RIGHTLY DIVIDING THE WORD OF TRUTH Anthology: Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth

ROBINSON, John (See under The INDEPENDENTS) Anthology: Robinson, John

ROMANS, The Book of, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Romans, The Book Of

Ro 2:6-8, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1909 (Under June 1, 1909)

Ro 5:14, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1907 January 22, 1907

Ro 5:18, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1911 February 21, 1911

Ro 6:3-4, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1929 August 29, 1929

Ro 6:17, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1917 March 13, 1917

Ro 6:23, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1909 June 1, 1909
Anthology: Cayce: 1911 (See under MADE IT PLAIN, September 12, 1911
Anthology: Cayce: 1915
(See Ro 6 March 9, 1915)

Ro 7:1-3, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1911 July 4, 1911

Ro 7:2-3 Anthology: Cayce: 1915 (See GILL ON Ro 7:2-3, May 11, 1915)

Ro 7:9-10 C. H. Cayce

Ro 7:24-25, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1908 April 28, 1908

Ro 8:1, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1908 October 6, 1908
Anthology: Cayce: 1936
April 2, 1936

Ro 9:13 C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1927 August 15, 1927
Anthology: Cayce: 1935
March 21, 1935

Ro 9:13 AND FUTURE IDENTITY, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1935 March 21, 1935

Ro 9:15-25 C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1908 April 21, 1908

Ro 10, James Isaacs Anthology: ROMANS 10

Ro 10:13-15 C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1907 November 19, 1907

Ro 13:1-8, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1909 February 23, 1909

Ro 14:10, C. H. Cayce, Anthology: Cayce: 1914 December 22, 1914

ROSE OF SHARON, S. N. Redford Anthology: ROSE OF SHARON

ROYAL PROCLAMATION, Mark Green Anthology: ROYAL PROCLAMATION

-S-

SABBATH, The, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Sabbath, The

SABBATHS, Multiple, Harold Hunt Anthology: Sabbaths, Multiple

SACRAMENTS, The, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Sacraments, The

SACRIFICES, The Different --- of the Mosaic Law, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Sacrifices of The Mosaic Law, The Different

SAINT PETER’S CATHEDRAL, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Saint Peter's Cathedral

SAMARIA and the Samaritans, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Samaria And The Samaritans

SAMUEL 1st, 19:9, the evil spirit sent upon Saul, C.H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1910 (April 5, 1910)

SATISFACTION, Abridged from John Gill Anthology: Satisfaction

SATISFACTION C.H. Cayce (See in Anthology: Satisfaction)

SAUL of Tarsus, (See under PAUL the Apostle) Anthology: Saul of Tarsus

SAUL, King, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Saul, King

SAVED BY HOPE Anthology: SAVED BY HOPE

SCAPEGOAT, The, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Scapegoat, The

SCHOLASTIC THEOLOGY, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Scholastic Theology

The SCHOOLMEN (See under SCHOLASTIC THEOLOGY) Anthology: Schoolmen, The

The SCOTTISH COVENANTERS (See under The COVENANTERS) Anthology: Scottish Covenanters, The

SECOND CENTURY, The, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Second Century, The

SECRET SOCIETIES, John R. Daily Various3: SS.000 Secret Societies by Elder John R. Daily Anthology: Secret Societies

SELAH Anthology: Selah

SEMI-PELAGIANISM (See under PELAGIANISM) Anthology: Semi-Pelagianism

SEPARATE PEOPLE, A, Earl Daily Anthology: SEPARATE PEOPLE, A

SERVETUS, Michael, (See under John CALVIN) Anthology: Servetus, Michael

SHILOH (See under JUDAH) Anthology: Shiloh

SIGNS AND WONDERS, Philip Conley Anthology: SIGNS AND WONDERS

SIMMONS, Menno (See under MENNO SIMMONS) Anthology: Simmons, Menno

SINS, GREATER AND LESSER, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1916 July 18, 1916

SIN, The --- Unto Death, Harold Hunt Anthology: Sin Unto Death, The

SIX HUNDRED AND SIXTY-SIX See the topic on The Mark of the Beast in the article on The Book of REVELATION Anthology: Six Hundred and Sixty-six

SODOM AND GOMORRAH Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Sodom and Gomorrah

SOLOMON, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Solomon

SOLOMON’S Temple spiritualized, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Solomon's Temple spiritualized

SONG SERVICE, The, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1918 February 19, 1918

SONS of God, The, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Sons of God, The

SONS of the Prophets, The, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Sons of the Prophets

SOUL Anthology: Soul

SOUL of man, The, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Soul of Man, The

SOUL, The --- after death, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1908 November 24, 1908

SOUND DOCTRINE, Russell Key Anthology: SOUND DOCTRINE

SPANISH Inquisition, The, (See under the Spanish INQUISITION) Anthology: Spanish Inquisition, The

SPECIAL ATONEMENT, William Mitchell Anthology: SPECIAL ATONEMENT

SPIRITUAL BIRTH, THEN SPIRITUAL INSTRUCTION, C. M. Mills Anthology: Spiritual Birth, Then Spiritual Instruction

STAUPITZ, John, (See under Martin LUTHER) Anthology: Staupitz, John

STRICT BAPTISTS (See under Strict BAPTISTS) Anthology: Strict Baptists

STUDYING THE SCRIPTURES, Lee Hanks Anthology: STUDYING THE SCRIPTURES

SUBLAPSARIANISM (Infralapsarianism) (See under John CALVIN) Anthology: Sublapsarianism (Infralapsarianism)

SUBMISSION, Adam Green Anthology: SUBMISSION

SUNDAY SCHOOLS, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Sunday Schools

SUPEREROGATION, Works of, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Supererogation, Works of

SUPRALAPSARIANISM (See under John CALVIN) Anthology: Supralapsarianism

SURETY or SECURITY, What is the difference, C. H. Cayce (Under PREACHING AND SINGING ARTICLE NUMBER 4 of July 6, 1939) Anthology: Cayce: 1939 (Search for "Modern law makes very little difference between security and surety; but there is a difference"

SYNERGISM, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Synergism

-T-

TABERNACLE, The, Symbolism of, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Tabernacle, The: Symbolism

TABERNACLE, No windows in the, (See in Anthology: Tabernacle, The: Symbolism)

TABLES OF STONE, The, Symbolism of, Hassell Anthology: Tables Of Stone, The: Symbolism

TARES, Parable of the, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1907 February 26, 1907

TEMPT Anthology: Tempt

TEN VIRGINS, The, C.H. Cayce Anthology: Ten Virgins, The

TERTULLIAN (See also under NOVATION) Anthology: Tertullian

TETZEL, John, (See under SAINT PETER’S CATHEDRAL and Martin LUTHER) Anthology: Tetzel, John

THANKFUL FOR MY BRETHREN, James Isaacs Anthology: THANKFUL FOR MY BRETHREN

THE BAPTISTS IN ALL AGES, J. S. Newman P-Baptist: 000 Title

THE BESETTING SIN, Charles Holmes Anthology: THE BESETTING SIN
THE BEST OF ELDER GUY HUNT Various3: GH.000 The Best Of Elder Guy Hunt

THE BRIDE AND SEVEN OTHER WOMEN, Monroe Jones Anthology: The Bride and Seven Other Women
THE CAYCE-PENICK DEBATE Various3: CP.00 Cayce - Penick Debate

THE CITY FOURSQUARE Anthology: The City Foursquare

THE CIVIL WAR Anthology: The Civil War

THE CIVIL WAR, It was not about slavery Anthology: The Civil War - It Was Not About Slavery

THE CIVIL WAR - New England Slave Traders, Arthur H. Jennings Anthology: The Civil War - New England Slave Traders

THE CIVIL WAR - The Experience of a Slave in the Old South Anthology: The Civil War - The Experience of a Slave in the Old South

THE EVERLASTING COVENANT Anthology: THE EVERLASTING COVENANT

THE FINAL JUDGMENT AND A BURNING HELL Anthology: THE FINAL JUDGMENT AND A BURNING HELL

THE GOSPEL, S. A. Paine Anthology: The Gospel

THE GOSPEL, W. H. Crouse (See in Anthology: The Gospel)

THE GOSPEL, Lemuel Potter (See in Anthology: The Gospel)

THE GOSPEL AND THE UNREGENERATE, Elder C. H. Cayce Anthology: THE GOSPEL AND THE UNREGENERATE

THE HIGH COST OF ABORTION Anthology: THE HIGH COST OF ABORTION

THE INDESTRUCTIBLE TRUTH Anthology: THE INDESTRUCTIBLE TRUTH

THE JOURNEYS OF A FAITHFUL SERVANT, The Story of Elder T. N. Alderton

Anthology: THE JOURNEYS OF A FAITHFUL SERVANT

THE KING JAMES VERSION and all those Modern Bibles Anthology: THE KING JAMES VERSION AND ALL THOSE MODERN BIBLES.

THE LAW OF MOSES Anthology: The Law of Moses

THE LAW OF SIN AND DEATH, James Isaacs Anthology: THE LAW OF SIN AND DEATH

THE LONDON CONFESSION And its Place in Baptist History Anthology: The London Confession and It's Place in Baptist History

THE LORD IS IN HIS HOLY TEMPLE Anthology: THE LORD IS IN HIS HOLY TEMPLE
THE LOST HISTORY OF CALVINISM, Harold Hunt
P-CalvHun: HC.001 Title page

THE MOTHER OF OUR LORD Anthology: THE MOTHER OF OUR LORD

THE OFFERING OF PRAYER, James Isaacs Anthology: THE OFFERING OF PRAYER

THE OLD WELLS, T. L. Webb, Jr. Anthology: THE OLD WELLS

THE OMNISCIENCE OF GOD, Adam Green Anthology: THE OMNISCIENCE OF GOD

THE REPROACH OF THY WIDOWHOOD, Philip Conley Anthology: THE REPROACH OF THY WIDOWHOOD

THE SLIPPERY SLOPE, Bill Allen Anthology: THE SLIPPERY SLOPE

THE WICKED, Mark Green Anthology: THE WICKED
THE WRITINGS OF ELDER S. A. PAINE P-Paine: 000 Foreword

THEODORE, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Theodore

THESSALONIANS, The Books of 1st and 2nd, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Thessalonians, The Books of 1st and 2nd

THEY HAVE KEPT THY WORD, Mark Green Anthology: THEY HAVE KEPT THY WORD

THEY SHALL ALL BE TAUGHT OF GOD, Mark Green Anthology: THEY SHALL ALL BE TAUGHT OF GOD

THEY SHALL NEVER PERISH Anthology: THEY SHALL NEVER PERISH

THINKING ABOUT THE ALMIGHTY Anthology: THINKING ABOUT THE ALMIGHTY

THIS IS MY LIFE, Charles Holmes Anthology: THIS IS MY LIFE

THIS UNTOWARD GENERATION, Mark Green Anthology: THIS UNTOWARD GENERATION

THOMAS A BECKETT, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Thomas A Beckett

THOMAS AQUINAS (See under Thomas AQUINAS) Anthology: Thomas Aquinas
THOUGHTS ON THE WILL, J. H. Oliphant
Various4: TW000 Thoughts On The Will

THREE HOURS Darkness, (See Three Hours DARKNESS at the Crucifixion of Christ) Anthology: Three Hours Darkness

THROUGH HIS BLOOD, Mark Green Anthology: THROUGH HIS BLOOD

TIME SALVATION, C.H. Cayce (See in Anthology: Time Salvation

TIME SALVATION, J. H. Oliphant vs. Silas Durand (see in Anthology: Time Salvation)

TIME SALVATION, De 11:26-28, C. H. Cayce

TIME SALVATION, De 28-30, Harold Hunt (See in Anthology: Time Salvation)

TIME SALVATION, T. S. Dalton Various3: Elder T. S. Dalton - Time Salvation
TIME SALVATION and Baptism, (See under BAPTISM and Time Salvation)

TIMOTHY, 1st, 2:9-12, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1915 June 1, 1915

TIMOTHY, 1st, 3:12, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1911 June 6, 1911

TIMOTHY, 1ST 4:10, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1926 August 1, 1926

TIMOTHY, 1st 5:9-11, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1929 November 7, 1929

TIMOTHY, 2nd, 2:15, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1930 January 9, 1930

Tit 3:3-5, C. H. Cayce,

TORQUEMADA, Thomas de, (See under The Spanish INQUISITION) Anthology: Torquemada, Thomas de

TOTAL DEPRAVITY, S. A. Paine (See in Anthology: Campbellism)

TOTAL DEPRAVITY, J.H. Oliphant Anthology: Total Depravity

TOTAL DEPRAVITY and the ability to obey God, J.H. Purefoy (See in Anthology: Total Depravity)

TRAJAN, (See article on PLINY)
Anthology: Trajan

TRANSUBSTANTIATION, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Transubstantiation

TREATISE ON SALVATION, T. S. Dalton Anthology: Eternal Salvation and Time Salvation

TRICHOTOMY (See under SOUL)
Anthology: Trichotomy

TRINITY, The, Abridged from John Gill Anthology: Trinity, The

TRUE CHARITY, Mark Green
Anthology: TRUE CHARITY

TWELVE AND TWENTY, The Numbers (in Combination) The Numbers TWELVE and TWENTY (in Combination) (See under The Waters of MARAH)
Anthology: TWELVE and TWENTY, The Numbers (in Combination)

TWELVE MARKS, The, (See under The CHURCH (Twelve Marks)
Anthology: Twelve Marks, The

TWENTY-THIRD PSALM
Anthology: Twenty-third Psalm

TWO SEED doctrine, The, C.H. Cayce Anthology: Two Seed Doctrine

-U-

UNKNOWN TONGUES, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1914 November 17, 1914

UNREGENERATE, The, Are any of God's commandments addressed to them. C. H. Cayce

USSHER’S CHRONOLOGY, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Ussher's Chronology

UZZIAH, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Uzziah

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VANITY OF VANITIES Anthology: VANITY OF VANITIES

VIRGIN BIRTH, The, S. A. Paine Anthology: Virgin Birth, The

VOLUNTARY AND INVOLUNTARY SERVITUDE, Mark Green Anthology: VOLUNTARY AND INVOLUNTARY SERVITUDE

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WALDENSES (Waldensians), The, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Waldenses

WALDENSES, The, their soundness or unsoundness, Sylvester Hassell (See in Anthology: Waldenses)

WARTBURG, The Castle of, (See under Martin LUTHER) Anthology: Wartburg, The Castle Of

WATER BAPTISM Anthology: WATER BAPTISM

WEAK SPOT IN THE WALL, Mark Green Anthology: WEAK SPOT IN THE WALL,

WELCH TRACT CHURCH, The, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Welch Tract Church, The

WESLEY, John, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Wesley, John

WHAT DID GOD DETERMINE BEFORE TO BE DONE Anthology: What Did God Determine Before To Be Done

WHEAT AND TARES, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1910 December 6, 1910
Anthology: Cayce: 1911
February 21, 1911

WHEAT AND TARES AGAIN, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1911 August 8, 1911

WHEN GOD THUNDERS IN THE HEAVENS Anthology: When God Thunders In The Heavens

WHICH SYSTEM IS UNFAIR? Anthology: WHICH SYSTEM IS UNFAIR?

WHICH SYSTEM MAKES SENSE Anthology: WHICH SYSTEM MAKES SENSE

WHITEFIELD, George, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Whitefield, George

WHY CALL YE ME LORD?, Mark Green Anthology: WHY CALL YE ME LORD?

WHY THEY MATTER, James Isaacs Anthology: WHY THEY MATTER

WILL, The, or Free Agency, J.H. Oliphant Anthology: Will, The or Free Agency

WILLIAMS, Roger, C. H. Cayce

WILLING AND OBEDIENT, Mark Green Anthology: WILLING AND OBEDIENT

WINE or GRAPE JUICE, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1914 September 15, 1914

WOMEN PREACHERS, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1907 April 23, 1907
Anthology: Cayce: 1908
May 19, 1908

WORKS of Supererogation (See under Works of SUPEREROGATION) Anthology: Works of Supererogation

WORKS, SALVATION BY, Harold Hunt Anthology: Works, Salvation ByAnthology: Works, Salvation By

WORMS, Diet of, (See under Martin LUTHER) Anthology: Worms, Diet Of

WYCLIFFE, John, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Wycliffe, John

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YE MUST BE BORN AGAIN Anthology: Ye Must Be Born Again

YOU HATH HE QUICKENED, George D. Walker Anthology: YOU HATH HE QUICKENED

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Zec 4:14, C. H. Cayce Anthology: Cayce: 1909 February 23, 1909

ZEDEKIAH, Sylvester Hassell Anthology: Zedekiah

ZWINGLI, Ulrich, Sylvester Hassel Anthology: Zwingli, Ulrich

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

It is customary in a work like this to make some acknowledgments, and it is certainly proper that I should do so. The first is to my wife, Doris, who, for almost fifty years now, has either been left feeling neglected, while I buried myself in my studies, or she has been left at home feeling abandoned, while I traveled to parts unknown, preaching for the Primitive Baptists. What a Godsend she has been to me. I shudder to think where I would be today, if God had not provided me with her. Much of the credit for this work goes to her, for those countless hours she has spent doing chores that were properly mine, while I buried myself in this work. There are our four children, Stewart, Suzanne, Sophia, and Rachel, who have never received as much of my time and attention as they properly deserved. There are the Primitive Baptists themselves, who long ago took me in, and for over forty years have generally overlooked my shortcomings. And there is my special friend, Brother Tom Hagler, whose generosity has made this work financially possible.

Elder Harold Hunt

FOREWORD

Our Primitive Baptists have a rich heritage of literature on a wide range of subjects. In an unpublished manuscript, Elder David Pyles makes the comment, “On points of emphasis and on methods of explanation, I have long preferred the Primitive Baptists of the 19th century over any generation of Christians since the Apostles.” I would probably expand that expression to take in the early 20th century, but I agree entirely. In the first century and a half after America gained her independence our people produced some of the brightest minds the Lord’s church has known. Blessed with a hitherto unknown freedom of religion, and liberty of free speech, those brethren soared to heights previously unknown in their examination of God’s Word.

We call to mind names like Sylvester Hassell, Claud Cayce, T.S. Dalton, James Oliphant, Joseph Newman, John R. Daily, Walter Cash, and John Clark. The list goes on and on and on. Those are not the best known names among the denominational world, but for true insight into the most profound of Bible subjects, they leave the John Calvin’s, the Martin Luther’s, and the Augustus Strong’s in the dust. None of them were such linguists and rabbinical scholars as John Gill, and J. B. Lightfoot, but for sound and accurate explanations of Bible principles, not even the great Gill could keep up. We are not likely to see their kind again.

It is the great tragedy of our age that so few of our people are acquainted with the work of those men. A few days ago in talking to one of our young ministers, I mentioned the name Claud Cayce. He wanted to know, “Who is he; I never heard of him.” The brother is one of our brightest and best, and I certainly mean no reflection on him, but I fear that is the case with more of our young generation than we have been aware. They are well acquainted with writers like Arthur Pink, and John MacArthur, and John Piper, but they never heard of those able Primitive Baptist ministers of the past, who had far more insight into God’s Word than any of those writers ever had.

At the present time our people are being torn apart by a Calvinist\Liberal Movement from one direction, and a Pseudo-Conservative Movement from the other direction. Between those two extremes are the other eighty percent of solid, conservative Primitive Baptists, who are still faithful to the Bible, and faithful to those unchangeable principles that have guided our people for two thousand years now. Truth will prevail; it always has; but we would be so much better prepared if our people were as well acquainted with our literary heritage today as we were, when I first came among the Primitive Baptists over forty years ago.

It is our purpose in this work to assemble as wide a range of quotes and articles from those men as we can put together. We have arranged the material alphabetically by topics for ease of reference. We hope that will be a benefit.

I gave up my secular employment over seventeen years ago. During most of those seventeen years I have been gathering this material. There have been numerous interruptions, but I have been working at the project regularly for the last ten years. And for the last two or three years, I have done little else.

There is a good supply of material to work with. I have a fairly large personal library. It fills one eight by ten feet book case, and eight other average size cases. I am an early riser; I usually get up by 5 o’clock every morning, and I spend most of the day in my study, much of it working on this project.

Until recently our people were in possession of “the finest collection of free grace literature to be found anywhere in the world.” It contained several thousands of titles. I had hoped, that when I had exhausted my own resources, I could access that library.

It was a shock to discover that, at the very time we needed access to those books, they had been secretly sold—sold that is, without the knowledge or consent of the people who put up virtually all the money for their maintenance and preservation.

But what is done, is done. There is nothing to be gained by continuing to complain over what could not be prevented, and cannot be undone. I have heard it said that, “It is better to light a single candle, than to curse the darkness.” This project is my single candle. I hope it will help to move the darkness just a little.

We are printing one volume at a time. For one thing, I do not want one shipment of thousands of books set off on my back porch the same day. At the time we are printing this first volume, we cannot know for sure whether there will be eight volumes, or perhaps, ten. There will be at least eight volumes in this first printing.

We want to make the books available to everyone who is interested. We have received some generous financial assistance, which will allow us to sell the earliest printings at roughly half of the actual cost of production. We will do that until our resources are exhausted. From that point we will have to continue, as we always have, trusting God to make a way.

If you see the need for such a work as this, there are several ways in which you can help, and we certainly request the assistance of all those who love the Lord, and who love the truth of his word.

First, as you might imagine, this work is too overwhelming for any one person. We invite every reader to join us in searching the writings of ours and previous generations, looking for material that needs to be considered for future editions of this work. If you have an old Primitive Baptist book you think I should read, I would be glad to borrow it, or, if the price is reasonable, and I do not already have the same book, I would like to buy it.

And, very importantly, we want every person, who is willing to do so, to go carefully over this work. We will always have differences of opinion; we cannot expect to agree on the explanation of every passage. But if you find any expression, or any point of view, that you feel is fundamentally unsound, we hope you will call it to our attention. We cannot promise to make every change suggested, but we will give the matter our serious consideration.

On our title page we use the expression, “Conservative, Biblical, and as doctrinally sound as we know how to make it.” We are serious about that pledge, and we solicit the help of every reader in achieving that goal. We want this work to be as dependable a presentation of Primitive Baptist conservatism as our people are able to produce. We are already working on the Second Edition, and we will send it to the printer as soon as this printing is exhausted. With your faithful assistance we expect the next edition to be improved and more comprehensive than this one.

More than that we request your prayers for this endeavor. There is no way we could have come this far without the Lord’s help.

Elder Harold Hunt

PREFACE

The following sermon was delivered by Elder Sam Bryant at the 2002 Smoky Mountain Spring Meeting. It expresses my sentiments so much better than I can, that I asked for his permission to use it as the preface for this Anthology. Hlh

THE POWER OF LOVE

It is a great joy to be here at this meeting. And I have enjoyed so much the preaching, the singing, and the sweet fellowship. It has been a real boost to me personally. And I am thankful now for the opportunity to speak to you for a little while. Brother Franklin and I came up together, and as we were riding along, we were talking about exactly why we were coming. We know when you come to a meeting like this, your primary purpose ought to be to worship the Lord and be drawn closer to him, but I also love these beautiful mountains and enjoy doing some sightseeing. That’s quite an incentive to come to the meeting. And, of course, I love you all; I love the fellowship of the saints and I believe there is room in our lives for all of these reasons to come together for this meeting. Now I hope you’ll pray for me as I endeavor to speak to you at this time.

Brother Harold quoted tonight in his opening remarks a passage of scripture from Ps 133:1, “Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.” That helped to settle my mind on what I would try to speak on tonight. David in his life knew what it was for brethren not to dwell together in unity. His own brethren according to the flesh, at times, had it in for him. King Saul hunted him down, and tried to kill him.

There was a lot of fighting among his children. Much of David’s life on this earth was spent when brethren were not dwelling together in unity. But he knew how good and pleasant it was when brethren did dwell together in unity.

And you know if you are going to have unity among the brethren, you’ve got to work at it, and it’s not an accident. I want to call your attention tonight to what I think would help as far as having unity among the brethren, help more than anything else, and that’s in 1Jo 4:18; “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him because he first loved us. If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.”

And so in this passage that I’ve read to you, John talks a lot about the subject of love. He begins, first of all, I think, to talk about the love of God for us. And, you know, the more we learn about God’s love for us, the more it helps us to love one another. That’s a powerful motivator to love one another, when we think about how much the Lord loved us. And John said here in 1Jo 4:18; “There is no fear in love: but perfect love casteth out fear”.

Now the only perfect love I know anything about in this world is God’s love. Brotherly love is a wonderful love. The love people have in marriage is a wonderful love. So is neighborly love. And what about a mother’s love? Those are all wonderful manifestations of love, but they are not perfect. But God’s love for us is a perfect love. And the more you and I learn about God’s love for us, his perfect love for us, the less fear we will have in this world, because we’ll know that he loves us with an everlasting love, and that he will take care of us. He will not leave us, nor forsake us.

And I believe God’s love is an eternal love, and it’s an unconditional love. Did you know, if I understand the love of God tonight, as it is presented to us in scripture, he could never love us any more than he loves us right now. And he could never love us less than he loves us right now. If you and I should read this bible through ten or twelve times a year, and go to every gospel meeting we could possibly get to, and visit all the nursing homes and hospitals weekly, and give half of our goods to feed the poor, and spend three or four hours a day in fervent diligent prayer, and lived that kind of life for the next fifty years, you know, God wouldn’t love you a bit more than He loves you right now.

Because God’s love is an unconditional love, you don’t make God love you more by living a better life. God forbid, but if you didn’t ever go to another meeting or read the Bible again, wasted your life in this world, I don’t believe God would love you a bit less than he loves you right now. You all agree with that? Now a lot of people don’t understand that about God’s love, because human love isn’t that way. In this world, in our relationships with people, our love for one another can grow, or it can be diminished.

There are people here tonight that I’ve known a long time, and I love you tonight more than I’ve ever loved you in my life. My love has grown for you.

But my love for people can be diminished, it can grow cold. People can treat you so cruel, and betray you, and reject you, to the point where your love and respect for them can be all but destroyed. We are humans. But not God’s love. It can’t grow, and it can’t be diminished. His love is a perfect love. And I believe God loved his people from all eternity, and he chose them in Christ, and he loved them, when he died for them on the cross. He loves them tonight. He’ll love them when this world is no more.

And I want to tell you, if that doesn’t make you feel safe, I don’t know what it would take to make you feel safe. “Perfect love casteth out fear,” and when fear comes into our hearts, and we worry about the circumstances of this life or impending danger, it’s usually because we have forgotten how much God really loves us, and how much he is able to take care of us. So we need to dwell a lot on the perfect love of God. Oh my friends, “perfect love casteth out fear.” I think if people, who are not Primitive Baptists, could ever come to understand God’s love, as it is presented in scripture, they would have to believe like we believe. If God loves a person, and gave his Son to die for that person, to put away their sins, do you think there is any possibility that God would ever let that person be lost, spend eternity in hell? No!!

We need to know something about the love of God, the perfection of God’s love. In Joh 13, the Bible says, “Having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.” To the end of what? To the end of his life. In other words he gave his life for his people. Now that’s love. He didn’t love us just enough to give us a cool drink of water, or shelter for the night. He loved us enough to give his life for us on the tree of the cross. As John said here in 1Jo 4: “Herein is love.” 1Jo 4:10, “Herein is love, not that we loved God.” Oh, we ought to love him, and I want to love him more. But my love for God is so fickle, compared to his love for me, until it’s not worth mentioning. “Herein is love, not that we loved him, but that he loved us.” How much did He love us? He loved us and gave—now listen to this—“Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” Our sins have been paid for, because he loved us so much, he gave his Son to die in our room and stead.

Now let me tell you, that’s love beyond comprehension. That’s love beyond our ability to understand. But the more I do understand it, the less fear I have in this world. And I don’t believe that anybody God loved, and Jesus died for, will ever perish in hell. They will be saved.

I like that song we sing, Safe In His Love. You are safe in the love of God. Oh, how we like to preach on the love of God for his children. But now the apostle says: “We love him because he first loved us. If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother,” what is he; “he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?” That’s very good logic. “And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.” So you and I are commanded in scripture to love our brethren.

Now I want to notice with you in Heb 13:1, this expression. As he begins in the first part of this chapter, Paul gives the Hebrews a long list of admonitions. He begins by saying this to them in this concluding chapter of this marvelous book, “Let brotherly love continue.” Now he didn’t say to go out and get it. I believe God puts that love in our heart. We don’t have this kind of love by nature. By nature we don’t love the brethren. But if we are born again, God has put love in our hearts for the brethren. Now he says, “Let brotherly love continue.” If you can let it continue, obviously, you can hinder it. God’s love will continue, but ours can be hindered. We don’t want to do that as God’s children. We want to let it flow freely in the midst of the church among the brethren. “Let brotherly love continue.”

Now Paul could have had reference primarily to the Hebrew brethren loving other Hebrews. When Paul wrote this letter to them, they were going through a very trying time in their history as Hebrews. They were facing great trials and tribulations, and there was tremendous unrest among the Hebrews. They were suffering Roman domination of the Hebrew nation, and one Hebrew was set against another. And there were many Hebrews, who had come to understand that Jesus was the Savior and the Messiah. Many other Hebrews were holding on to Moses and the law, and that had caused tremendous friction among the Hebrew brethren.

Why, there was a time, even in Paul’s life that he thought he did God’s will to put Hebrews to death who believed in Jesus. And I want to tell you, that kind of friction would cause brotherly love not to flow. Paul is writing to the Hebrews, and saying to love your Hebrew brethren, that have not yet come to understand that Jesus is the Savior and the Messiah. That was a tremendous challenge to those Hebrews in the first century, to love other Hebrews, who were still observing Moses’s law and putting animal offerings on the altar. What an insult to their precious Savior they loved, and knew he was the end of the law for righteousness sake. Now I want to tell you tonight, beloved, you and I are to love our brethren, who do not understand the doctrine of grace as we do. We’re to love them for Jesus’s sake. We’re not to be hostile toward them.

In our community last year, a church of another denomination that had run down, had gotten a young preacher in from the seminary, and he had a lot of new ideas about how to build a church, and he was really building the congregation. They were having housefuls, and I heard about some of his gimmicks—like if you get a certain number here on Sunday morning, “you can hit me in the face with a pie.” You’ve heard those gimmicks. On Sunday, if they got a certain number there, he would get on top of the church building and preach. One Sunday, he was going to kiss a goat, if they got so many there.

Well, those people went out and got others to come in, and they had the house full. When I heard about those gimmicks, I chuckled and laughed, and thought, how ridiculous.

Sometime later, I had a funeral service with him at that particular church building. I got there a little early that day, and I saw up over the pulpit this quotation, “Whatever it takes,” in broad letters, “Whatever it takes.” You know my attitude toward that young preacher changed in a moment, and I thought, “If he believes what his denomination says they believe, that you’ve got to do something in order to get people to accept Christ and go to heaven, and if they don’t, they are going to hell, I would agree with him. Whatever it takes get them to church. If me kissing a goat would save just one sinner from eternal hell, I should be willing to kiss a 1000 goats.

I admired his zeal. As a matter of fact, I wouldn’t have any respect for him, if he didn’t use every gimmick in the book to get them there. Now I still don’t believe in his doctrine, and I’m sorry he is in the dark, because I believe Jesus did whatever it took to get us to heaven, and he did it by himself. He said on the cross, “It is finished!”

If Jesus didn’t finish the work, he was deceived, because he sure thought he did! Many of our brethren don’t know the truth about the finished work of Christ. What should our attitude be toward them? We ought not to ridicule them and make fun of them, we ought to love them and pray for them for Jesus’s sake. Primitive Baptists have done much harm by being too harsh in our ridicule of those who differ with us in doctrine. We have to expose error, and we are bound to teach the truth, but we ought to love our brethren, who don’t know the truth.

I want to tell you I was blessed in my life at the age of fourteen to find out salvation was by the grace of God, and I’ve been resting in that for thirty-six years now. And I would to God all of his children could know that.

I want to tell you, Paul loved the brethren. He loved those that didn’t agree with him. I want you to listen to what he said over in Ro 10. He said, “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God,” for who, “for Israel.” And I think he is talking about God’s people among the natural Jews. “My heart’s desire,” brethren, talking to the Gentiles in Rome, “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.”

Saved from what? Not saved from eternal hell, but saved from a doctrine that enslaves them in this life. “For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they, being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.”

He was praying for his brethren. You want to know how much Paul loved his brethren among the Jews, turn back to Ro 9:1. “I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, that I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh.” Oh he loved the Hebrews. He could wish himself accursed from Christ for his brethren according to the flesh.

I don’t know if I love anybody that much tonight, but Paul loved the brethren, the Hebrews, so much that he would even be accursed from Christ if his brethren could be blessed to see the truth. Oh, that’s love. That man had a lot of love in his heart for the Hebrews. And let me tell you, they didn’t love him in return. No sir, they turned on him, they despised him, they thought lowly of him, because he had denied Judaism, and had committed himself to Jesus Christ and him crucified. But oh, how he loved the Hebrew brethren.

And this dear man had to spend most of life among the Gentiles. Paul loved the Jews. If any man on Earth ever loved his nation, Paul loved his nation. And yet God had called him to be a minister and an apostle to the Gentiles, and for most of his life he had to be away from his brethren according to the flesh. Oh, he wanted to go to Jerusalem. He longed to go to Jerusalem. Antioch was his headquarters but Jerusalem was his heart. He loved those Jewish people. He would have chosen many times to have been among them rather than the Gentiles, but in obedience to the call of God on his life, he turned his back on his brethren according to the flesh, and went to Antioch, and went to Rome, and went to Corinth, and went to Spain.

You know what drove him to those places, the love of God in his heart for his brethren. I want to tell you, love is a powerful thing. It’s the most powerful force in the universe tonight, and Paul said, “Brethren, let brotherly love continue.” I’ll tell you what; he did love the brethren.

Now Paul didn’t say, “Love the brethren when they are as sweet as little angels dipped in sugar.” Did you notice that, he just said, “Love the brethren, let brotherly love continue.” You know there are brethren in the world, who are easy to love. I can look around here tonight, and see some that I feel like are very easy to love.

I guess the easiest man I’ve ever known in the ministry to love was my pastor and father in the ministry, Elder Cecil Darity. He is easy to love. If you couldn’t love him, you needed a heart check-up big time. He is an easy man to love.

And there’s a lot of brethren and sisters, that are just easy to love. You don’t have to work at loving them, they’re easy to be around. They are humble, God fearing; they make you feel good. You all like to be around folks like that? Oh, I do, friends. I like to be around people that are easy to be around, and not always nit-picking and finding fault, but you know that they are just lovely people. And there’s people like that in the world.

But God didn’t say just to love the lovely, but he said, “Let brotherly love continue.” We are to love brethren when they are mean, and hateful, and spiteful, and judgmental, and devilish, and resentful. We’re to love them then, isn’t that right? Now that’s when you find out how much you really love the brethren. You know most of us ask God to help us to love the unlovely, but when he sends an unlovely person along, we don’t like that too much.

How are you going to love the unlovely, if you don’t have any unlovely folks in your life? And most of us have some of those along the way.

May I say that love does not mean we have to let people walk all over us, and that we have no right to call their hand, or rebuke them when we feel they are wrong. But it does mean we have to be kind and longsuffering. Now he says, “Let brotherly love continue.”

Talking about Paul’s love for the Hebrews, I think he loved God’s people among the Gentiles also. I think he proved that in his attitude toward the Corinthian church. Have you all ever—well I know you have—but have you recently read the books of First and Second Corinthians, and noticed just exactly what kind of church that church was? Listen to what Paul said in the first verse of the first chapter of First Corinthians, (1Co 1:1) “Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, unto the church of....,” what? “Unto the church of God which is at Corinth.”

Now when you get through reading the first book of Corinthians, you’ll scratch your head and wonder is that really the church of God, because I’m telling you, that church had a lot of major problems in it. Why, here in the first chapter, Paul talks about one of the biggest problems they had, and it was a division in the church over preachers.

Some of them said, “I like Paul. If he’s not preaching I won’t be there. I like his depth. Oh that man can teach you something that’s out of this world.” And others said, “If Paul’s there, I’ll go to sleep. I can’t follow him. He’s too deep for me. But if Peter is preaching, that old rugged fisherman, I will be there. He butchers our language, but I tell you I can relate to him.” And others said, “Well I don’t care a thing for him. You can have both of those fellows but if Apollos is in the pulpit, I’ll be there.” And some of them didn’t want to hear any preacher, they just said, “Jesus is all I want.”

Now they didn’t have a good attitude, either I don’t think. But anyway, Paul talks about the church being divided and he brings that up in the first chapter. You know, I have said I believe ninety percent of the trouble among the Old Baptists is caused by preachers, who are walking in the flesh. Would anybody here agree with that? Sometimes it is about ninety-nine percent. But you know what? The preachers were not the problem in the church in Corinth. I believe Peter and Paul and Apollos were united. They were standing together for the cause of Jesus Christ. Now there were differences in their styles and personalities and gifts, but these brethren were united under the blood stained banner of Jesus Christ.

The problem was the church was carnal and worldly. And Paul says, “I didn’t die for you; you weren’t baptized in my name.” That’s the first problem. That’s enough right there to kill a church, to get divided like that. You know sometimes today when the Old Baptists have a little trouble and there’s a little war, you hear a war drum beating, our brethren say, “Oh what’s going to happen to us.” And they just make out like this is the first time in the history of the church there has ever been any trouble.

A brother told me one time years ago, “Brother Sam, I just tell you, I’m just so discouraged I’m ready to quit.” He says, “There is just so much trouble going on.” I said, “Have you read the New Testament lately?” He said, “What’s that got to do with it?” I said, “It’s got everything to do with it. They had more problems in the first century than you’ve ever known in your lifetime, and, Brother, they didn’t quit.” And there is no place for you and me to quit tonight.”

Now the Corinthian church was divided over preachers, and they had the big head. See, these were Greeks. They weren’t little short, olive-complected Jews with big noses. Brother, these were Grecians. They had all but perfected the human body. They had invented the Olympic games. Oh yes, they were brilliant intellectuals, and fine physical specimens of the human race. And Paul had gone over there as a little Jew, and they laughed at him and said, “Why he can’t even talk good. He stammers when he talks.”

I’ll tell you, they had the big head. These Greeks were high-minded, arrogant people. They thought they were really something—even in the church, born again, and baptized. They were in the church, and still had a lot of pride in them. The first chapter deals with that. He told them that God uses the weak and foolish to confound the mighty and wise, so we would glory only in God.

Well, I could spend the whole night talking about the problems at Corinth. You know, in the fifth chapter (1Co 5) they had a case of incest. That was unspeakable. And they had brethren taking one another to law, suing one another in a court of law. They had long haired hippies. They had women who weren’t subject to their husbands. They had brethren getting drunk at the communion service. According to the 13th chapter (1Co 13), they really didn’t love each other like they should. They even had a major doctrinal problem, because some were denying the resurrection of the body. Now I’m telling you, I don’t know of any of our churches as bad off as they were, do you all?

I mean, all of our churches have problems, and by the way, I want to say this, if you all are looking for a perfect church, don’t ask me for directions. I don’t know where one is. And if you find one, please don’t join it, because if you joined it, it wouldn’t be perfect anymore. Would you all say amen to that? Was that an oh, me, or an amen?

But any way, this church had a lot of problems in it, and Paul didn’t let them off the hook, Brother. I’m telling you, when you read this book, you can find out why they got angry with him. He let them have it with both barrels. And we should be faithful to point out errors today, that we see among the churches. Now why would Paul continue to labor with a church like Corinth?

You know Primitive Baptists in our day, and I think we’ve had this habit a long time, when a church starts doing something we don’t like, the first thing we want to do is put up bars against them. unchurch them. That’s just a bad habit. It has never worked. And it is very unscriptural. Some people think a church split is a sign of great strength. Well, I don’t.

I believe with all my heart, we should be set for the defense of the gospel, and if there should be someone, who would trouble your church by perverting the gospel of Christ, let him be accursed. That is the individual, who would be perverting the gospel. Surely a local church has a right and duty to bar a preacher from its pulpit, if they believe he is unsound or immoral in his personal life.

But who would want to bar a church Jesus Christ has not unchurched? Not me. I might not feel comfortable visiting them, and I don’t have to, if I don’t feel impressed to, but it is not my business to unchurch them. You know what I really think the problem is with some brethren who want to bar churches and declare them out of order? They really don’t trust Jesus as the head of the church. Do you believe He is still the head of the church today and able to sit in judgment over each church? I do. He said he would remove the candlestick. He never told one church to go over and remove the candlestick from another church. That is his job and I trust him enough to leave that in his hands.

Most churches I know have enough problems in their own local fellowship to keep them busy without trying to tend to some one else’s business. And I can tell you for sure, if this church at Corinth was around today, the war drums would be heard, and many would be tempted to bar them. I don’t know that I would want to raise children in that church. That church was a mess, and yet it was the church of God. Paul said it was.

Now how do you explain why Paul would continue to labor with them. I believe the explanation is given to us in 1Co 13 where Paul is writing on the great subject of love, and he says when he begins to define love, “Charity suffereth long, and is kind.” And Paul had so much charity in his heart for these Corinthians, he was suffering long with them. Now this kind of love is not always a warm fuzzy feeling for the brethren.

This love is often a decision you make, because you know it is right to act loving and kind toward the brethren. “Charity suffereth long.” Now it doesn’t suffer forever, but it suffers long. It is obvious today that God did not suffer forever with the church at Laodicea. He loved them, but he told them if they did not repent, he—not a sister church—would spew them out of his mouth. And He won’t suffer forever with churches today that are in disorder.

Now these people at Corinth had it in for Paul. You know, I’m probably just as bad about this as any preacher here, but some of our preachers are bad about getting it in their minds they are being persecuted today. I heard about a preacher, who was no longer being invited into a certain part of the country, and he said he was being persecuted. Now would you consider that persecution? I tell you what, when you compare your little sufferings to what Paul went through, Brother, you’ll get back into reality right quick, and realize we are all on easy street today.

He straightened these Corinthians out, because he said, “I’m a fool for naming off my sufferings.” Paul didn’t want to brag about what he had suffered for Jesus sake, but these Corinthians had backed him into a corner, and they were questioning his apostleship. Why they were even saying he was not an apostle. He said, “Am I not an apostle?...have I not seen Christ.” He let them know, look, if I’m not an apostle, you are not a church because I planted you.

Brother, I’ll tell you he loved them, but they didn’t intimidate him. Did they back him down and give him lockjaw? No sir, he had some tough love in his heart for these folks.

He said..... Oh, I better not get into that. My time, thirty minutes, is gone. Somebody said,“I am the last one up.” Well, I won’t be stealing anybody’s time. You know, some brethren, when we ordain them, we don’t teach them how to tell time. I don’t want to be accused of stealing another brother’s time, but since I’m last, I may just stay on this just a moment more.

Paul said to the Corinthians, “I’m a fool for bringing up my sufferings.” But he said, “I want to tell you something, I have suffered for Jesus sake.” He begins to name off all his sufferings.

We think we suffer when somebody won’t speak to us, don’t look at us like we think they ought to. Brother, that’s not persecution, not in the context of what my Lord went through, and what the apostles went through. We need to get over feeling pitiful for ourselves. Grow up. Get a grip and grow up.

Would you all say “amen” to that. Get back into reality and find out we’re really on Easy Street. This man said, “I was beaten by the Jews, and I was beaten by the Romans.” They would strip his back, and beat him with rods, and they would beat him with a whip, and gave him thirty-nine lashes on five occasions. Listen, if they put me in jail one night for preaching the gospel, I doubt if I would ever preach again, without bringing it up. Paul spent much of his life in prison. Now, let’s wake up, folks.

And when he was in jail, it looks to me, like he had a good time, because Jesus was there. When he was in Philippi and they put him in the innermost stocks, I could just imagine he was concerned about his brother and would have said, “How you doing, Brother Silas?” And I can hear him saying, “Well, I’m hungry, and my back hurts from that whipping, and I’m cold, but other than that I’m alright. How are you Brother Paul?” I can hear him saying, “Brother Silas, I’m not even worthy to suffer for my Lord. Let’s sing a song.” And they began to sing at midnight, and the jailhouse opened, Brother. Let me tell you, when Jesus is first in your life, you don’t sit around complaining, and murmuring about how bad everything is. You are talking about how good everything is. So Paul didn’t bring up all his sufferings here, because he wanted to show out. But these Corinthians had backed him into a corner.

But anyway. I just want to say this tonight, you and I need to love the brethren, and we need to show love toward one another. What good is love in your heart, if you don’t show it? Do you all think love is any good? There is an old poem I heard one time that says, “A bell is not a bell till you ring it. And a song is not a song till you sing it. Love is not love until you show it.”

Now you could argue all night about whether a bell is a bell before you ring it. I reckon it would be a bell, before you ring it, but it’s not functioning as a bell till you ring it. What good would a bell be up there if you didn’t ever ring it? What good is a song if you don’t sing it? And what good is love if we don’t show it and manifest it?

I believe a lot of love’s been shown here in this meeting. Somebody had to go to a lot of effort to get us here, and provide this place. They’re not taking up any offerings for that. That’s love.

There is a lot of love going on in this world. Love is a glorious thing. I suppose the greatest love in the world, from a natural standpoint, is a mother’s love. I don’t know of any love greater than that. We had a dear mother in our community who lost her son last week. Franklin and I conducted the funeral. He was fifty-four years old, and he had a brain tumor, and they kept him at home with Hospice assistance, and that was a wonderful thing. The family could be there right to the end. And the Hospice nurse said to his mother and to the family, “Is there anybody in the family he hasn’t seen yet, that hasn’t gotten here?” And they said, “Not that we know of.”

She said, “Well he should have been dead three days ago. We see death all the time. He’s waiting. Something is not right.” She said, “I want all of you to go in there and talk to him. I want his sisters and brothers to go in there and give him permission to die. And I want you to go in there, dear mother.”

And, you know, they all went in. Then the mother went in, and I’ll tell you, if there’s ever been a woman that loved her child, this mother did. She’s already lost two children, and this would be the third child she would have to give up to death. And she went in there, and it was the hardest thing she’d ever done, but she put her arms around him, and she hugged him, and she said, “Tom, you’ve suffered enough. It's time to go and be with Jesus. I’ll be there in a little while.” And, do you know, in a few moments he left this world. Now I believe love was holding him on. He was concerned about his mother. She assured him, “Your brothers and your sisters are going to take care of me.” That’s love in this world folks. It’s a wonderful thing. It’s the most glorious thing in the world, and you and I ought to be showing love tonight.

Now when you love people, that doesn’t mean you love all their ways. Now we have got to stay in reality tonight. I’ll just have to confess, there are brethren, whose ways I don’t like. I don’t enjoy being with them. Is that ugly to say? You know when you’re a preacher, you have to make a few confessions publicly. There’s brethren among us that, I’ve known for thirty years. I love them. I appreciate their labors in the kingdom, their sacrifices for God, but they have never felt comfortable around me, and I have never really felt too comfortable around them. It’s just personality clashes. And I don’t think God requires us to be with people much, that we don’t really feel comfortable with. I think Paul had that struggle with some of the brethren. But we can still love one another, and pray for one another, and labor together for Jesus’s sake. We can reach out to one another, and show that love. I want to tell you, I don’t know of a soul here tonight, that I’m not willing to shake hands with.

You know, they say there’s two kinds of people in the world. There is the “Here I am” people and there is the “Hey, there you are” people. Now the “Here I am” people are those who walk in a room and they stand there and they say, “I’m here now. You all can come over and speak to me, and affirm me, and make me feel good about me. You know, just wallow all over me.” You all know any folks like that? Full of insecurity. May God deliver me from insecure people. You can’t love them enough for them to feel safe.

And then, there’s people like Brother Cecil Darity, who would walk into a room and say, “Hey, there you are. I’ve been wanting to see you,” and they go over and hug you and they say, “Man, it’s so good to see you. You look great. I’m so happy to be with you.” What kind of person are you tonight?

Now we need to lay aside petty little differences and love one another for the cause of Jesus Christ. Because there’s a great cause in this world, as far as I’m concerned, greater than any man in this world tonight, and that’s the precious cause of Jesus.

Now I would say, if I had to guess, I would say Paul felt a lot closer to the Philippian church than he did to the Corinthian church. What would you all say about that? He said, “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you,” talking about the Philippians. That’s quite a compliment to make, isn’t it? When you read about that Philippian church, and their attitude, you can understand why he loved them so much. I don’t know that he ever felt that way about the Corinthians, but he loved them, and he was faithful to them, and he labored long and hard to save them, as our brother said last night, “from the error of their ways.” Now, beloved, I believe God’s children can live together in the church in peace and harmony.

Now if you get too close to people you don’t click too much with, you’ll have a little fire, and we don’t need that. And people have enough sense to know who they can be with a lot, and, really, anybody that you’re with too much, they are going to get on your nerves. Brother Tom Hagler was good enough to invite Franklin and me, and some other good friends up to his lovely mountain home in Cashiers, North Carolina, this week, and they treated us like we were really Something. I mean they gave us a nice bedroom, two wonderful meals, best steak I ever ate in my life, and they said we just made them happy when we got there. But I am sure we made them real happy when we left.

One sister said that her children made her happy twice at Christmas time—coming and going. She said, the prettiest Christmas lights she ever saw were the tail lights on those kids’ cars.

Well, now listen, company is the same way. I love company but company is like fish. You know. After the third day! Now when we all get to heaven we are going to be together for eternity and I don’t believe we’ll mind being together up there, but we’ll be perfect up there. We are a long way from that down here.

I love my brother Franklin as much as anybody in the world. I got a reason to love him, because he’s been so good to me all my life. But I tell you what, I know he’s about had enough of me on this trip. And he’s got to ride home with me tomorrow afternoon, and he’ll be glad to get in town and let me out. Now that doesn’t mean we don’t love one another. That’s just being real, and that’s the same way in the church. And we’ve got to learn to be longsuffering. Somebody said, “The only way to get four Old Baptists in one accord is to put them in a Honda.” Well I just don’t believe that. I believe we can dwell together in unity, and be in one accord.

That reminds me of the fellow, driving through the country, and he saw a beautiful church building, “Harmony Baptist Church.” Big sign out front. You know that’s a beautiful name for a church, Harmony. He drove on through town, and he saw another beautiful church building and another sign that said “New Harmony Baptist Church.” Well that’s sort of been the history of the church. But it doesn’t have to be. God’s children can labor and toil together. On essentials there must be unity, but on non-essentials there must be charity and longsuffering.

There are people among us more liberal than others, and some more conservative than others, and they don’t need to get together and fuss too much about those things. There are some things I just don’t discuss with some brethren, because I know we are not going to agree. I can’t change them. I don’t think they are going to change me.

We all need that “Serenity Prayer.” “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can’t change.”

I like the new version of that. “God grant me the serenity to accept the people I can’t change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know that person is me.”

Another version of that is, “God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked, the good eyesight to recognize those I do, and enough mind to know the difference.” Well, that’s enough of the foolishness of this world.

But I want to tell you, I love you people for Jesus sake. And I know some of you love me with great effort, and I understand that, because I’m not real loveable a lot of the time. I understand that. But I love the Lord Jesus, and I believe he loved me, and I believe he loves you, and I know I’m a liar, if I say I love him, and don’t love you. So if I don’t show my love in the right way, you can talk to me about it and we’ll work out something. But for goodness sake, let’s all put the unity of the kingdom of heaven above any personal preferences or differences. Let’s love the Hebrews and Gentiles like Paul did. “Let brotherly love continue.” Thank you for your wonderful attention.

2Pe 3:16, Wresting the Scriptures,

By Elder Adam Green

“As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction” (2Pe 3:16).

What does it mean to “wrest” the Scriptures? In order to understand this, we must first establish the relationship between Scripture and doctrine. Paul said that “all scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine.” We get our doctrine from the Scriptures.

The articles of faith of a church show what that church believes the Scriptures teach. By reading the Bible and comparing Scripture with Scripture, we distil from the Bible what its teachings are on the fundamental points of doctrine. Doctrine, then, comes from Scripture. We learn what sound doctrine is by reading the Bible. We should derive God’s doctrine from the Bible; we should not attempt to inject our doctrine into the Bible.

To wrest something is to twist it. To wrest the Scriptures is to twist or turn them from the meaning that really is in them to that which someone would like to make it appear is in them. Wicked men sometimes wrest the Scriptures. They have done that in order to gain control over others, to rule them by fear and ignorance.

Often, however, good men also wrest the Scriptures. Perhaps we all do it at times. Peter did not characterize the men he mentioned in our text as wicked men, but as unlearned and unstable men. When a man – even a good man – believes strongly about some religious principle, he may feel so strongly about it that he may take texts from the Bible and twist their correct meaning in order to make it appear that they support what he thinks the Bible means, even without realizing it or intending to do so. Bad men may do this maliciously, and good men may sometimes do it ignorantly or through the weakness of the flesh.

Whatever our religious opinions, we need to let the Bible say what it says. We need to learn what God was teaching in His word. When we start with our own preconceived ideas and try to make the Bible fit our ideas, instead of honestly allowing the Bible to teach what it does teach, then we are wresting or twisting the Scriptures to fit our own ideas. This is what Peter is teaching us to avoid.

We need to let the Bible say what it says. When we begin to twist the Bible to fit our own ideas, we are on very dangerous ground. We do not need to be afraid of what the Bible says, for it is always right. If we disagree with the Bible, then we are wrong, purely and simply. If we contradict the Bible, then we are wrong. If we disagree with the Bible, then we need to change our views.

I believe that the Scriptures teach what Old Baptists have preached. If I did not believe that, I would not be an Old Baptist. I believe that what the Old Baptists have taught is right and I have no fear of having to change my mind about that. We may be sure, however, that if we were to begin twisting what the Bible says to fit our theories, then we would be wrong. There is no escaping that fact.

A BETTER COUNTRY DESIRED

By Elder John R. Daily (deceased)

The human race, in peopling the different parts of this earth, have displayed an inherent longing for a “better country.” In the great exploring enterprises of the world, this desire has been the leading impulse. It seems to be a principle interwoven in our nature to desire a better allotment than we now enjoy. Many fancies have been indulged of the existence of a still-undiscovered blissful land where the flowers never fade, where the fabled fountain of life, deep, clear and perennial, sleeps on its pure bed of pearls, and where man, freed from the wants and woes of his previous condition, may bask in the luxuriance of immortal youth. It is needless to remark that within the precincts of this little world, stamped with the curse of apostasy from its Maker and stained by the depravity of its inhabitants, there are to be found no such Elysian fields.

Not to fancy, but to faith, has God been pleased to reveal a bright, a blissful world, far excelling in its glory the most brilliant creations of poetic genius – a realm of light and beauty, of love and repose, of fadeless existence and undying joy, sufficiently grand to gratify the highest aspiration of the soul after an immortal habitation.

O, the transporting, rapturous scene

That rises to my sight!

Sweet fields arrayed in living green,

And rivers of delight!

God has given us a natural taste for food and drink, a hungering and thirsting for these essentials, and has so constituted us that these supplies are necessary to the perpetuation of our vital existence. What a mercy is displayed by him in furnishing a bountiful supply of these essentials! Vegetables, grains, fruits, fowls, fishes, beasts, honey, milk, water, all abound to allay the hunger and quench the thirst of sinful man. This is illustrative of the longings of the regenerated soul for spiritual supplies.

“Blessed are they that do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled,” is the sweet promise of the precious Jesus.

Such food is furnished here in a limited supply, a sufficiency for our present needs, but in that better country celestial fruits are found in inexhaustible supply, and the water of life forever flows. The rivers of pleasure at God’s right hand are sufficient to supply the expanding capacities of all the happy inhabitants of that better country, and the prospects of drinking from those sweet rivers of delight during an endless duration is a prospect of bliss sufficient to satisfy the fullest desires of those immortal beings.

There generous fruits that never fail

On trees immortal grow;

There rocks and hills, and brooks and vales

With milk and honey flow.

To cultivated minds there is a source of enjoyment found in the view and contemplation of the beauty and sublimity of visible objects of nature. The extended plain, variegated with its rivers and lakes, its alternating forests and fields; the massive ranges of cloud-capped mountains with their towering rocks and marvelous precipices, rippling streams and dashing waterfalls; the sublime ocean with its heaving tides and rolling billows; the glorious sun, rising, culminating in its highest exaltation at noontide, and setting amidst an endless variety of gorgeous hues; the nocturnal heavens, studded, when cloudless, with myriads of far off light and glory: these all appeal to the senses and address the soul, conveying a faint idea of what God can prepare and of what “he has prepared for them that love him” in the organization and arrangement of the glorious scenery of that “better country.”

All o’er those wide extended plains

Shines one eternal day;

There God the Son forever reigns,

And scatters night away

We are greatly influenced by our locality. This causes us to have a preference for places and to regard a particular locality “better” than others. No spot can be found on this earth that is perfectly free from objections, however. All was well enough till sin entered, but since this awful blight has come, it is to the pilgrims and strangers of Zion but a “wilderness of woe.” Sorrow is mingled with joy, the bitter with the sweet – everywhere. The “better country” which God has prepared as the final abode of the saints is far removed from these fluctuations and changes to which matter is subjected here. There will be no setting suns or waning moons to gather the shades of evening and gloom of night. There will be no wintry clouds and snows to desolate its sunny landscapes. There will be no vernal frosts to wither its rich foliage or blight its fruits and flowers. There will be no lightnings to scathe its towering cedars or shatter the spires of its celestial city. There will be no floods to leave devastation in their wake. There will be no raging fires to envelope its forests and dwellings in frightful conflagration. There will be no tornadoes to agitate its peaceful, balmy air. There will be no poisonous vapors to spread death abroad and bring wailing to the hearts of its happy inhabitants.

No chilling winds or poisonous breath

Can reach that healthful shore;

Sickness and sorrow, pain and death,

Are felt and feared no more.

In our estimate of different parts of the country, we are greatly influenced by the state of society found in each. Our happiness is very closely connected with the spirit and character of those with whom we are in close association. The highest social enjoyment which can be attained on earth results from contact with those whom we love and who can enter into full sympathy with us, especially if they possess the characteristics of intelligence, elevated moral sentiments, benevolent affections and congeniality of taste. But the very best community of mortals associated anywhere on this globe contains a remnant of the sinful and selfish passions which mar their social happiness. So no community on earth, however good, however refined and virtuous, furnishes a perfectly satisfactory model or even a remote analogy to assist our conceptions of the society of that “better country” above. That great celestial fraternity will forever remain undisturbed by any unfriendly secret thought, by any unkind word, by any feeling of suspicion or jealousy, by any act of revenge or hatred. No rivalry or heated emulation, no envy or strife, no alienation or enmity can ever appear to weaken the unity or sever the bond which binds them together in their high and holy fellowship. Love reigns perfect and supreme there. Millions upon millions of perfect beings are all harmonized in one blissful family, all in sweet and absolute control of the law of love, all happy in the exercise of the highest and holiest affection to the utmost of their capacity, without intermission and forever. The crowning glory of this celestial society is that each one, in addition to the sweet intercourse he has with all the others, is permitted to have free and full communion with God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit! In that Triune God they forever rest, bathed in the boundless ocean of peace.

There shall I bathe my weary soul

In seas of heavenly rest;

And not a wave of trouble roll

Across my peaceful breast.

Referring to the ancient patriarchs as illustrations of that faith which existed before a word of the Bible had been written, Paul says, “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed they were strangers and pilgrims on earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better county, that is, a heavenly; wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he hath prepared for them a city.”

When shall I reach that happy place

And be forever blest?

When shall I see my Father’s face,

And in his bosom rest?

[from Primitive Monitor, October 1928] From The Primitive Baptist/The Christian Pathway.

A CALL TO ARMS

By Elder Mark Green

“Behind them – behind us – behind the Armies and Fleets of Britain and France – gather a group of shattered States and bludgeoned races: the Czechs, the Poles, the Norwegians, the Danes, the Dutch, the Belgians – upon all of whom the long night of barbarism will descend, unbroken even by a star of hope, unless we conquer, as conquer we must; as conquer we shall.”

These words were spoken by Winston Churchill in one of his most famous speeches during World War II. They expressed urgently the burden upon that generation to preserve the things they valued for the next. Certainly they did that in a most stirring and famous manner. We, too, have such a duty. The doctrines of grace and the practices and order of God’s house graciously have been passed down to us by our forefathers. If we do not preserve to them – hold to them faithfully – then we will have nothing to pass to our children but the darkness of ignorance and error. I do not wish that, and I am sure you do not, either.

A great task lies before us, then – one that will require utmost faithfulness and carefulness. The church is the pillar and ground of the truth. Her task is to uphold and preserve the truth of the gospel. What greater task could men have?

In the year 2006, I want and intend for the pages of this paper to contain truth. I intend to dedicate myself to that task. Reading is being greatly neglected in this electronic age, but I still am old-fashioned enough to believe it is highly profitable. I hope and believe that the content of this paper is profitable reading, i.e., that the reader is better off for having read it. Parents and pastors need to encourage the younger generation to read good literature, and we hope that that term may apply to The Christian Pathway. I heard on the radio this week that the readership of newspapers generally is dropping by about 8% per year, and I do not doubt it. I hope you will help all the sound religious publications among our people by encouraging other church members to subscribe to them and read them carefully. – Editor

A PLAIN PATH

By Elder Mark Green

“Teach me thy way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain path, because of my enemies” (Ps 27:11).

We have great need of the instruction of the Lord. Our way – the way we went by nature and the way our flesh still lusts to go - is the broad way, and it leads to destruction. If we would walk in God’s way, then we must be taught what it is and where it is and how to walk therein. The child of God, coming to his Father for divine instruction, must confess his ignorance and weakness. This psalm begins, “The Lord is my light and my salvation.” If we are to have light, He must give it. Without it we are in darkness and will never find our way. We need the light of grace and the light of the gospel to walk rightly.

David desired to be lead in a “plain path.” A plain path is a straight path. The way of the wicked is crooked and devious. He dodges hither and yon as he seeks to avoid detection. A man who is walking uprightly can walk straight ahead, since he has nothing to be ashamed of. That is where God leads us. We will never have to be ashamed of walking this way.

Paul said that he “pressed toward the mark,” which language depicts a runner straining toward the finish line. The shortest distance to the finish is a straight line. If we swerve back and forth we are only wasting time. Those who are tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine are not going to walk in a “plain path,” are they?

It is the nature of things that wicked men are ever seeking to find something in the lives of God’s people that can be used against them. It was true with our Lord, in whom they found nothing but uprightness, and it is also true with us. When we make a public profession of faith we have placed ourselves in a position to be ridiculed by those who hate God and godliness.

So, since we represent a great God and a great cause, we need to be very careful that our walk is indeed godly – because of our enemies. They will seek to find fault, and surely they will be able to find it in us, for we are not sinless. Notwithstanding that, let us so live that, though they may occasionally find fault with our conduct, they cannot gainsay our intent and our desire. Let us make it clear that we want to live a godly life and that we are trying to do so, even though we sometimes fail in many particulars.


I found a very interesting comment upon this verse, written by Robert Skinner in 1636: “If a man, traveling in the King’s highway, be robbed between sun and sun, satisfaction is recoverable upon the county where the robbery was made; but if he takes his journey in the night, being an unseasonable time, then it is at his own peril; he must take what falls. So, if a man keep in God’s ways, he shall be sure of God’s protection; but if he stray out of them, he exposeth himself to danger.” – Editor

A PROFESSION OR A CALLING?

Elder R. H. Pittman

One of the principles about which Primitive Baptists have been most adamant is that the ministry is a holy calling, and not a profession in the sense of being a natural occupation. Our people have insisted that a man does not just decide to go into the ministry in the same manner in which he would decide to become a plumber or a physician.

We have said that a man cannot become a preacher merely through study and training, but that he must be called by God to that work. A profession (as we commonly use the term) is something that a man chooses to do in order to make a living; his object in doing it is to make money. God is the one who determines whether or not a man will be called into the ministry; and it is something that the man does in obedience to that call because of his love for God and the church and because of the burden he feels, not because of any money he might receive in the course of his gospel labors.

Again, a profession is a work that a man decides to undertake in order to make money; the true gospel ministry is something into which God calls a man, and that man undertakes the work totally apart from financial considerations.

In 1Co 9:17, Paul makes what at first glance might seem to be a strange statement with regard to the work of the ministry: “For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me.”

Notice the connected words here – “willingly” with “reward,” and “against my will” with “dispensation.” The question we must answer is: Which is the right situation - that which is “willingly” or that which is “a dispensation”? Which is he commending and which is he warning us against?

Paul settles this question in his letter to the Ephesians: “If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: how that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery,” (Eph 3:2-3). Paul preached to them because of a dispensing or dispensation of God’s grace to him for their benefit (“to you-ward”).

In our text, Paul says, “If I do this thing willingly, I have a reward;” that is, if his preaching was a matter of his will or his decision, then he had a reward in doing it, because the reward would have been the reason he went into it. If he did it willingly, then it was a natural profession into which he chose to go because of the benefits (reward) he would receive.

On the other hand, if he went into it “against his will” (that is, if his being called to the work was God’s decision and not his), then that was a sign that God had indeed given him a gospel dispensation or calling.

Paul was not implying that men who feel the burden to preach ought to rebel against it or be unwilling to do the work, but that the matter of his being called to the work in the first place was not a matter of his will, but of God’s. A profession is something a man goes into “willingly;” the call to the ministry is a dispensation or burden that God puts upon a man totally apart from or “against” his will.

A profession is usually described as an occupation requiring advanced training in an art or science, such as a doctor, lawyer or teacher. This normally involves considerable formal education. Is that not how the various missionary denominations regard the ministry?

Why else would they have seminaries? They regard the ministry as a profession, but it is a calling. If the ministry were a profession, then it would be the most important profession in the world, and so why was not the institution of the seminary clearly set forth in the Scriptures? Why were the vast majority of the men called to preach in the early days of the church poor and unlearned men? If the ministry is a profession, then the Missionaries are right and the Old Baptists are wrong.

The gospel ministry is not a profession, and those who preach the gospel are not professionals. Men who preach for what they can get out of it are not worthy of the name of gospel ministers. Men who view the gospel ministry as a way to make a living have a very low and mean view of it.

On the other hand, those men who, without asking anything in advance, have gone faithfully and unselfishly among God’s lambs to preach the everlasting gospel of the Son of God, even in the face of great hardship and sacrifice, are worthy of the respect and care of the Lord’s people. May God give us more of them!

“Baptists of the primitive order - and all religious people bearing the name of Baptists should be of the primitive order - believe in a divine call to the work of the ministry. The work is too important a one to be left to the whimsical caprice of men. It is one of the highest earthly positions, and Paul said, ‘No man taketh this honor unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.’ We all have reason to believe that there are many men following the work of the ministry merely as a profession.

In my early life, I sometimes heard young men discussing entering the ministry as they would talk about entering any other profession. They seemed to look upon it as a matter of business to be taken up and laid down again. I never could look upon the preaching of the gospel in this light. And I am confident that the Bible does not bear out any such idea.” Submitted by Elder Mark Green

A TRIBUTE TO ELDER RAYBON LORD

Raybon Benjamin Lord was born on Nov. 9,1929 in a "little square-topped house" in Pulaski County to Jack Benjamin (Ben) and Clara Knighton Lord. Very soon the family moved back to the Dexter-Dudley area.

After a hard struggle with his burden for the ministry, Ben submitted to ordination in 1934. Raybon grew up in the extended "Lord community" and attended Trail Branch P B Church all through his childhood. He learned the meaning of hard work, and the fun and companionship of a big family connection. There was always something to do and

someone to do it with.

In Raybon's teen years he began to feel a call to the ministry, but tried to keep it hidden, as he had seen the hardships his father endured because of his burden for the churches he served. In August of 1949, he offered himself to Trail Branch Primitive Baptist Church and was baptized in September.

He very soon began speaking "from the floor" and in home services. In July 1951 Raybon married Margaret Jean Barlow of Cochran, who proved to be a wonderful help mate. He was ordained to the full work of the ministry in June, 1954, without having been "liberated". The day after his

ordination, he baptized his wife Jean, and his older brother Dovard.

In November of 1954, Raybon was called to pastor Emmaus Primitive Baptist Church Church near Cordele in the Pulaski Association. He lived in his home community, worked with

his Dad on the farm, and started a family (Dennis in 1956, and Jim in 1958).

In 1959, he moved his family to Irwin County and began pastoring Eureka Primitive Baptist Church near Irwinville, where he had a very prosperous ministry for 33 years. In 1960 he became pastor of Christian Hope and Sycamore Churches in the Pulaski Association. Working odd jobs and pastoring churches kept him busy.

In 1962, he moved his family to Hapeville, near Atlanta, and tried his hand at selling insurance with his dear friend, Elzie D Speir. They both soon realized this wasn't for him, and he began working with Fred Lee in heavy construction. He

really enjoyed the work, but traveling down to South Georgia every weekend was rough on all concerned. He also filled regular appointments in the Atlanta area, but was still very burdened with the churches of the Pulaski Association.

In 1965 Bro. Raybon brought his family back south with a brand-new baby, Paul. He bought an old house and a little land in Turner County between Ashburn and Sycamore. He began farming and growing livestock with the help of friends,

church folks and a hard-working companion. He did well raising hogs, cows, peanuts, cotton, and a few other crops. The youngest son. Bob, was born in 1966. He remodeled the house a couple of times and bought a little more land to make a nice little homestead.

Over the years he pastored Emmaus Church about 45 yrs.. Eureka Church for 33 yrs.. Christian Hope for 40 yrs. Sycamore Church for 10 yrs., Mt. Pisgah for 10 yrs.,

Salem Church 2yrs., Oak Grove Church 3 yrs. And is currently [at the time this was written] pastoring New

Providence near Rebecca and Cedar Creek near Cordele. He had a local radio program for several years. The churches he pastored and his home were well known as places of hospitality. He has not kept records, but over the years, he

has had numerous funerals, weddings, and baptisms, and has touched many lives with his willingness to serve and assist any way he could.

At different times his home has been a refuge for neighbors, friends and family members. His devotion to the church and jovial nature have been his trademarks .

From his earliest years in the church, Bro. Raybon has traveled among Primitive Baptists far and wide. He has visited and preached in at least 23 of the United States and has come in contact with and gotten to know many outstanding

preachers in our country in this era of the church. He has always been willing to go where-ever and when-ever he was needed in service to all who asked.

Over the years he has studied diligently and has stood firm for the faith and doctrine that is taught in the Bible. He is also widely known for his sense of humor and love of good clean fun.

In February of 1998, Bro. Raybon's beloved companion of 47 yrs., Jean, died of stomach cancer. She herself had been a devoted church member and a staunch supporter of her husband in his duties in the church. The next several months

were very lonely and trying for him, even with the strong support of family, friends and church folks.

In December of that year, he providentially crossed paths with a fellow sufferer. Sister Ginger Bryant, widow of Elder E. D. Bryant. They soon began dating and were married in July of 1999. They recently celebrated their 15th anniversary.

Bro. Raybon has continued to serve churches, travel to churches in California and several Southeastern states, and maintain the homestead. In the last five years, declining health has taken its toll on him. But, with the help of his wife and others, he is still able to go and tell the wonderful story of God's love toward His children. His greatest joy is still to be able to sing the old songs of Zion, meet with his church family and preach the Glorious Gospel of Christ.

Ginger Lord

MY OWN TRIBUTE

Brother Lord died on March 10, 2016, after spending sixty six years in the ministry. His devotion to the ministry, and to the Primitive Baptist people, was total, as total as it is possible for any man to be. If ever anybody immersed himself in the ministry he did.

He died on Thursday, March 10, 2016. On Saturday before he died on Thursday, he preached at New Hope Church at Abbeville, and on Sunday he preached at Providence Church. I would say that he all but walked into his grave preaching, but that is not right. He had been long since unable to walk. He was in a wheelchair and virtually blind. He was unable to get into the stand, and he preached sitting beside the communion table.

Over the years, I have had a long list of faithful friends, friends who stood with me when I needed a friend, but I never had a better friend than Raybon Lord. I really miss him. A lot of us do.

I have sat for hours listening to him tell of his experiences in the ministry. Things were not always easy for him; perhaps, I should say they were hardly ever easy. But he was steadfast. He stood firm when people were lauding him; and he stood firm when fair weather friends were not kind.

You did not have to quiz him about any fundamental question. If your own position was sound, you should already know what he thought. There was no foolishness about him when it came to the ministry. He was always in dead earnest.

But as serious as he was about the ministry, there was nobody with a keener sense of humor. I have often thought he could have earned a living cracking jokes. If Jerry Clower could do it, why not Raybon Lord?

The Primitive Baptists in Georgia and over the nation owe a debt of gratitude to Brother Lord and the Lord family. I mentioned that Raybon virtually walked into his grave preaching. It was no different with his dad, Ben.

Ben had taken sick to die, and just before he died, Elder Randy Metzinger from Colorado, and I were invited to preach at the a three day meeting at Cool Spring Church. On Friday some of us went to visit Brother Lord. He had gotten up out of bed and was sitting in a recliner. I had an appointment on Saturday night in Mississippi, so I had to leave at noon on Saturday. Elder Metzinger had to be in Colorado on Sunday morning, but he was flying, so he stayed for the Saturday night service. That left them needing a preacher for Sunday morning. Brother Ben literally got up off his death bed, and came to church to preach the final sermon for that meeting.

Our people do not pay our preachers a salary; but no amount of money can buy that kind of devotion.

I was in Georgia filling some appointments, and Brother Raybon took me around to see some sick folks, and some in nursing homes. We had just visited one old brother, who did not appear to be long for this world. As we walked back to our car Raybon said, “Brother Hunt, I have followed so many of my friends to the graveyard, it seems that I have more friends over there than I do down here.” I realize more and more all along what he meant. He is another of my friends who are already over there. I really miss him, but I don’t expect to miss him much longer. Every day I realize how short my time is. I do not expect it to be long until I can sit down with him, and once more talk about old times. And I expect to laugh with him as he tells some of his experiences and observations.

You may be one of those people who think we will not recognize anybody over there. You may think we are going to sit around on a fluffy white cloud strumming on a harp.

But I believe heaven is going to be more real than that. If you don’t think so, I hope you will not feel hard at me for believing that heaven is going to be one grand reunion of the saints of all ages. And I expect to enjoy hearing Brother Lord talk about his love for our Maker as much as I always did down here. Farewell, brave warrior, I expect to see you soon.

Elder Harold Hunt

THE LAST WORDS OF DAVID

A sermon by Elder Raybon Lord

Preached April 28, 2013, at

Irwinville Primitive Baptist Church

Transcribed by Bob Lord as a tribute to my father

I appreciate Brother John putting this chair for me so I could sit down. I am afraid I couldn’t stand for very long because, as many of you may know, I had some work done on my left knee, and it’s still bothering me quite a bit. But, I am thankful to be able to come to church. There are many people confined in the nursing homes and various places and are not able to come that would love to be here or somewhere in the house of the Lord to render praise and adoration to His great and good name.

I appreciate the prayer, Brother Earl, and I hope that each of you will continue to pray for us as we try to speak in His great and holy name.

The last time I was at Cedar Creek I sat in a chair and preached. Someone told me afterwards that I preached so good sitting in a chair that I ought to sit in a chair all of the time to preach, but I am afraid that doesn’t have much to do with whether we are blessed to preach or not. It’s good to be here, and I will say this for the church: that we welcome each one that is here that has come out to worship with us today.

I got up this morning thinking about a text that I haven’t used in quite some time and it seemed to be resting more upon my mind, more than anything else this morning. It is found in 2Sa 23, beginning at verse one.

“Now these be the last words of David. David the son of Jesse said, and the man who was raised up on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the sweet psalmist of Israel, said,

2 The Spirit of the Lord spake by me, and his word was in my tongue.

3 The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God.

4 And he shall be as the light of the morning, when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds; as the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain.

5 Although my house be not so with God; yet he hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure: for this is all my salvation, and all my desire, although he make it not to grow.”

To me, David was one of the most colorful characters that we find recorded in God’s blessed word, and there is much said about David and his life . . . . even the bad and the good that transpired in his life. Jesus is referred to in many places in the new testament as being the son of David, so from a natural lineage, Jesus came through that lineage. When it speaks of the last words of David, importance is based upon the last words that people speak.

I remember reading in the book of Genesis in the fiftieth chapter where Joseph died. His last words were; that God will surely visit you and bring you into the land which he promised to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.

Now I believe that the person had to have the Spirit of The Lord to predict and to know when to prophecy what would come to pass later on after he was dead and gone.

I think about others in the scriptures, what their last words were. I think about Sampson, who was a mighty man. He was one of the strongest men from a physical standpoint that you read of in the bible. His dying words were, let me die with my enemy as he reached for the pillars that was in the arena where so many of the Philistines had gathered and he said, let me die with them.

I remember Stephen, his dying words were, “Lay not this to their charge,” and he saw the windows of heaven opened, and he saw the son of God standing at the right hand of the throne of God. I believe that’s the only place where we find He was standing.

In the affairs of the world, great athletes, movie stars, and politicians, often when they come in the presence of a congregation, the congregation stands up and gives them a standing ovation. But here was one that gave one of his children, one of his servants a standing ovation. The Lord Jesus Christ, when he stood up and welcomed him into his glorious presence.

We could think of others. We find where the bible says that by faith Jacob died leaning upon his staff. He was a cripple. He was made cripple by an experience he had with the Lord when he was fleeing from his brother. That staff of faith is something we must have to lean upon, to support us, to guide us, and to help us through this life. What would we do without our faith . . . . the faith that God has given us? It’s a gift from God. It’s a fruit of the Spirit that comes when we are born of the spirit and the power of God.

I believe the greatest last words that were spoken by anyone was our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. His dying words on the cross were, “It is finished.” What he came into the world to do was finished. It was complete. There is no one that can take anything away from it and no one can add anything to what He had done. What he has done has stood forever, stood the test of time in all of these centuries down through time. It still stands today.

I have read about people . . . . what their dying words were.

I haven’t read lately but I used to read Fox’s Book of Martyrs. You have to have a strong stomach to read that book to see the punishment that the enemy placed upon the church and upon God’s children.

There was a man whose name was mentioned. His name was Polycarp. It’s generally believed that he was baptized by the apostle John, possibly one of the last of his converts. The enemy told him, “Old man you’re eighty five years old. You don’t have much longer to live anyway, and if you will denounce, or refuse to believe, or confess that you have been wrong, we will let you live. We won’t put you to death.”

But Polycarp said this . . . . he said, “The God that I have served for these eighty five years of my life . . . . He has not denied me in all of the eighty five years, and I am not going to deny Him in my death.” And so they put him to death. I believe that God would give the Spirit to one like him.

My grandfather Lord was married to three different women. The first two died and he remarried. One of his wives . . . . they said her last words were, (she would smite herself on her forehead and say over and over), “God be merciful to me . . . . a poor sinner.”

So we think of things like that in our lives that people have said that has been so meaningful to us.

One of the best women that I have ever known in this world was my daddy’s oldest sister. Her name was sister Nannie Barfoot, and she was a wonderful, good person. Just before she died, the last days that she lived, it was as though she was looking into the portals of glory, and she began to talk to her dad. She began to talk to her husband as though she was right there with them. I believe God gave her a glimpse of what was waiting on the other side for us, and what a wonderful blessing that is.

David here is referred to in the bible as a man after God’s own heart. Now he was a sinner, and we have recorded in God’s blessed word some of the terrible sins that he committed while he was here in the world. So that gives us encouragement when we look at our lives and see that we are poor sinners, that Christ didn’t come to just save the good, and the reason he didn’t is because there was none good, but He came to save poor sinners.

And if he could save David, he could save someone like you and me. Isn’t that a wonderful thought to know, that regardless of the sins that we may have committed, he’s given us a good hope through grace, through him, that in his righteousness we are saved by his amazing and his marvelous grace.

David is spoken here as the son of Jesse, and he is referred to here as the sweet psalmist of Israel. The psalms used to be sung and they are sung some today, and I thought a lot of times about David. He must have had a beautiful voice. He must have had a great talent to sing the psalms and sing praises unto his God.

He was the keeper of sheep. He kept his father’s sheep, and incidentally I have never read where he ever lost one of his father’s sheep as he was watching over them, which is a beautiful figure of the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ will never lose one of His sheep, one of His little children.

When He bowed His priestly head on the tree of the cross and said, “It is finished”, and gave up the ghost, every heir of promise, everyone that he came in the world to save, they were saved and they were saved forever. Nothing shall be able to separate them from the Love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

He says, “My sheep hear my voice, I know them and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish.” Isn’t that a wonderful thought to think about? That we shall never perish though troubles, and sorrows, and trials, and disappointments, and even death comes in our families and in us here, after a while. But yet, He has promised us that we will never be separated from Him.

God, in the bible when He refers to men like Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and different ones, He speaks as though they are still living. In His mind and in His heart they were still living and are still living. Abraham today, his spirit is just as much alive as you and I are sitting in this building today. So, He’s not the God of the dead, but He’s the God of the living and what a wonderful blessing that is.

David refers to a reign, and when I’m talking about a reign I’m not talking about a natural rain. I’m talking about reigning as a king or as a person here in the world. He describes what a perfect reign would be. He describes it as a morning without clouds. When there are no clouds in the sky. Oftentimes clouds are referred to as troubles that come in our lives. The clouds of trouble, but he says this reign would be without clouds on a clear morning and as one shining after rain. You know when the natural rain has come down upon the earth, especially when it has been dry, and the grass has began to wither away, but after a rain it flourishes and springs forth. We can see it and it’s beautiful to look upon.

I have said this about my mother. We had a place in our yard and it was fenced off to keep the chickens out, and in it there were flowers. She was a lover of flowers. This time of year when the flowers were blooming, she would get up early in the morning, and in her housecoat she would go a lot of times into her flower garden because she said that it’s more beautiful in the morning than it is at any other time. Because the dew is on it and it is like diamonds sparkling, and David compares that perfect reign as one being like this.

I’ve said a lot of times that I would have loved to have been around a mountain or around a hill when David was watching his father’s sheep and heard him sing. I’m sure that it was beautiful to hear his voice. But there will be a time and is a time when it will be more beautiful than it was here on the earth. No matter how beautiful we may sing here, I’ll tell you there’s a place where we’ll not miss a note. If you feel like you’ve never been able to sing, I can encourage you and tell you that one day you’ll be able to sing . . . . when we leave this world of sin and sorrow and go to that place of perfect rest, where our blessed Redeemer is.

David, after he describes what would be beautiful compared to the natural elements, to a life that would be without sin, a life that would be without troubles and trials, he concludes by saying, “although my house be not so with God.” Can you say that your house is in perfect harmony with the things that God would have us do . . . . the kind of life that He would live? I believe if you answered me truthfully, you would say . . . . no, my house has not been so with God. I’ve made mistakes along the way. I’ve sinned and I know that I have come short of the glory of God, but one day, thank God, through His amazing, and His marvelous, and His wondrous grace, that we’ll be with Him in spite of our sins, in spite of our troubles, in spite of our trials here in this world.

Just a few more days that the hymn writer says that we have to wait, and we’ll then be at rest.

You know, when we begin to have afflictions like I have had lately, and spend a week in the hospital, in pain and having treatments, I think as we get older, we begin to think more about death than we did when we were growing up, or in our life when everything is going smooth and we are getting along fine, when our health is good.

But when the problems begin to come in our lives, we begin to think of something better. The hymn writer says that it’s better farther on. Aren’t you glad today that it is better farther on than this world? With all the joys, all the blessings that we receive here in the world, is not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us, is what the Apostle Paul says in the book of Romans.

John said, “Little children it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see Him as He is.” However, Jesus is, and He’s there in a perfect body in that glory world, and we are going to be like Him. The way we’re going to be like Him is, free from sin and not any problems or any troubles whatsoever. The hymn writer says, “There I shall bathe my weary soul in seas of heavenly rest, and not a wave of trouble roll across my peaceful breast.” Isn’t that wonderful to think about today? That we have a God that has provided for us. Not only for us here in time, but for eternity as well. He made all the provisions.

David said, “Although my house be not so [yet, in spite of this], He hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure.” He says, “This is all my salvation and this is all my desire, although he maketh it not to grow.”

I believe David is a figure of the Lord Jesus Christ here when he said, yet he hath made with me an everlasting covenant. It’s ordered in all things and sure. And I believe before the foundation of the world, that God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit entered into covenant agreement one with another to put into that covenant, the promises in that covenant was to take care of every one of the elect family of God, and finally land them safely on heaven’s peaceful shore where we’ll know no sorrows, know no trials or know no tribulations. I’ll tell you that when this body begins to get frail, and the aches and pains begin to come, it begins to cause us to think about heaven and want to go on and be with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

I have told this experience, that when I was growing up, when I got up big enough . . . . well, I don’t know if I was big enough or not, but my dad would send me with a bale of cotton to Dudley or to Dexter, which both of them was five miles away, to have it ginned. A lot of times you’d go and there’d be a hundred wagons on the yard waiting for the cotton to be ginned. Sometimes it would be in the wee hours of the night when I would leave there and head for home, and me being just a teenager, scared you know, and wondering what was going to happen, and had to cross an old wooden bridge with those mules, and sometimes they didn’t want to cross that bridge. I would be scared to death, but when I would come up out of the swamp and come up on the hill, I could see the kerosene lamp light in the window at home.

I knew that they were waiting on me. My dad was waiting for me to get home to help me with the mules and take them into the barn. When I saw that light it made me want to speed up and get home quicker you know. I think life is that way. As we begin to suffer the afflictions and the troubles and trials of this life, when we can see the light and the glories of heaven, it makes us want to speed up and go on and be with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

He says, my house be not so, in other words he’s saying I’ve missed the mark. What about you this morning? Question yourself. Has your house been so with God? Have you lived a perfect life? Have you done things that you are ashamed of? And I know that I have. There’s not a one of us in the building today that would want to have a moving picture of our life and look on the screen. I’ll tell you that if you had one of me, I would run out the door. I wouldn’t stay in here because I couldn’t stand to look at it.

So the point is, that none of us have lived a perfect life, but there was one that lived a perfect life for us, and that was the Lord Jesus Christ. We, being represented in Him, whatever He did, we were represented in Him. When He went to the cross, we were with Him in His mind and in His purpose.

There is a gospel song that says, “When He was on the cross, I was on His mind,” and how true that is. We were on His mind. When we went to the tomb where He was buried, we were there with him my friends. Not only did we go there with Him, but when He arose the third day, we were raised with Him. He says, “as I live, ye shall live also.” I believe that with all the powers of my being.

These old cemeteries where we’ve planted our loved ones . . . . where we’ve said our good byes for the last time . . . . where we’ve stained the ground with tears from our eyes, instead of it being a place of sorrow, one day it’s going to be a place of rejoicing, when Jesus comes the second time without sin unto salvation. He says, “I’ll say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: I’ll bring my sons from far and my daughters from the ends of the earth”.

I’m telling you friends, that there is no circumstance that we can be in . . . . we can be burned to ashes, we can be blown to the four corners of the earth, but when Jesus comes in the glorious resurrection, we are going to come forth in His likeness and the good thing is, that we are going to be satisfied. Aren’t we? It’s hard to reach perfect satisfaction here in the world…maybe just for a few moments at the time that we are satisfied. The hymn writer says, “When my soul is resting in the presence of the Lord, I’ll be satisfied”.

I believe with all the powers of my being that were are going to be satisfied. And I’m satisfied now, with His work. I’m satisfied with what He has done.

Those disciples that John sent to Jesus when he was in prison asked the question, “Art thou the Christ or shall we look for another?” Now it looks like John never would have had a thought like that doesn’t it? Because he was the very one that baptized the Lord Jesus Christ and said, “There’s one that cometh after me, who’s preferred before me, whose shoes latchet I’m not worthy to unloose.”

But John, as much as he was blessed to see personally the Lord Jesus Christ, and to handle Him, would doubt. You know sometimes we are like Thomas. We are doubting people, aren’t we? Jesus said to go and show John again these things, how the dead are raised, the blind are made to see, and the lame are made to walk, and the poor have the gospel preached unto them and blessed is the man that is not offended in me. How could we be offended in the One that loved us so greatly, that loved us with an everlasting love? How could we be offended in the One who has provided for us, not only in this world, but in the world to come? It’s a wonderful thought to think about.

David says, “This is all my salvation, this is all my desire”. What else could we desire, when He has come and done that which is perfect, that The Lord required, a perfect life? And that perfect life, that everyone of us is represented in Him and we are made perfect through what He has done for us. The God of heaven looks upon us now, not directly to us but through the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus is in heaven now making intercessions according to the will of God.

What if anyone brought up a charge against us? Why, he’s a sinner, or she’s a sinner. Jesus can say, Father I know they have sinned, but where are their sins? I’ve put them away! I’ve nailed them to the cross! They are there no more to be remembered against them. They are your children and I am their Elder Brother and I am their Savior. I am their all in all. All that they need here in time or in eternity. I’ll tell you friends, when I think about the God that loved us with an everlasting love, and the provisions that He made for us . . . . how could we help, but want to praise and magnify His great and glorious name?

He says, “Although my house be not so yet (in spite of that), He hath made with me an everlasting covenant ordered in all things and sure.” An everlasting covenant is an everlasting agreement; it’s an everlasting promise that is put in the provisions for us before the world began to provide for everyone of the elect family of God. Whatever was necessary to be done for them, for them to live with Christ in Glory, has all been taken care of on the cross of Christ.

Why shouldn’t we come to church like we have today? Why shouldn’t I get my walker and hobble along and come? I was in the hospital and missed one Sunday, and it seems like when I miss one Sunday, the following week is a month long. It has been my habit for many years to never miss going to the house of God on a Sunday morning to render praise and adoration to The Great God of my salvation. As many times as I have been, and as many times as I hope to go between now, and when the Lord calls me home, I have never praised Him enough to satisfy my mind! I have never praised Him enough for what He has done for a poor sinner like me.

I feel like you are in the same boat, or in the same condition, that I am in today. It’s no wonder we sing the song sometimes, “There is a name I love to hear, I love to sing it’s worth. It sounds like music in mine ear, the sweetest name on earth.” It’s no wonder we love to sing songs like that. The songs like, “Faith in His name forbids my fear. Oh may His presence ne’er depart, and in the morning let me hear the loving kindness of thy heart.”

“Thus when the night of death shall come, my flesh shall rest beneath the ground, and wait His voice to rend my tomb with sweet salvation in the sound.” I’ll tell you, those old songs, those old hymns, mean something to us don’t they? That’s the reason we love to come to the House of God and sing songs like that, to the praise, and to the honor, and to the glory of God’s grace.

Do you feel like you’ve overdone praising Him? I’ll tell you, I have been trying to for more than sixty years. Close to seventy years now, that I have been trying to praise and worship and magnify His name, but I’m still behind friends. I’ve never praised Him as much as I would like to. I’d like to be a better person than I have been and trust that God will continue to bless me.

He says, “Although my house be not so with God, yet he hath made with me an everlasting covenant, and that covenant was ordered in all things and sure.” That means that not one thing was left out that needed to be in that covenant, that was necessary to be in that covenant that was made with the Godhead before the foundation of the world.

You see, God provided the means to save us from our sins before we actually sinned. You say, well how could that happen? What about automobile insurance? Do you buy automobile insurance hoping that you’ll have a wreck? No, you buy it, but you hope you won’t have a wreck, but you can’t wait until after you have had a wreck and then buy insurance, You have to make provisions before hand in case you do have an accident.

So God knew us and foresaw that we would sin and fall short of the glory of God, and therefore made provisions for us before it ever happened. What a covenant keeping Godhead we have! Jesus has kept that covenant and did when he went to the cross and The Holy Spirit is seeking out and finding everyone of the elect family of God wherever they may be, though they have never heard a gospel sermon, though they have never been to church, though they have never seen a bible . . . . friends I’ll tell you, if they were loved of God, if they were loved in that covenant that was made and that choice that He made of them, before the world began,

The Holy Spirit is going to find every one of them and is going to quicken them from death in sin, to a living hope in The Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

He says. “Although He make it not to grow. Now, God’s family has always been the same. The religious world, they talk a lot about increasing the Lord’s family. If you will just hear the gospel, if you will just listen to and obey the gospel, and give your heart to God, why you’ll become a child of God.

What did you do to become a child of your father and mother? Not one thing in this world. When you knew anything about it, you were already born into the family. It’s the same thing with being born of the Spirit and power of God. We don’t recognize and realize until after the work has already been done.

These have been precious thoughts to me down through the years and as I have said . . . . as I grow older and weaker in the body, they mean more to me now than they did years ago. If I think about how God loved a people with an everlasting love, and be made to feel than I am one of them that He loved, that He gave His life for on the cross of Calvary, that family has never grown by one since God elected them.

By the same token, there has never been one that has been left out, but all of them, all of the elect family of God. Now how can anyone fall out with a doctrine like that? But there are people who are enemies to this doctrine today that would close our doors, that would put us out of business here, if they had the power to do so.

We here in America today, we need to be praying earnestly that God will keep us free. That we may have the freedom of worship as we have today, unmolested by the enemy and upheld by the constitution of these United States, because that privilege has been taken away from some, and some in days past and gone have met in secret to get away from the enemy to worship and praise the God of heaven.

You say, well that could never happen to us, but you know, there is a people in the world today that calls us infidels and believes that all infidels need to be put to death. They are striving and doing everything that they can to do that.

Thank God that for many centuries, this country has had the sweet privilege of worshiping God, as we still do today, and I am glad that we do.

He says, “Although my house be not so with God; yet he hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure: for this is all my salvation, and all my desire, although he make it no to grow.” I think a lot about what David said on this occasion. These were his last words and probably some of his most important words that he ever said while he was here in the world.

I don’t suppose there was ever an individual in the bible that lived as close to God as David did. He said, “The Lord is my Shepherd and I shall not want”. That’s a wonderful feeling. He was having a good day when he wrote that I believe, but what about when he said, “Oh Lord, art thou clean gone forever”? I believe Davis got as close to God as any person ever has and he got as far away from God as most any person has.

We fit in that category too, don’t we? We have been close to Him and we have been blessed by Him in so many ways, but yet, many instances we have gone astray. We have gone away from Him, but I’m glad that although we have gone astray, that He is still going to keep that covenant, and one day we are going to be with Him in glory to praise Him in a world that His word has declared shall never end. That’s a wonderful blessing to me to think about.

May God bless you, and may He sanctify the truth and pardon error as our prayer for His name’s sake.

THE END

A TRIUNE HELPER

By Elder Mark Green

But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head” (Ps 3:3).

David had just noted that there were many who said that there was no help for him in God. This psalm was written when he fled from Absalom, and at that time things certainly looked bleak for him; but David never gave up his trust in God. Those that troubled him were greatly increased, and there were many that sought for his soul, but God was his strength.

God is a triune God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – and we find many instances in which the attributes and acts of God are listed in trios. Here is one example. David saw God as his helper in three ways. First, He was his shield or his protector. King Saul frequently pursued David in his youth and had God not been on his side, surely he would have been captured and slain. Even before that, he had been delivered from the mouths of the bear and the lion. Eventually even his rebellious son was slain and David returned to his palace in peace.

God is a shield for us against all our enemies. There is none that is as great as the Lord. His strength and wisdom are limitless, and He can destroy them with the blast of His nostrils.

God was David’s glory. This was true even when he was on the run, a refugee from his own city. It was true when he was hiding from Saul in caves. No matter how despised we may be by the world, no matter how low a natural station we may occupy, God is our glory. His virtue is ours. Even now we sit representatively at the right hand of God in the most glorious station that exists. Who could be any higher than that? Who is more glorious? We are seated there with him and even though we are not yet there in person, we are happy for our glory to be in Him who stands for us in the counsel halls of heaven.

God was the lifter-up of David’s head. This was indeed a time that David might have been discouraged. He was growing older, and Absalom was a dashing young man who captured the fancy of the people. David was an outcast, and it must have been a dejected group of people who trudged with him into the countryside seeking refuge from the usurper. Their heads must have been drooping. They needed someone to lift them up and make them realize that all was well.

Everything may not be exactly as we would desire it in this world, but we have the prospect of living with God in glory. Is that not enough? We have the presence of His Spirit with us while we go through the world. Is that not enough? We have the dear old church as a home for wayfaring saints while we sojourn here below. Is that not enough? Those ought to be enough to enliven even the most discouraged child of God.

We are just like the tired old horse that is pulling the wagon home from the fields after a hard day of labor: when he gets in sight of the barn, he perks up, his head comes up, his step quickens – because he is going home. We are going home, are we not? Just a few more days and we will be with the vast multitudes surrounding the throne of God, blending our glorified voices in heavenly praise to the Almighty.

That is home. That is where we are going. It is close ahead. So, let us raise our heads, quicken our steps and hasten along, knowing that our work is not in vain here in the kingdom of God and that the greatest scene of all lies just ahead. – Editor

AARON’S PRIESTLY GARMENTS*

“And they shall make an ephod of gold, of blue, and of purple and of scarlet, and fine twined linen, with cunning work,” Ex 28:6.

The Law Service was a system of types, and shadows, and figures. The various feasts, and sacrifices, and ceremonies represented, and acted out, divine truth. In the New Testament day we have God’s revelation, explained in clear, understandable terms. No room is left for misunderstanding—not in the fundamental principles, anyway. If we take God at his word, we can discover all we need to know and do religiously.

Israel did not have such a clear revelation from God. But, even under the Old Testament Law Service, Israel had benefits which were not given to the Gentile world. They were able to know things about God which the Gentiles could not even guess at. Paul says,

“What advantage, then, hath the Jew? Or what profit is there of circumcision? Much every way; chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God,” Ro 3:1-2.

That could not be said about any other people.

In the New Testament day we have Christ revealed as the very image of God himself (2Co 4:4). God in all his glory is revealed in the person of his Son. Every attribute of God is revealed in his Son.

In that day they had types and shadows. A shadow differs from the very image of any object in that the shadow only provides an outline. But even those bare outlines were far more than the Gentiles had.

And even though we have a much more clear revelation in this day, we should never minimize those types and shadows. Those shadows—those outlines if you will—can be very valuable in illustrating the principles that are more clearly revealed in the New Testament day. We do not accomplish much if we study the shadow without examining it in the better light of the New Testament, but, on the other hand, we lose very much if we never consider those God-provided Old Testament illustrations of divine truth. We do ourselves a great disservice when we go to the bookstores to find books of illustrations, when God has provided so much better illustrations in his Word.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon is probably the best known preacher since the days of the apostles. Somebody once asked him, “Brother Spurgeon, is there any particular rule you go by in interpreting an Old Testament text of scripture?” He said, “Yes, there is; when I study any Old Testament text, I position myself on that text, and from the vantage point of that Old Testament text, I look all the way cross country to the New Testament, and I try to see Jesus.” That is a good rule for any Bible student. If the text does not help you to see Jesus, in some aspect of his person, either in his grace, his mercy, his love, or perhaps, in his righteous indignation against sin, you have missed the point.

Whether we are able to sort out the significance of any particular sacrifice or feast of the Law Service or not, every provision of the Law is intended to teach us some great truth. It can be a very satisfying experience to spend time considering those instructions, and, every now and then, seeing some great truth illustrated.

Christ is our prophet, our priest, and our king. The Old Testament priesthood represented the priesthood of the Lord Jesus Christ. The sacrifices those priests offered represented the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary. Whether it was a lamb, or a bullock; whether it was a dove or a pigeon, it represented the Lord. It illustrated some aspect of his person and work.

The garments they wore represented the various aspects of the ministry of the Lord. The gold, the blue, the purple, and the fine twined linen, all represented him. In all of our studies we should be careful to keep our eyes on him.

Heb 12:2, “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

“And they shall make an ephod of gold . . . . ” Ex 28:6.

In Exodus chapter twenty eight, God gave the provisions for the priestly garments Aaron and his sons were to wear when they performed their duties about the Tabernacle. One of those garments was an ephod, a kind of many faceted, many colored, jacket made of fine twined linen, with cunning work. The various characteristics of the ephod all represented the Lord, and the work he performed on our behalf. The gold was a symbol of the Lord and his great worth to his people.

Isa 13:12, “I will make a man more precious than gol9d; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.”

That man is the Lord Jesus Christ.

Gold has been a store of value from the very morning of time. In Genesis, when we read about the four rivers that flowed out of Eden, we are told,

“And the name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold, and the gold of that land is good: there is the bdellium and the onyx stone,” Ge 2:11-12 .

That takes us as far back in human history as we can go.

We use fancy little scraps of paper as units of exchange, and we pretend they are money. But, paper is not money; gold and silver are money. Paper money only has value, because people believe it has value. The government tells us paper is money; we pretend it is money; we use it as if it was money; and as long as we can keep up the pretense, it serves the purpose of money.

If paper was real money, it would not be so constantly losing its value. Suppose you were to hide a hundred dollar bill, and a hundred dollar gold nugget, and one hundred years from now, somebody finds both of them. Which of them do you believe would have done the best job of holding its value? Jesus Christ is “the same, yesterday, and today, and for ever,” Heb 13:8. He does not lose his value.

In 1940, you could buy a brand new Chevrolet for about $400, or you could buy that same automobile for about 12 ounces of gold. You cannot buy a new automobile, today, for 12 ounces of gold, but it will buy a much better automobile than you can get for $400.

“And they shall make an ephod of gold, of blue . . . . ”

Blue is the color of the sky. The Lord came from heaven to earth that he might carry us from earth to heaven.

Joh 3:13, “And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of Man which is in heaven.”

This world is not our home, nor for long, anyway. We have something far better waiting for us, after awhile.

“And they shall make an ephod of gold, of blue, and of purple . . . . ”

Purple is symbolic of royalty. In the old days only the aristocracy wore purple. Purple dye was made by crushing the shells of a tiny marine creature; it was very expensive. Our Lord is King of Kings, and Lord of Lords; he owns every thing that exists. God gave the very best heaven had for my redemption and yours; price is no object with him.

I have friends who are waiting for a day, when the Lord will finally claim his kingdom. They cannot imagine that he is a king now, but they are sure he will be some day. They tell us he meant to establish a kingdom when he came the first time; but he could not get any help, and he could not quite get the job done, but they are sure that when he comes back the second time he will be more successful.

But, you cannot help but wonder, if he could not do it the first time, why do they think he will be any more successful the next time?

But, my Lord did not fail; he did all he intended to do the first time. Isaiah said,

“He shall not fail, nor be discouraged . . . . ” Isa 42:4.

Before he went away, the Lord himself said,

“I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do,” Joh 17:4.

Others may believe the Lord is a failure, if they wish to, but the Bible teaches that he accomplished everything he intended to accomplish.

The Lord Jesus Christ is the absolute ruler in all things. He taught us to pray,

“For thine is (right now, at this very moment) the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever,” Mt 6:13.

The Lord is the head over his creation. The very heavens “declare the glory of God,” Ps 19:1. He is the head over the church. His word is our command. We are bound to do all he says, and to leave all else alone. There are a lot of free thinkers involved in religion. They enjoy dreaming up projects of their own. They are more interested in their imagination than they are in the Lord’s revelation. But, the Lord is King of Kings. He provides us everything we need in his service, and he will tolerate no insubordination; he will not recognize man’s little freelance campaigns.

“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ,” 2Co 10:5.

“And they shall make an ephod of gold, of blue, and of purple, and scarlet . . . . ”

Scarlet represents the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Ours has been called a bloody religion —a slaughter house religion. People are offended at the sight of blood. They would not be nearly so offended at the thought of blood atonement, if they could see the great need for that shed blood. They would not be nearly so offended at the thought of blood atonement, if they could see themselves as the sinners we all are.

Heb 9:22, “And almost all things are by the law purged by blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.”

If any less price could have satisfied divine justice, God would not have required the price he did. God would never have sent his Son to suffer the agony, and the indignity he suffered, if that was not the price that was required to satisfy our sin debt. It was the greatness of our sin that required the price he paid; no less price would have satisfied divine justice.

They were to make it of “fine twined linen with cunning work.” The Bible does not leave us any doubt as to what is represented by the fine twined linen. The fine twined linen represented the imputed righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Re 19:8, “And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white; for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.”

The only righteousness we have, that will stand before God, is the imputed righteousness of our Lord; our righteousness is far too defective.

Isa 64:6, “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.”

When I was just a boy I heard an old brother telling how he hoped to gain a home in eternal heaven. He said, “I know we are saved by grace, but when I stand before God in judgment, I hope I have enough good works to finish out the score.” I was just a little boy at the time, and I had a lot to learn; I still do, but I knew there was something wrong with that statement.

Can you imagine anybody standing before the court of eternal justice, and dragging out an old dirty handkerchief, he has been carrying around for two weeks—with a cold—and dangling that before the throne of God, and saying, “Here is my claim on eternal heaven.”

My youngest daughter is fifty years old; but when she was about six years old I used that expression in a sermon. After the service she told me, “Now, Daddy, that was gross.” If she thought that was gross, she should have heard the literal translation. The translators seem to have kept our feelings in mind, when they translated that verse.

But, even though we may feel the expression is gross, that is exactly what the Bible teaches: “all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.” Those who would trade the fine linen of the imputed righteousness of God’s Son for the filthy rags of their own righteousness have made a poor trade.

Make it of “fine twined linen, with cunning work.” The cunning work—the skillful work—represents the wisdom of God in our salvation. No mind less than the mind of God could have ever devised a plan that would save the people of God, and satisfy both the grace and the justice of God. Any plan man could have come up with would have sacrificed one or the other. The grace of God will be satisfied in the salvation of his people, but the justice of God will also be satisfied in that our sins have been put away by the sacrifice of his Son on our behalf.

Ro 3:26, “To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.”

God did not sacrifice justice in order to be gracious.

“He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied,” Isa 53:12.

Every attribute of God will be satisfied in the salvation of his people. God did not hogtie justice in order to be gracious. God did not tell Justice “Now, Justice, you be still; Justice, don’t you say a word; I am going to save this child, and there is nothing you can do about it.” The grace of God will be satisfied; every subject of grace will be with God in heaven. The love of God will be satisfied; everyone God loves will be there. And the justice of God will be satisfied; their every sin will be paid for. No mind less than the mind of God could have found a way to do it. No mind less than the mind of God could have found a way to satisfy both the grace and the justice of God.

Ex 28:9, “And thou shalt take two onyx stones, and grave on them the names of the children of Israel.”

When Aaron performed the duties of his office he represented everybody whose names were written on those two onyx stones, and that is all he represented. He did not represent the Egyptians. What he did was no benefit to the Egyptians. He did not represent the Moabites, nor the Ammonites, nor the Philistines. He represented the twelve tribes of Israel, and he wrote the names of those he represented on those two onyx stones.

The Lord Jesus Christ, our great high priest, represents all the elect of God. In his suffering and death he did not represent the angels; he did not represent Adam’s race; he represented his people, his elect.

“For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham,” Heb 2:16.

This seed of Abraham, this elect of God, is not a nameless, faceless mass of people. Before God ever created the world, he wrote their names in his book.

Re 13:8, “And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the founda-tion of the world.”

Re 17:8, “The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.”

God is in control; he knows what he is doing. He is not stumbling around in the dark, trying first one method and then another. Before he created the first planet, the first star, the first blade of grass, he determined every part of this great plan of redemption and salvation, and he determined who would be the beneficiaries of all he does.

The Lord knew exactly who he represented; he knew who he was dying for. He wrote their names in his book before the foundation of the world. Isaiah said the same thing in different words.

“Behold I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me,” Isa 49:16.

That is an even stronger statement than the two statements by John in the Revelation. Not only did he write the names of his people in his book, he engraved their very persons in the palms of his hands. There can be no question that the Lord had this verse in mind, when he said,

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any many pluck them out if my hand,” Joh 10:27-28.

If our persons are engraved in the palms of his hands, how can the adversary remove any child of God from his providential care, without destroying some part of the very hand of God.

Symbolically, their names were written in the two onyx stones; actually, they were written in the book of life, and engraved in the palms of Lord’s hands.

“And thou shalt put the two stones upon the shoulders of the ephod for stones of memorial unto the children of Israel: and Aaron shall bear their names before the Lord upon his two shoulders for a memorial,” vs. 12.

Notice that those two stones were to be carried on the priest’s shoulders. One of the uses of our shoulders is to assist us in carrying heavy loads, and that is exactly the symbol involved in these onyx stones being placed on the shoulders of the priest. Our Great High Priest provides for his people and cares for them; he carries us on his shoulder.

“ . . . . and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old,” Isa 63:9.

Again he promises to carry them in his bosom.

“He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young."

The wording is different, but the lesson is the same. The Lord instructs his people, and leads them; but more than that, he carries them.

“Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself,” Ex 19:4.

We are often told that God did not elect individuals, he only chose his family—as a collective group of people. He chose them en masse; no names, no individual characters, were ever under consideration. But God anticipated that objection before it was ever raised, and he provided the answer in this figure.

Listen to the instructions for the breastplate of judgment:

“And thou shalt make the breastplate of judgment with cunning work; after the work of the ephod thou shalt make it; of gold, of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, and of fine twined linen, shalt thou make it. Foursquare it shall be being doubled; a span shall be the length thereof, and a span shall be the breadth thereof. And thou shalt set in it settings of stones, even four rows of stones: the first row shall be a sardius, a topaz, and a carbuncle: this shall be the first row. And the second row shall be an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond. And the third row a ligure, an agate, and an amethyst. And the fourth row a beryl, and an onyx, and a jasper: they shall be set in gold in their inclosings. And the stones shall be with the names of the children of Israel, twelve, according to their names, like the engravings of a signet; every one with his name shall they be according to the twelve tribes,” vss. 16-21.

The name of Judah was on one stone, the name of Reuben on another stone, the name of Zabulon on another stone, and so on.

Notice that the names were written collectively on the two onyx stones, and then they were written again on the stones of the breastplate of judgment. The first time they were written collectively; the second time they were written individually. The Holy Spirit will not allow the figure to be misunderstood. Each name in the breastplate of judgment was written on a separate stone all by itself. The collective family of God is made up of all the individual members.

Suppose that on the first day of school a teacher decides to give every student in her class a bright shiny apple. She buys a bushel of apples, but she wants to make sure that each child gets an apple, so she asks the merchant, “How many apples do I get in a bushel.” And he replies, “Oh, there are no individual apples in this bushel—these are all collective apples.” To say the least, we would not think the man was giving a straight answer; and, yet, this is the very dodge that is generally used to evade the clear Bible doctrine of God’s choice of his people. It takes every individual member of the family to make up the entire family of God. How could he choose the entire family without choosing every individual in that family.

“And thou shalt make ouches of gold; And two chains of pure gold at the ends; of wreathen work shalt thou make them, and fasten the wreathen chains to the ouches,” vss 13,14.

Chains have always represented bondage, and that is what they represent here. We are servants of the Lord, bond-slaves of the Lord. We are his property; we belong to him. We are his property, because he is our creator. And we are his property, because he redeemed us and paid for us in his suffering and death.

Perhaps, there are those who object to the thought of being the property of someone else. Somebody may square his shoulders, and insist, “I am my own man, I will do as I please,” but I cannot make that claim. I am not my own man; I never have been. There was a time when I was in bondage to sin, a slave to sin. I was certainly not my own man at that time. And then God sent his Spirit into my heart, and saved me by his grace. I still cannot claim to be my own man; I belong to him.

Bear in mind that we are talking about being the Lord’s property. If we are his property, he will take care of us. There can be no greater sense of security than knowing we belong to him.

It is significant that these are not chains of iron; they are chains of gold. These chains bind us to him, and they are precious to those who love and trust in him. Others may object, if they choose, but I would not trade these chains of gold for all the wealth of this world.

“And thou shalt make upon the breastplate two rings of gold, and shalt put the two rings on the two ends of the breastplate,” (vs 23).

The ring is symbolic of eternity; it has no beginning nor end. In this instance the rings are symbolic of the eternity of God, and his everlasting love for his people. These rings are like the chains; they are rings of gold.

The eternity of God is one of his attributes, and it is precious to his people. It is one of the delights of the children of God to think on his eternal attributes, to think about him, and what he is like. The love of God is as eternal as he is, and from all eternity that love has reached out to every heir of grace.

“The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee,” Jer 31:3.

The love of God is not so fickle and changeable as the love of man is; if God ever loved you, he will always love you. The love of a mother for her child is a symbol of God’s love for his children. It illustrates what his love is like.

“Can a mother forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee,” Isa 49:15.

As precious as the little baby is to its mother, it is not nearly so precious as every heir of grace is to our Lord. As tenderly, and as gently, as she cares for her child, she is never so tender and gentle as the Lord is toward his own.

“And Aaron shall bear the names of the children of Israel in the breastplate of judgment upon his heart, when he goeth in unto the holy place, for a memorial before the Lord continually,” vs 29.

He carries you on his shoulder, and he carries you on his heart. There was never anything, or anybody, so near to the heart of God as those he has chosen, and redeemed. There was never a newborn baby so near to the heart of its mother, as every heir of grace is to their Lord.

You are so near to the heart of God that he gave the very best heaven had for your redemption.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have everlasting life,” Joh 3:16.

Someone has said that the great price God paid for our redemption was an indication of how much we were worth to him, but that is not the case at all. We are, everyone of us, worthless, hell-deserving sinners. God did not pay the great price he paid because of our great worth. He paid that great price, because of his great love.

Whether the saints of that day understood all that was represented by those emblems of not, the various instructions God gave for the observance of the Law of Moses were very graphic illustrations of the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ, and it behooves us, in this day, to reflect on those things. Just before the Lord was crucified, there were some Greeks who came where he was with the request, “Sir, we would see Jesus.” Oh, that all of us might approach these Old Testament lessons with the same thought in mind.

THE END

ABEL Abel was the second son of Adam and Eve (Ge 4:2). God often favors the second son. He is a figure of the obedient child of God, worshiping according to the God-ordained pattern. His offering of the firstlings of the flock (Ge 4:4) pointed back to the animal slain (Ge 3:21) to provide clothing for his parents, and it pointed forward to Jesus Christ, the lamb slain to atone for the sins of his people (Joh 1:29).

Heb 11:4, “By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain,”. His sacrifice was more excellent because of what it represented, or symbolized; it symbolized the suffering and death of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God. It signified the shedding of his blood. Cain brought an offering “of the fruit of the ground,” a bloodless sacrifice. The one represented the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ; the other represented the works of men’s hands. God’s acceptance of Abel’s sacrifice, and his refusal to accept the sacrifice of Cain is the first indication in the Bible that the works of man’s hands are not sufficient for his salvation, and that God will not accept any religious service that suggests anything to the contrary.

Heb 9:22, “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.”

We are told (Ge 4:4) that “God had respect unto Abel and to his offering.” God had respect, first to Abel, then to his offering. Abel was a sinner in need of salvation as surely as Cain was; but Abel brought “a more excellent sacrifice than Cain.” Abel’s sacrifice was a bloody offering; it was a confession of his own sinful condition, and his need for the suffering and death of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, as an atonement for his sins.

We cannot imagine the burning, bloody flesh of Abel’s sacrifice was as physically appealing as the mounds of fresh, delicious, and colorful, fruits and vegetables which Cain brought. But physical beauty is not the proper criteria; obedience to the commandment of God is. Even in its physical unattractiveness Abel’s sacrifice represented the suffering and death of the Lord. Isaiah tells us, “He hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him” (Is 53:2). hlh

ABIJAH Sylvester Hassell: [Abijah (called Abia in Mt 1:7) was the grandson of Solomon, and the great-grandson of David.] Abijah, the son of Rehoboam, succeeded to the throne. He did not entirely reform abuses, but professed to be jealous for the honor of God, and reproached Jeroboam, king of Israel, with forsaking him. He made war with Jeroboam, under this plea, among others, and relying upon the Lord defeated Jeroboam, slaying five hundred thousand of his men—being one hundred thousand more than was numbered in his own army. He strengthened his kingdom greatly, and died after a short reign (2Ch 13; 1Ki 15). (Hassell’s History pg 125)

ABOUT PREDESTINATION

Elder J. R. Respess (deceased)

What one predestinates, he of course devises means to accomplish. If we predestinate to build a house, we count up the cost; we gather together the material and we build it; it is the result of our predestination. See, whom God predestinated, them he called; that is, he worked out his predestination in them. So if we say that God predestinated sin, we are understood to say that he prompted man to sin. But we know that he did not prompt man to sin; that he could not prompt man to sin; that no man, nor even the devil himself, could sin prompted by the Holy Spirit. God prompts to righteousness, and never to sin.

No Primitive Baptist believes that God worked sin in man; it never has, in any age, been believed by the church that God in his word forbade a thing and that God in his Spirit prompted disobedience to his word. That would destroy his unity. But it is sin to violate God’s word, and hence repentance is required. God the Spirit convicts the sinner for violating the word of God; shows him his guilt. But if done by God’s prompting, there would not nor could there be any sense of guilt for it, for it would be no sin. But as the Jews said when they saw Jesus weeping at the grave of Lazarus, “Could not this man that opened the eyes of the blind have caused that this man should not have died?” And of course his death could have been prevented; but because it was not prevented, we are not therefore authorized to say that Jesus caused it; nor are we authorized to say that because God did not prevent Adam’s sin and overruled it to the good of the elect and the glory of God, that therefore he caused it. [from an article reprinted in The Collected Writings of Elder John R. Respess.]

Abraham and Isaac on Mount Moriah

“And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham, and he said, Behold, here I am. And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of,” Ge 22:1-2.

I enjoy the figurative, symbolic, lessons of the Bible. Most of us understand word pictures, and illustrations, better than we do abstract explanations, and the Bible provides us with an abundance of types, shadows, and figures, especially in the stories of the Old Testament. Sometimes those lessons can be hard to understand, but when we once recognize what is under consideration, the lesson usually becomes very clear, and very simple.

I hear people complain about how hard the Bible is to understand, but usually the people who talk that way are people who rarely ever pick up the Bible in the first place. They have no idea what it teaches, because they have no idea what it says.

God intends for the Bible to be read and understood. Simplicity is the very hallmark of the Bible. Paul said, “For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward,” 2Co 1:12.

In the types, and shadows, and figures of the Bible, God used people, and events, to act out some of the most profound Bible truths. And they acted out those truths in a way that, once we recognize the lesson, it sticks in our mind much better than bare words and arguments ever could.

The passage before us provides one of the clearest Old Testament figures of the substitutionary death, and sacrificial atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ. The various elements of this figure are clear symbols of what Christ accomplished in his death, burial, and resurrection.

We are told that God did tempt Abraham. The word tempt has more than one meaning.

It does not always mean to entice to do evil. God never did entice anybody to do evil.

James said, “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man,” Jas 1:13.

God did not entice Abraham to do evil; but he did test him; he proved him. God did not test Abraham for his own benefit; God already knew exactly what Abraham would do. There is nothing God does not know, and you can be sure he knew what Abraham would do, better than Abraham did. God understands us better than we understand ourselves.

But God tested Abraham, tried him, proved him for my benefit and yours. In this scene between Abraham and Isaac on Mount Moriah God used those two men to act out a clear and detailed preview of the grandest transaction of all time. Two thousand years later—if not on this very spot, at least in sight of this spot—the grandest transaction of time and eternity was going to take place.

“God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah, and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.”

We know this is a figure, because the Bible says it is. Not every event, and not every character in the Old Testament, is a symbol or a figure of something. Preachers can wear themselves out, trying to find a figurative lesson, when there is no figure, no shadow, no type, involved. One of the percs that goes with the territory, if you have been preaching for a while, is that sometimes a young preacher will ask you, “What does this passage mean?” I read the passage, and I tell him, “This is what they did, and this is what they said, and these were the consequences; that is all I see in the text.”

“But don’t these things represent something?”

“No, not that I can tell. This is what they did, and this is what they said, and these were the consequences.”

“But, isn’t there another lesson in addition to that.”

“No, this is what they did, and this is what they said, and these were the consequences.”

But, sometimes he will just wear himself out, trying to find some deep, dark lesson that is not there in the first place. I believe that one reason so many people are sure they cannot understand the Bible is that they have been taught to look for something that is not there to be found. I believe that if there is a figurative lesson in any passage, it will be fairly clear there is a figure involved.

One way you can know that something is a figure is that the Bible calls it a figure. That should be simple enough. Baptism is a figure of death, burial, and resurrection. The Bible calls it a figure in so many words. Peter said, “The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us, not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God.” Human ingenuity cannot design a clearer figure—a clearer illustration—of death, burial, and resurrection than baptism by immersion in water.

The sacrifices of the Law Service, the lambs, the turtle doves, the bullocks, were figures of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible makes that plain enough. But lest we might have missed the point, Isaiah explains it for us.

“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet 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,” Isa 53:6-7.

When the Lord finally did appear on the scene, God had John the Baptist, standing in the river of Jordan, with a huge crowd standing there, waiting to be baptized. And, with that crowd of people looking on, he pointed to Jesus and said, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world,” Joh 1:29.

The type was finally giving way to the antitype, and God would not allow us to miss the point.

God intended for his people to see those Old Testament sacrifices as illustrations of the various aspects of the suffering and death of the Lord Jesus Christ. And he intended that, for centuries to come, preachers would use those figures to explain what he accomplished on behalf of his people. He provided this fairly simple, and easy to understand way, for preachers to explain the gospel.

Paul shows that the Tabernacle was itself “a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect,” eb. 9:9.

It prefigured, or illustrated, what the Lord would be to his people, and what he would do for them.

Another way to know that a person is a figure is that the Bible calls the figure, and the object of the figure, by the exact same name. Joshua was a figure of the Lord. Joshua, or Jehoshua, in the Old Testament, and Jesus in the New Testament are the same name in two different languages.

Joshua in the Hebrew, and Jesus in the Greek, both mean deliverer, or savior. It was as Joshua went around with a sign on his back, saying “My name is Joshua; I am a figure of the Savior.”

David was one of the clearest Old Testament figures of the Lord. He was such a clear figure of the Lord that, in some Old Testament passages—Ps 89 for instance—it is not always easy to tell if the writer is talking about David the son of Jesse, or the Greater David, the Son of God.

I am convinced that if there is a figurative lesson in any passage, the figure is usually fairly easy to recognize. And if the figure is not fairly clear, I think it is a good idea to just leave it alone.

Preachers would get in a lot less trouble if we never did explain anything we do not understand.

In this text Abraham the father of Isaac, is a figure of the God the Father. Isaac, the son of Abraham is a figure of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I don’t think it takes a rocket scientist to figure that out. God calls Isaac thy son, thine only son in order to let us know he is a figure of God’s only Son.

But the Bible makes it clearer than that. Paul says, “By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac, and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten Son,” Heb 11:17. We have heard that expression before, haven’t we?

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life,” Joh 3:16. God saw to it that the translators used the exact same expression in referring both to Isaac and the Lord Jesus Christ. They are both called his only begotten son. He will not let us miss the point.

That expression is the way the words appear in the King James Version of the Bible. I am not going to wax so bold as to say the King James translators were inspired in the same way the apostles and prophets were inspired. That is not true. The apostles and prophets were inspired in a manner that no other group of men ever has been. When they were writing the things they wrote in the Bible, God would not allow them to make a mistake. But, on the other hand, I do not have the slightest doubt that those honorable and godly men who translated the King James Version of the Bible were mightily influenced and assisted by the Lord’s Spirit.

Their work was very much like the preaching of a minister who is preaching under the power and demonstration of God’s Spirit. No minister of today is infallible. No matter how powerfully he may be preaching, he can still make mistakes, even when he feels to be the closest to the Lord.

But while that is true, when he is preaching under the influence of the Spirit, he is able to preach with an ability which is not his own. While I would not claim infallibility for the King James translators, I have no doubt that we can see the immediate influence of God’s Spirit evident in their work, and I become very impatient when I hear others, who are much less informed, and probably much less spiritual, challenging their conclusions. I have no doubt that it was the Spirit of God that prompted them to use the exact same words in referring both to Isaac and to the Lord. God will not allow us to miss the point.

By the way, if I might digress for a moment. Joh 3:16 is not an Arminian text. There is not an Arminian text in the Bible. Those who teach the Arminian system manage to come up with their proof texts by taking those verses, which either identify the children of God, or make conditional promises to the children of God, and applying them to the wicked.

On the basis of those texts—which are the property of the children of God—they tell the wicked, “If you will do thus and so you will become a child of God.” But those promises were never intended for the wicked. Those verses were intended for heaven-born souls. Without exception, those texts are either conditional promises to those who are already born of the Spirit of God, or they are texts which identify the heaven-born soul by describing his conduct. No one has the right to take those texts and pretend they are propositions directed toward the wicked.

But, back to our subject.

God’s Spirit went all through the Bible putting little clues all along the way. He provided passages, and expressions, that are intended to shine the light on each other. I love to find those things that connect up. They just snap together. Those verses are made just like they were intended to fit together.

Some of you who are my age might remember a fad that came along about fifty years ago. Do you remember snap beads? They were made out of plastic, and they were about as tacky as anything can get, but they illustrate my point. Those little beads were made so you could snap them together to form gaudy little bracelets and necklaces. They were about the tackiest things I ever saw, but they lasted for a little while, and then, like all fads, they disappeared. But the point is that they were made to pop together.

A lot of these passages are like that. They are intended to just pop together. They connect to each other, and explain each other. I believe that is an indication of the way we are to study the Bible. We are to look for these simple connections. It did not take a rocket scientist to put snap beads together. A little two or three year old could do it. And I tell you, any heaven born soul, with just normal understanding can go through the Bible, and understand all he needs to understand about what he is reading.

Abraham was a symbol of God the Father; Isaac, his only begotten son, was a symbol of God’s only begotten son. God says to Abraham, “Take now thy son, thine only son whom thou lovest and get thee into the land of Moriah, and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.”

It was not enough that Isaac should be offered on just any mountain. God would lead Abraham to the mountain, but, it had to be a particular mountain—one mountain—in the land of Moriah.

He would have to walk for three days to get to that mountain. Later on that mountain was called Mount Moriah.

It was on that same mountain, a thousand years later, that David offered a sacrifice, and Jerusalem was spared (2Sa 24:18-25). The destroying angel was going through the land. Seventy thousand people had already died. The angel had his hand stretched out over the city of Jerusalem, which was itself a symbol of the people of God. They were under the sentence of death.

David, the son of Jesse was here a clear symbol of the Greater David, the Son of God.

He offered a sacrifice, and because those sacrificial animals died, the people of Jerusalem lived.

The entire matter was a clear figure of the sacrificial death of Christ on behalf of his people.

All the elements of the figure fit in place.

Because Christ died in our room and stead we were delivered from the sentence of death.

David would not accept the offer of Araunah (Ornan) to give him the animals to sacrifice; he insisted on paying for the full price (vs. 24). The purchase price that was paid for our redemption was the most expensive transaction the world has ever known; the Lord Jesus paid that price, by the offering of himself. The city was delivered by the offering of that sacrifice, but God had already determined to deliver the city before the offering was made (vs 16).

That is a figure of God’s determining before the foundation of the world that he would save his people by the offering of his son. All the different parts of the figure fit; it all took place on the same mountain on which Isaac was offered; and it is all a figure of what God would do on behalf of his people—on this very mountain.

Bear in mind that Solomon’s Temple was built at Jerusalem (on Mount Moriah at the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite, 2Ch 3:1) . The Lord was crucified at Jerusalem, on a little hill called Calvary, just outside the wall of the city of Jerusalem. The offering of Isaac, and David’s sacrifice at the threshing floor of Ornan, were both figures of the offering of the Lord Jesus Christ on Calvary, and Abraham walked for three days in order to arrive at the very place where, two thousand years later, the Lord would suffer and die.

The Bible does not say that Abraham set up his altar on the very spot where the cross was set up,

but it is hard for me to imagine that God required Abraham to walk three days to arrive at this place, and only had him to build the altar somewhere on the mountain. I believe he built the altar on the very spot where—two thousand years later —the cross would be set up.

The offering of Isaac was a figure of the greatest transaction of time and eternity, and God caused Abraham to walk for three days in order to act out this figure at the very place where the transaction would take place. The solemnity of all that took place there—over a period of two thousand years—is awesome beyond expression.

“And Abraham rose up early in the morning....” (vs. 3).

The salvation of his people was not an afterthought with God. He began very early— before the foundation of the world. “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in him before the world began,” 2Ti 1:9.

God does not have a Plan B. He has known from the very beginning what he was going to do with regard to the salvation his people, and he has never wavered from it. There are those who believe God has tried any number of ways of saving people, and for the most part, failed in the effort.

There is one false religion called Dispensationalism that teaches he has tried five different ways;

the gospel is his sixth effort, and he has one more thousand year effort (his seventh attempt) yet to go.

Others believe the Mosaic Law was one effort of saving people, and he abandoned that effort, because he imagined the gospel would be a more efficient way of saving people. But none of that is right; God only has one way of saving people for heaven. There is only one way of saving people that would have been consistent both with his justice and his mercy.

He will save his people, but he will save them in a just and righteous manner. He will save them by fully atoning for their sins— fully removing their guilt—and imputing his own righteousness to them.

“Known unto God are all his works from the foundation of the world,” Ac 15:18.

“But he is in one mind, and who can turn him, and what his soul desireth, even that he doeth,” Job 23:13.

I like the expression somebody used in describing an Old Baptist preacher. The old brother said, “That Old Baptist preacher, he like an old ram.” He said, “When that Old Baptist preacher start to preach, he just back up, and he back up, and he back, until he back up all the way before the foundation of the world, and here he come.”

The old brother had a quaint way of telling it, but he was right. We like to go all the way back to the beginning. God has never changed his way of saving sinners, and it is the very way he determined on from the foundation of the world.

For those three days Isaac was under the sentence of death. I believe those three days are a figure of the three years of the public ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. During all that time the Lord Jesus Christ was under the sentence of death.

“And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled the ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him. Then on the third day, Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off. And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad man will go yonder and worship, and come again to you” (vss 3-5).

These young men followed Abraham and Isaac to the foot of the mountain. But that was as far as they could go. There were young men, twelve of them, who followed the Lord as far as they could go. Abraham told these men, Abide ye here.... The Lord told the disciples, Tarry ye here.... (Mt 26:38).

The figure is clear enough; these young men were figures of those disciples who followed the Lord, but who could only follow him so far. They could not go the rest of the way with him.

The Lord said, “I have trodden the winepress alone, and of the people, there was none with me,” Isa 63:3.

There was a transaction that was going to take place on that mountain, and these young men had no part in that transaction. And there was a transaction that took place on Calvary, and the twelve disciples had no part in that transaction. The one is a figure of the other.

The apostles were witnesses for the Lord. They walked with him and talked with him for three years. They were witnesses of the message he preached. They were witnesses of his suffering and death.

They were witnesses of his resurrection. But they had no part in what took place on Calvary.

What took place that day on that little mountain called Calvary was the most momentous transaction in all of time and eternity, and no one had any part in that transaction except the Lord Jesus Christ and his Father.

“And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass, and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you,” (vs. 5).

I do not believe Abraham entirely understood all that would take place on the mountain. He had no idea how far this would go. But he was convinced that no matter how far it went, he and Isaac were going up on the mountain, and he and Isaac were going to come back down again.

Paul explained it for us. Let me go back to the text we read a moment ago.

“By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac, and he that had received the promise offered up his only begotten Son, of whom it was said that in Isaac shall thy seed be called. Accounting that God was able to raise him up even from the dead, from whence also he received him in a figure,” Heb 11:19.

Abraham was convinced that if it went that far, God was able to raise Isaac from the ashes, and he was sure he would do just that.

“And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son....” (Vs. 6).

The load Isaac carried up the mountain was a figure of the load the Lord carried to Calvary on our behalf. The wood did not represent the cross itself; a man named Simon helped to carry the cross, (Lu 23:26). The wood represented the load of my sins and yours. Abraham laid this load of wood on his son. God laid our iniquity on his son.

“And the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all,” Isa 53:6.

“Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye are healed,” 1Pe 2:24.

The Lord carried our sins to Calvary, and there on Calvary he put our sins away.

“And he took the fire in his hand and the knife, and they went both of them together,” (vs. 6).

Abraham carried a fire up on the mountain. The Bible says, “For our God is a consuming fire,” Heb 12:29. This fire, obviously, is a figure of the wrath of God against sin. The religious world has much to say about the love, and mercy, and grace of God. It does not have nearly so much to say about the justice and righteousness of God. They are not nearly so interested in the wrath of God against sin.

God is, indeed, loving, and merciful, and gracious; but he is also righteous and just in all he does.

God will save every heir of promise, every subject of his mercy and grace; but he will also be righteous and just in their salvation. He will not sacrifice his own justice in order to satisfy his love. Every attribute of God will be satisfied in the salvation of his people.

The fire will completely consume the wood; after the work is done, the wood will no longer exist. The wrath of God against sin did its work on Calvary. The wrath of God against sin was poured out on the person of his Son. He suffered the full penalty of the law against sin. The law can require no more; it is as though our sins had never been.

“As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us,” Ps 103:12.

He carried the fire in his hand, and a knife. I do not believe it takes the most brilliant person to recognize that this knife is the sacrificial blade of the Old Testament Law Service.

That same knife is found all through the Old Testament. That blade could kill, but it could not give life. No matter how much you sharpened it, it could never give life. The sharper you made it, the more effective it was at killing, but it could never give life.

And that describes the Law Service. The Law was always an instrument of death; it was never intended to give life. That is one thing the denominational world has never figured out. They seem to think the Law of Moses was one of the ways God used in an effort to save people from everlasting ruin.

We said it a moment ago. The various systems of doctrine seem to think God has a variety of ways of saving people. One system of doctrine teaches that God has tried six different methods.

They tell us we are presently in the sixth dispensation, and in this dispensation he is trying to save people with the gospel. They are sure he is largely going to be a failure in this effort too, but they tell us he has one more dispensation to go, and that dispensation is going to last a thousand years, and at that time, he will try just one more method of saving people.

God never has tried to do anything. God never has had more than one way of saving people for heaven, and the law is not it—it never was. No matter how sharp you make the sacrificial blade of the law, it can never give life.

There is another aspect to the symbolism of this knife. There is a scarlet ribbon that reaches from the morning of time all the way to the cross of Calvary. All through the Old Testament the priest would take the animal, often a lamb, and he would drive the sacrificial blade home into the heart of that little animal, and that rich, warm, red blood would flow out of the wound, over the blade, and perhaps, over the hand of the priest in charge.

Every time that service was performed it would extend that scarlet ribbon that reached all the way to Calvary. There at Calvary the Lord, the great antitype, poured out his own blood on behalf of his people. And there, at the end of the way, God stationed John the Baptist, pointing to the Lord, and saying, “Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world,” Joh 1:29.

“....and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together” (vs. 6)

They went both of them together. Abraham and Isaac were in agreement. Abraham could never have done what he did, if Isaac had not been agreeable to it. Abraham was way over a hundred years old at this time. Isaac was a young man in the very prime of life. Do you think Abraham could have bound Isaac on the altar, if Isaac had refused to be bound.

God the Father, and God the Son, are in agreement with regard to the matter of our salvation. The Lord Jesus Christ was perfectly willing to do all he did, and to suffer all he did on our behalf.

“Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God,” Heb 10:7.

“And Isaac spake unto Abraham and said, My father, and he said, Here am I, my son, and he said, Behold the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering. So they went both of them together.”

There are three different ways you can read the expression, “God will provide himself a lamb.”

And no matter which way you read it, it is still right. I like texts you cannot read wrong. You can read this word himself to be what our English teachers call an appositive. God will himself provide a lamb. That is right, isn’t it? God will do the work himself. If you read it that way, it is right.

Or you can read the word himself to be a direct object. God will provide himself to be the lamb. The Lord Jesus Christ was and is God. He is as much God as the Father is God. He was God, when he went to Calvary. He always continued to be God. He continued to be what he had always been, and he took upon him what he had not previously had. He continued to be God, and he took on him a human nature. It was in his human nature that he suffered and died.

He was “put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit,” 1Pe 3:18. So if you read it to say that God will provide himself as a lamb, it is still right.

Or you can read the word himself to be an indirect object. You can read it to say that God will provide a lamb for himself. In other words, he will provide the lamb to satisfy the demands of his own righteous judgment against sin. You can read it that way, and it is right that way as well.

One thing I think people forget is that the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished something with regard to God himself. It satisfied the righteousness of God in the salvation of his people.

“To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus,” Ro 3:26.

The suffering and death of Jesus was for the purpose of satisfying the righteous demands of God in the salvation of his people. Without doing any damage to the verse, you can paraphrase it to say, “God himself, will provide himself, as a lamb for himself.” I like verses you cannot read wrong.

“And they came to the place which God had told him of, and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order” (vs. 9).

Abraham laid the wood in order. Every aspect of our salvation is in order. There are no contradictions, nothing that does not fit. Sixty two years ago, I began preaching in denominational churches. That was all I knew, and for several years I did the best I could to preach their doctrine; but I just could not make it all add up. One part of their doctrine would contradict another part of their doctrine. I was convinced there ought to be some kind of order, some kind arrangement. I thought the doctrine should all fit together, and I just could not make it fit. After awhile the doctrine did all begin to come together, but by the time I began to find some kind of order in the doctrines of the Bible, I found myself preaching principles that were very different to what I had been taught.

For about two years, I found myself preaching the doctrine of salvation by God’s sovereign grace in denominational churches. That was an interesting situation. I finally learned about the Primitive Baptists and found a home among them. I was convinced all along that there was an order to the doctrine of the Bible, that it should all come together in some kind of system.

It was the delight of my life to discover a people who knew something about what that order was and appreciated it as much as I did.

Our people don’t have seminaries. We are not interested in having seminaries. But Primitive Baptist preachers are the most systematic preachers on earth with regard to the system of Bible doctrine. There is a system—an order if you will—about the doctrine of the Bible, and if any Bible student will study the Bible, and just let it say what it says, that system, that order, will become abundantly apparent.

“Abraham....laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood” (vs 9). Isaac submitted to be bound. There is no question about that; but he was bound, nonetheless. When the Lord was crucified, there were people milling around at the foot of the cross, challenging him to come down from the cross.

“And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads, and saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross....He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the king of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him. He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God,” Mt 27:39-40,42-43.

Ever since I was a little boy, I have heard the question asked, “Was it possible; for the Lord to come down from the cross?” I have heard some people argue that he could have come down from the cross, if he chose to. And I have heard others argue, just as vehemently, that he could not come down.

Let me tell you. There was no way the Lord could come down from the cross. But, somebody protests, “Now, hold on just a minute; my Lord can do anything he chooses to do.” That is right; God can do anything he chooses to do; but he could not come down from the cross. Why could he not come down from the cross? He was bound there, and there was no way to break that bond. Those nails could not hold him on the cross. He created every atom and every molecule in those nails. He could have vaporized those nails into oblivion any time he wanted to.

That was not what held him there.

What did hold the Lord on the cross? He was bound there by his own word. He had promised that he would do what he was doing, and he was bound by his own word to do it. There is an expression I used to hear a lot. I don’t hear it much anymore. But I used to hear people say, “Let your word be your bond.” I don’t hear that expression as much as I used to.

Sometimes people promise to do something, and they do not have any intention of doing what they say they will do. But I can tell you this. If God says he will do something, you can put it in the bank.

“The Lord of hosts has sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass, and as I have purposed, so shall it stand,” Isa 14:24.

God swore to it. God cannot even think a lie, much less tell a lie. But, more than that, God swore he would do all he purposed to do. The Bible does not mention many things God cannot do. He cannot deny himself (2Ti 2:13). He cannot swear by one greater than himself (Heb 6:13). And he cannot lie. (Heb 6:18).

In other words, he cannot do anything that is contrary to his own nature and attributes.

If God had failed to do all he purposed to do—all he swore he would do—you would not think very much of him, would you?

Sinful man routinely goes back on his promises, but we should never imagine that God would do any such thing. Could he come down from the cross? No, he could not come down from the cross. He was bound there by his own word. He was bound there by his own nature and attributes. That is the tightest of all bonds.

“And Abraham stretched forth his hand and took the knife to slay his son,” (vs. 10).

At that moment, Isaac was as good as dead. Abraham had gone far enough. And, then an angel speaks from heaven.

“And the angel of the Lord called unto him out of heaven and said, Abraham, Abraham, and he said, Here Am 1. And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou anything unto him, for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy Son, thine only son from me.”

At this point the figure changes. Up to this point, Isaac has been a symbol of the Lord Jesus Christ. When Abraham stretches forth his hand and takes the knife to slay Isaac, Isaac is as good as dead. Isaac represents the sacrificial death of the Lord Jesus Christ, and, at that point, that part of the figure is complete.

Now the figure shifts to the “ram caught in a thicket by his horns” (vs. 12). The ram then becomes a figure of the Christ, and Isaac becomes a symbol of every heir of promise.

There is a substitution that takes place. Substitution is at the very heart of the gospel.

“Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son” (vs 13).

The very heart of the gospel is that the Lord Jesus Christ took our place. “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all,” Isa 53:5-6.

First, Isaac was bound on the altar. Then the ram was caught in a thicket by his horns.

It is the same figure.

Isaac was bound; the ram was caught. They both represent the Lord binding himself to do all he promised to do. I love the way the Spirit goes through the Bible, providing figures, to illustrate the most profound of all truths, and scattering clear and simple clues all along the way. Then, lest we might have still missed the point, God sent John the Baptist to identify the Lord—

to point him out as the Lamb of God, the great antitype of that sacrificial ram.

“The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world,” Joh 1:29.

“And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou anything unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.

And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son” (vss 12,13).

That is substitutionary atonement as clear as language can make it. Abraham “offered him up—in the stead of his son.”

“And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah Jireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord, it shall be seen. And the angel of the Lord called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time and said, By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: that in blessing, I will bless thee, and in multiplying, I will multiply thy seed as the stars of heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore, and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies” (vss 14-17).

THE END

ABSOLUTISM Absolutism, or fatalism, teaches that, before God ever created the world, he predestinated everything that will ever happen, good, bad, or indifferent. It teaches that he arranged all the events, and all the events leading up to, and influencing those events, so that everything that happens comes about in exact accordance to his preconceived and predestinated plan. It teaches that he predestinated everything from the rise and fall of mighty empires to the formation of every tiny snowflake.

It teaches that every event is the effect of a previous cause, and that if that cause is examined, it will itself be discovered to be the effect of a still more previous cause, so that if we trace every effect to its previous cause, we will eventually arrive at the cause of all causes or the First Cause, which they insist is God.

Or to put it another way, they insist that every cause finds its origin in God, and that cause radiates out to all the subsequent causes, so that God, the great First Cause, is the cause of every cause and the cause of every event that follows. It insists that every event is so ordered and arranged that, along with all the other surrounding events, it could not produce any other result than the result it does produce.

It teaches that all that takes place is somehow like one mighty machine, with all its parts playing their own individual roles, and producing the results they were intended to produce. It insists that every event is like a wheel in that great machine, driving all the other wheels, so that they are all connected together, dependent on each other, and bound up with each other so that the instant the first wheel is set in motion, the movement of all the other wheels is already determined. It insists that just as one loose wheel in the machine would upset the entire machine, so if God did not cause and control every event that ever happens, he could not intervene and control anything.

Perhaps the best known of all Absoluters was Elder Gilbert Beebe, who was for many years the editor of their periodical, THE SIGNS OF THE TIMES. That was exactly the illustration he used in his last editorial on the subject published on October 1, 1880. He says, “We look at a vast complicated machine, with its ten thousand wheels. We cannot comprehend or understand its workings, but we are told that the machinist has a perfect knowledge of all its parts save one; there is a definite use for every wheel and spring, but one is held in the machine, which has no certain motion or definite use. How long could that machine run in safety, with the unruly part liable at any moment to throw the whole into confusion.”

He bases another argument on the movement of the stars: “Suppose that in what we have been contemplating of the Heavens we should find the sun and moon, and all the stars but one, held firmly to their orbits by the irresistible will and decree of God, and that one solitary star, without any fixed orbit, is allowed to range the infinity of space, wandering with more than lightning velocity, guided only by chance; where would be the safety of all the other stars?” For over one hundred years the Absoluters have continued to republish this article; so it obviously expresses their sentiments.

Based purely on the principle of cause and effect, or action and reaction, the Absolute argument seems to make some kind of sense. Sir Isaac Newton was the father of modern science. He was probably the greatest scientist who ever lived. His Third Law of Motion states that “for every action there is a reaction, equal and in the opposite direction.” That principle works very well in physics, and if we were dealing with physics, the Absoluter might be able to make a case.

But we are not dealing with physics, and we are not dealing with physical law; we are dealing with sinners and the moral law of God. Physical law cannot be violated, and it provides no penalties. Physical law simply states what is going to happen under certain conditions. If you throw a rock into the air, it is going to come back down. It is not possible the rock might hang in midair, and there is no penalty to be assessed against the rock if it fails to fall. On the other hand, moral law can be violated and it does provide penalties. Moral law does not state what we will do, but rather, what we ought to do. There is every possibility that we might fail to do as we should, and there are penalties to be suffered if we transgress that law.

Physical law cannot be transgressed; moral law can be, and often is. 1Jo 3:4, “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.”

If sin is the transgression of the law—and that is what this verse says—and if that law cannot be violated, there can be no such thing as sin. It is at this point that, in spite of all its fancy explanations, fatalism comes to ruin.

They insist that man only does what God ordained for him to do. They make every act of man to correspond with the will of God, and by doing it, they explain sin out of existence.

They have ever so much to say about the revealed will of God, as opposed to the secret will of God. And they have a lot to say about second causes, but in the final analysis their doctrine always winds up teaching that man sins, because God ordained that he should sin in exactly that way, and at exactly that time.

No matter how reasonable absolutism may appear at first glance, it is based on human reasoning, and not on the Scriptures. If the Bible teaches that God predestinated everything that happens, good, bad, or indifferent, there ought to be a verse somewhere that says it in so many words. It is not enough to show that God intervenes in all sorts of situations, and in all sorts of ways. It is not enough to show that he raises up kings, and puts down kings. It is not enough to show that mighty empires have risen and fallen at his command. Nor is it enough to show that not even a sparrow can fall to the ground contrary to his will.

No person who truly believes in a sovereign, almighty God could deny any of those things. God reigns on the throne of heaven, and you can be sure that he is in charge. He is in control. The very fact that the universe still exists, and we are still living here is clear evidence that God is in control. If God ever relinquished control over his creation, it would fall to ruin.

But we must never confuse physical law with moral law. Physical law cannot be violated; it is very predictable. It is because physical law is so predictable that we have seen such an explosion in technology in recent years. Researchers can develop their products, and once they determine the principles (the physical laws) involved, they can predict what each item they manufacture will do under the stated conditions. Without the predictability of physical law our technology could not exist.

But moral law is entirely different. Those under moral law can, and often do, violate moral law. It is because of the predictability of the outcome with regard to physical law, and the unpredictability of the outcome with regard to moral law, that we see such progress in technology, at the same time we see such chaos in society itself. This is why David can say, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth his handiwork” (Ps 19:1) —because of the predictability of physical law, and, on the other hand, Jeremiah can say, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it,” (Jer 17:9) —because of rebellion against its Lawgiver. hlh

ABSOLUTISM: The fatal connection: Harold Hunt The following is a quote from Elder R.H. Pittman’s little book of Questions and Answers.

“What is Absolutism? A. It is an erroneous and strained view of the doctrine of predestination. Its advocates teach that God absolutely predestinated all things that come to pass, both good and evil; that what is going on in the world now, that which has transpired in the past, and that which will come to pass in the future was all predestinated before time, and could not be otherwise from what it was, is, or will be, that all the acts of men and devils were predestinated. This doctrine is not Bible doctrine—Elder Sylvester Hassell said it was imported from Italy. It was first published among Baptists by the paper known as The Signs of the Times in 1832. Since that time the doctrine has been made a hobby by a few Baptists, yet none of our churches were organized upon such a doctrine—it is not found in the articles of faith of any Baptist church. It is a left handed, confusing kind of predestination, and has been the cause of strife and division. Its advocates are not satisfied with predestination as Paul expressed it. They seek to prop up predestination on one side by ‘absolute,’ and on the other side they spread it over ‘all things.’ The doctrine, when run to its logical conclusion, is nothing less than fatalism, for it makes God as being the author of sin, though most of its advocates deny this.”

When Elder Hassell said Absolutism came out of Italy he was, no doubt, referring to an Italian Catholic-turned-Protestant theologian by the name of Jerom Zanchius. Zanchius (or Zanchy, historians spell his name different ways) was born in Italy in 1516 just before the Reformation broke out in Germany. He was contemporary with Calvin, Luther, Knox, and the other great Reformers. He taught at Strasburg and later at the university of Heidelberg. Persecution drove him from Italy to Germany, and finally to England.

He wrote the proto-Absolute document entitled The Doctrine of Absolute Predestination. That book is the clearest, the most comprehensive, and the most logically consistent book on the subject. It became the standard statement of that doctrine. If it does not prove the doctrine, it cannot be proven. The book has continued to be published until this day. My old tattered and torn copy was republished by Baker Publishing House in 1978. It only contains 170 pages, but it gives a concise and entirely adequate explanation of what the doctrine of Absolute Predestination is all about.

In order to give as brief an explanation of the doctrine as possible, and yet look at different aspects of the subject, I will limit my remarks, for the most part, to Zanchius’s book and those theologians he quotes.

In order to make his point, Zanchius does what every Absoluter must do. He spends most of his time proving points that were never in question. Then, having proven those points beyond all possible challenge, he adds his Absolute conclusion to the argument, as if the points he has just proven have something to do with his conclusion. When I say those points were never in question, bear in mind that I am reading the book as a Primitive Baptist, and approaching the subject from the point of view of our people. In order to give Zanchius his credit, we need to keep in mind that he was writing, primarily, for people who believed that salvation from eternal damnation depends on the merit of the sinner. They believed it was up to the sinner to earn a home in heaven. And, considering who he was writing for, the points he spends so much time proving were the very questions that were under attack. So it was proper that he should begin by showing where he was coming from.

But the fact remains that, from our Primitive Baptist point of view, those points were never the question.

Having said all that, we need to point out that, no matter how clearly, and how conclusively, you may have proven your point, you have not accomplished anything, if your premise has no connection with your conclusion.

Zanchius spends most of his time talking about the attributes of God, and it is proper that he should do that. If Bible students spent more time studying what the Bible tells us about God and his attributes, it would clear up most of the questions in religion. There is no room for a sovereign, all-wise, almighty, God of will and purpose in most of what passes for the Christian religion of our day. Let the Bible student accept the description God gives of himself, and the petty, silly notions of the religious establishment would vanish in a moment.

Zanchius deals with the attributes of God, and up until he starts talking about the predestination of sin and wickedness he does a good job of it. Then he gets completely off the track and out of the Bible.

He shows that God is almighty, all-wise, and all-knowing, but that is not the question.

There is nothing God does not know. He knows everything there is to know—past, present, and future (Isa 46:9-10). He knows everything from the mightiest heavenly body to the tiniest insect. “He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names,” (Ps 147:4). He knows every sparrow that falls to the ground; he numbers the very hairs of your head (Mt 10:29-30). He knows what you are going to do before you do it, and even when you are sure that is not what you are going to do (2Ki 8:12-13). He identifies kings and calls them by name long before they are born (1Ki 13:2; Isa 44:28; 45:1). His “eyes are in every place, beholding the evil and the good” (Pr 15:3). Who would dare deny any of it?

If there is a solitary atom in the farthest reaches of the universe, you can be sure that God knows everything there is to know about it. He knows where that atom is today; he knows where it was a thousand years ago; and (if time should last) he knows what its exact location will be a thousand years from now.

Long before we were born, he knew all about every member of the human family. He knew where and when we would be born, and he knew all the events and circumstances of our lives. There is not a thought that ever entered our minds, or a move that we ever made, but that he knew all about it. And he knew it from all eternity. The God we serve has never learned anything; he has never forgotten anything; he has always known everything.

But it is strange logic that thinks his knowing everything there is to know, somehow, proves that he manipulates circumstances and events in order to cause us to do everything we do. Especially it is strange logic to imagine that since he knows every sin before it is done, he must, therefore, cause men to sin—according to a foreordained schedule.

Zanchius shows the sovereignty of God in the salvation of his people, and in his dealings with them, and with the wicked, but again, that is not the question.

Of course, God is sovereign. He states it over and over again. “Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?” (Mt 20:15). “And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand, or say unto him what doest thou?” (Da 4:35). Nobody has the right to challenge God for anything he does.

There is no need to multiply proof texts. God is sovereign over all creation. It is his property; we are his property; and he has the right to do with us what he will. But that is a far cry from pretending that God gave man a law, irresistibly causes him to break the law, and then punishes him for doing what he could not keep from doing.

He shows that God exercises his almighty power in creation, and in his government of the world.

That is exactly what the Bible teaches. “The young lions roar after their prey, and seek their meat from God,” (Ps 104:21). There is not an animal in the forest, nor an insect in the grass, but that God feeds it, and provides for it.

Men can build accurate timepieces, but, no matter if their timepiece may be accurate to the thousandth of a second, they still correct it by the movement of the stars through the heavens. Who could doubt there is a God in heaven, who keeps every star on course—and on time?

He “upholds all things by the word of his power,” (Heb 1:3). It is by his power that every tiny electron is held in its orbit around the nucleus of its atom. His power holds every planet in its orbit around the sun, and every mighty galaxy in its course through the heavens. That power holds sway from the inner workings of the nucleus of the tiniest atom to the farthest reaches of creation, and holds it all together.

What we call Physical Law is nothing more than God’s usual way of sustaining the created universe, and causing to operate in a consistent manner.

Zanchius talks about the providence of God as it protects and provides for his people, and for every other creature. He proves that the providence of God embraces the mightiest angel and the tiniest insect. He proves that God numbers and names every star in the sky. He shows that God feeds every animal in the forest. He shows that there is no place in the universe beyond the power, the wisdom, and the surveillance of our all-wise, all-powerful God. He makes all those arguments, and he provides indisputable proof texts to prove his point.

But, again, all of that is a far cry from saying that God causes men to sin according to some prearranged program.

It does not make any difference how well you may prove your points; it does not accomplish anything, if those points have nothing to do with the subject in question.

The question is: did God by one eternal decree absolutely and unchangeably predetermine everything that will ever happen in time and eternity? Did God predestinate all the good—and all the evil—in the world? Emphasizing the attributes of God does not prove that point.

No matter how brilliant you may be, when you study about God and his attributes, there comes a point at which you are left in wide-eyed, slack-jawed amazement. At that point our learning must give way to wonder. God is all-wise; he knows everything there is to know. You and I are not all-wise; we do not know everything, and we never will. God will always be the creator, and we will always be the creature. We will always stand in wonder and in awe of him. There are some things we will never be able to fully explain.

We should be wary of any system that tries to explain the unexplainable—any system that tries to bring God down to our level. We should beware of any system that charges God with conduct that is contrary to his own nature and attributes.

The Bible tells us all we need to know about the nature and attributes of God. We do not need to add our own philosophy. We can spend the rest of our lives studying and contemplating what we are told, and it will be the delight of our lives, if we do just that. Consider, if you will, some of what the Bible does tell us, and it will remove much of the difficulty.

First, God is infinite; he is not bound by time nor space, but you and I cannot comprehend infinity. He is eternal, but we cannot comprehend eternity.

The nearest we can come to understanding eternity is to think of it as unending time. He is (at one and the same time) the beginning and the end, the first and the last. That is not the same as saying he is the beginning, and he will be the end. He is both—at the same time. We cannot comprehend that.

That beautiful old hymn Amazing Grace, has cheered our hearts for generations past, but the best the writer could do was, “When we’ve been there ten thousand years.” We know what he was trying to say, and we rejoice in the thought. But days and years are the opposite of eternity. There is coming a time when days and years will end, and we will be eternally with the Lord.

One of the names of God is I AM. All is one eternal now with him. You and I are creatures of time; we are bound in time, and bound by time, but not so with God.

You and I are locked into time, and traveling through time one moment after another. That does not apply to God. He is the unchangeable one. If God were bound by time the way we are—to say the least—he would become one day older every twenty-four hours. But he does not become any older; he does not change.

Time does not encompass God the way it encompasses us. He is the “high and lofty one that inhabiteth eternity” (Isa 57:15). He is not bound by time; it is the other way around; he encompasses time.

What tiny, tiny little creatures of time we all are. Think about it for a moment. Each of us occupies such a tiny little spot in the universe. We are such little things that if somebody backs off more than a few hundred yards he will have trouble even seeing us. If he could back off somewhat farther, he would have trouble spotting the earth we live on, and if he backed off far enough he would have trouble seeing our sun as anything more than a tiny speck away out yonder in the night sky.

That does not apply to God; he is everywhere at one and the same time. If you could build the largest hydraulic press, you still could not compress God into the tiny little space you and I occupy.

In much the same way that we are locked into one tiny little spot in the vastness of the universe, we are also locked into one tiny instant in time. With us there is a past, a present, and a future; but we can never possess any of it except the present. The future is always on its way; the past is forever gone; and the present lasts for such a brief instant that we can never know it until it is gone.

You may have thought about how brief a moment the present is. If you have not, do think about it for a moment.

If the present lasted for a full minute, you would never have a car wreck. You could avoid most any accident, if you had a full sixty seconds to react. If the present lasted for as much as a second you could never have a prize fight. Given a full second, any third rate boxer could get out of the way of his opponent’s fist. If the present lasted the thousandth part of a second, we could not have computers. If a computer could not split every second into a million parts and beyond, it would be so slow you could never get anything done.

But as brief a moment as the present is, that is all you and I have.

But not so with God; he inhabits eternity. You could as easily compress God into the little spot you and I occupy as you could confine him to the tiny instant we call the present. He is the I AM. All is one eternal now with him. Being the eternal one, past, present, and future are all the same with him.

We can never entirely explain God, and there is nothing with which to compare him. “To whom then will ye liken God? Or what likeness will ye compare unto him,” (Isa 40:18). All we can do is adore, and wonder, and worship.

We need to realize that there are some things the Bible teaches about God and his work—without explaining how he does what he does.

Much of the how of what God does is so far beyond our ability to comprehend, that we could not understand it—no matter how well it was explained.

Suppose some rocket scientist should take the next six months to explain to somebody like myself how they managed to build the space shuttle. Suppose he writes out every complex mathematical formula involved, and explains every intricate step. Suppose he explains all the scientific principles that must be taken into consideration. Do you suppose I could understand all he said, so I could explain it to the next person. No, of course not. He would lose me just after he said, “Now here is the way we did it....” His entire presentation would be beyond my comprehension. But even that is a very lame illustration compared to the thought of understanding some of the things God does.

The Bible tells of any number of things God does without explaining how he does it.

We are told that in the very morning of time—by the word of his power—God created the world out of nothing. He simply spoke the word, and vast worlds sprang into existence. We are convinced it is so, but it is beyond our comprehension to understand how he did it.

By the same power he speaks the word, and one dead in trespasses and sins is made alive in Christ Jesus. The Spirit of God takes up its abode in the heart of the sinner, and he is born again. Again, we are told what he does, with no explanation of how the Spirit does its mighty work.

We are told that at God’s appointed time the Son of God became man. “The word became flesh and dwelt among us”(Joh 1:14). If the very heaven of heavens cannot contain him, it is beyond our ability to understand how he could become a tiny baby his mother could hold in her arms. Not only does the Bible not explain how he did it, it goes on to say it is a mystery (1Ti 3:16). If it is a mystery, we could not understand it, even if it was explained. It would no longer be a mystery.

The most central message of the gospel is the resurrection of our Lord. He rose from the dead, and one day he will raise us, and fashion our bodies like unto his own glorious body. How will he put our sleeping dust together again, and rejoin it to our departed spirit? Again, we are told it is a mystery (1Co 15:51). Raising the dead is not part of our job description, so we do not need to be concerned that we cannot explain how he will do it.

But that is not good enough for the theologian; he feels a need to explain everything. And if he cannot find his explanation in the Bible, he has a world of philosophy at his disposal.

Paul had some less than flattering things to say about philosophy (Col 2:8). The earnest Bible student is convinced the Bible provides every explanation we need. If the Bible does not provide it, we do not need it; but that does not deter our theologian friend. He finds in pagan philosophy a principle called fate, and it exactly fills the need. By searching the pagan philosophers he finds an explanation the Bible does not provide.

By stripping fate of some of its most objectionable features, and dressing it up in a Christian garb, he is able to remove the mystery. He can now explain how God can foretell the future.

The pagan doctrine teaches that everything that happens in time was predetermined long ago by a blind fate. Everything, right down to the tiniest gyration and pirouette of a falling snowflake, was determined long ago, and nothing can be changed. Almost a thousand years before Jerom Zanchius was born, a pagan prophet named Mohammed taught that, “Whatever is written is written.” Nothing can be changed; we are swept along by our fate.

The Absoluter strips fate of its blind fate stigma by bundling it with the omniscience of God. Hence fate is no longer blind. He strips it of its random nature by bundling it with the will and purpose of God. Hence, for the Absoluter, God is able to foretell the future, because he has determined to manipulate, and orchestrate everything that happens so that everything takes place just the way he determined to make it happen. It is still a pagan doctrine; but he has made it more acceptable to an inquiring (and bewildered) student of the Bible.

The Absoluter is able to remove the mystery from God’s ability to foretell the future, but what a price he pays in the transaction.

By the time he gets through explaining God, he is left with a deity that does not correspond to the God of the Bible. He is left with a deity that looks, for all the world, like the gods of the pagans.

1. My first objection to Absolutism is that it teaches that God is unable to know about sin in advance, unless he has determined to manipulate and orchestrate circumstances in order to bring about the sin.

You need to be very careful when you talk about what God cannot do. The Bible only lists three things God cannot do: he cannot lie (Heb 6:18); he cannot deny himself (2Ti 2:13); and he cannot swear by one greater than himself (Heb 6:13). In other words, he cannot do anything that is contrary to his own nature and attributes.

But he can foretell what is going to happen in the future without in any way predestinating man’s sin. The fact that he can foretell the future is one of the proofs that he is God.

But listen to what our proto-Absoluter, Jerom Zanchius says about it, and bear in mind that he is their standard bearer.

“Therefore, His determinate plan, counsel and purpose (i.e. His own predestination of causes and effects) is the only basis of His foreknowledge, which foreknowledge could neither be certain nor independent, but as founded on his own antecedent decree.” (page 135) The italics are added, but that is an exact quote; you can look it up.

Notice that Zanchius is sure God could not be certain about what was going to happen in the future except for “his own antecedent decree.” In other words, the only way he can know about the sin is for him to decree the sin. That sounds like dangerous reasoning to me.

But there is more; he says this “predestination of causes and effects,” this predestination of sin and wickedness, is “the only basis of his foreknowledge.” Can you believe that anybody in his right mind would argue that God has to prop up one of his own attributes by predestinating sin? God’s foreknowledge (his prescience if you want to be precise) is one of his attributes, and his attributes do not need to be propped up. But Zanchius is sure the only basis of God’s foreknowledge is “His predestination of causes and effects.” In other words, according to Zanchius, if God did not predestinate everything that is going to happen, his foreknowledge would come crashing to the ground.

But I did tell you that Zanchius borrowed this doctrine from the pagan philosophers.

But, lest anybody might think we misunderstood him, listen to him again in the same paragraph. “Again, we cannot suppose him to have foreknown anything which He had not previously decreed.” He is sure God could not have foreknown it, if he had not decreed it.

Allow me one more quote. “Now, if God foreknew this, He must have predetermined it, because His own will is the foundation of His decrees, and His decrees are the foundation of His prescience” (page 91). I believe that should remove all doubt about what he was saying. Zanchius was sure that God’s ability to predict sin has no foundation except his own willingness to predestinate sin.

These brilliant Absoluter theologians are so determined to explain everything about God, that they are willing to charge him with predestinating sin, in order to explain how he can foretell the future.

The Absoluter is convinced that he presents the attributes of God in a way that puts all other systems to shame. He magnifies God as no one else does. The fact is that he envisions God as having to prop up his own attributes.

He presents this imagined predestination of sin and wickedness as a crutch for his omniscience to lean on.

According to him, if omniscience did not have this crutch, it would stumble and fall. That is not the way my Bible describes God.

Isa 46:9-10, “Remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is none else; I am God and there is none like me. Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand and I will do all my pleasure.”

I realize the Absoluter claims that text, but before he can prove ownership, he will have to prove his notion that God is pleased with sin and wickedness. The things God has decreed to do are his pleasure.

But the Absoluter insists that God does not predestinate sin; he simply removes his restraining hand, and man sins according to his own sinful nature. He restrains the man, and keeps him from sinning, or he removes his hand, and allows him to work out his own sinful impulses. And so he goes through all of time, either restraining or permitting sin, and he does it to such a degree that all that happens takes place according to his preconceived plan.

At first glance, there seems to be some logic to the answer. Who could deny that when God removes his restraint from the sinner, he runs into every sinful excess. And who could deny that God does prevent man from being as wicked as he could be. The Absoluter is convinced that in this way he can explain everything that has happened, or will ever happen.

But when we look a little closer, we discover that the explanation falls far short of the goal. For one thing, most of what happens in time has no moral dimension at all. There is nothing either good or evil about a snowflake falling in one spot or another. There is nothing either good or evil about a bird lighting on one limb rather than another. Even if we would accept the Absoluter’s premise, it would fall far short of providing a foundation for the foreknowledge of God. It would fall far short of showing how God knows ahead of time every gyration and pirouette of every falling snowflake.

The foreknowledge of God does not need a prop, and even if it did, the Absoluter has not found a prop sufficient to carry the load.

2. My second objection to Absolutism is that it teaches that the sin of Adam was the result of God’s irresistible will.

Before he transgressed, Adam did not have a sinful nature to motivate and control him. So we come back to the question: if, as our Absoluter friend tell us, every sin happens, because God removes his restraining power, and man simply acts out his own sinful impulses, what about the sin of Adam?

If I might repeat myself, when the Absoluter explains how it is that God can foretell every little detail about every sin that will ever be committed—without being the cause of the sin—he will tell you that God simply leaves the sinner to his own nature, and his own devices, and the nature of the sinner works its way in exactly the way God predestinated that it would.

There can be no doubt that, in judgment, God often gives people over to work their own destruction, but to use that explanation to show that God, somehow, predestinated every sin is simply a dodge.

For one thing, the explanation breaks down, when you apply it to the sin of Adam. There can be no question that God knew beforehand what Adam would do. He provided the Lord Jesus Christ as the remedy for sin, before that first sin was committed. But until he sinned, Adam did not have a sinful, corrupt nature to motivate and control him.

When it comes to the original sin of Adam, the Absoluter has no choice—if he is going to save his pagan philosophy —and that is to trace the sin of Adam to God himself. That is exactly what our friend Zanchius does. Listen to his explanation:

“On the whole, if God was not unwilling that Adam should fall, He must have been willing that he should, since between God’s willing and nilling there is no medium. And is it not highly rational as well as scriptural, nay, is it not absolutely necessary to suppose that the fall was not contrary to the will and determination of God? Since, if it was, His will (which the apostle represents as being irresistible, Ro 9:19) was apparently frustrated and His determination rendered of worse than none effect.” (page 89)

Notice two things: first, he points out that the will of God is irresistible. He is right about that; but he goes on to claim that God (irresistibly) willed that Adam should sin.

Hear him again: “Surely, if God had not willed the fall, He could, and no doubt would, have prevented it; but he did not prevent it; ergo, He willed it. And if he willed it, He certainly decreed it, for the decree of God is nothing else but the seal and ratification of His will.” (page 88) Again, notice that he ultimately traces the sin of Adam, not to rebellion on the part of Adam, but to the decree of God himself. According to Zanchius, Adam sinned, because God irresistibly willed for him to sin.

Again, “and Luther observes that ‘God permitted Adam to fall into sin because he willed that he should so fall,’” (page 46). I doubt that needs any explanation.

He goes on, “From what has been laid down, it follows that Augustine, Luther, Bucer, the scholastic divines, and other learned writers are not to be blamed for asserting that ‘God may in some sense be said to will the being and commission of sin,’” (page 54). In this statement he is sure that nobody should be blamed for tracing every sin on the part of every person to the will of God.

Let me say again that Absolutism is the result of bundling the pagan philosophy of fatalism with the Bible doctrines of the power, and wisdom, and purpose of God—to the great scandal of those doctrines.

By doing that it removes the stigma of being blind and random from the notion of an irresistible, unchangeable fate. And it explains God’s ability to know the future in a way the carnal mind can comprehend.

In other words, God is able to tell what is going to happen from the first to the last moment of time, because that is the way he is going to orchestrate and manipulate all things and make them happen. In order to do that, he finds it necessary to argue that Adam sinned, because God irresistibly willed for him to sin.

But Bible truth does not need pagan philosophy to prop it up, and any time you call on pagan philosophy to explain God and his work, you will find yourself explaining God in a way that is much more compatible to the pagan way of thinking than it is to the description he gives of himself in the Bible. That will become abundantly apparent as we look further at this Absoluter’s arguments.

3. My third objection to Absolutism is that it teaches that God is the ultimate cause of every sin.

The Absoluter bristles at that statement, and he insists that he does not believe God causes anybody to sin. He explains that God uses something he calls second cause, whereby he so manipulates, and orchestrates circumstances that man simply acts out his own sinful nature by reacting to those circumstances. He has a real problem when he tries to apply that notion to the sin of Adam, but we have already talked about that.

Here is what Zanchius says about second cause. “That God often lets the wicked go on to more ungodliness, which He does (a) negatively by withholding that grace which alone can restrain them from evil; (b) remotely, by the providential concourse and mediation of second causes, which second causes, meeting and acting in concert with the corruption of the reprobate’s unregenerate nature, produce sinful effects; (c) judicially, or in a way of judgment,” (page 64). Notice that he allows these second causes, which are themselves providential (provided by God) produce sinful effects. He thinks God provides the second causes that produce sinful effects, and he is sure this, somehow, exonerates God from causing the sin and perversion the wicked do.

But, in spite of this lame dodge, Zanchius makes it abundantly clear that he thinks God is the sole cause of everything that happens—good, bad, and indifferent.

Listen to these direct quotes. Keep in mind that we have provided the italics to point up what he is saying.

Whatever comes to pass, comes to pass by virtue of this absolute omnipotent will of God,” (page50).

“The will of God is so the cause of all things, as to be itself without cause, for nothing can be the cause of that which is the cause of everything,” (page 50).

He appeals to Luther for support, “God worketh all things in all men, even wickedness in the wicked,” (page 65).

He produces actions by his power alone, which actions, as neither issuing from faith, nor being wrought with a view to the divine glory, nor done in the manner prescribed by the Divine word, are on these accounts properly denominated evil,” (page 66).

“Every work performed, whether good or evil, is done in strength, and by the power derived immediately from God himself,” (page 66).

Again, he appeals to Luther, “God would not be a respectable Being if He were not almighty, and the doer of all things that are done, or if anything could come to pass in which He had no hand,” (page 68).

If, in those quotes, Zanchius and Luther do not clearly and unambiguously charge God with being the cause of all things, whether good or evil, I confess I do not know any way words could express that doctrine. These Absoluters are so determined to provide an explanation of how God can foretell the future that they are perfectly willing to charge him with causing sin—in order to prop up their lame doctrine.

At first glance, Absolutism, like its sister doctrine, Calvinism, can be very beguiling. It seems to be a system that explains and organizes all things from the beginning to the end of time. It teaches that God is totally in charge, that nothing is beyond his control, that every motion, from the rise and fall of mighty empires to the fluctuation of every falling snowflake is according to one unchangeable master plan.

But when you scratch it just a little, you discover just below the surface, notions that are diametrically opposed to all the Bible teaches us about God and his attributes. It presents us with a god who must prop up his own attributes. It presents us with a god who is very much like us, a god who can only know the future, because he manipulates and orchestrates the future.

We can be sure that God does know everything that will ever come to pass, and he knows it down to the tiniest detail. But he knows that because he inhabits eternity. He is not bound by time the way we mortals are. That is a point the Absoluter readily acknowledges; but he never allows that fact to interfere with his system.

God is in charge; nothing is beyond his control. His power reaches to the mightiest heavenly bodies, and to the tiniest subatomic particle. But that does not mean he manipulates moral creatures and causes them to sin.

Our second article of faith says, “We believe the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the word of God, and the ONLY rule of faith and practice.” Pagan philosophy can be interesting to study, and I have spent more than my fair share of time studying it. But we should be cautious about supplementing the Bible with men’s philosophy.

We must always keep in mind that is what Absolutism is. It is the pagan doctrine of fate dressed up in a Christian garb and made to look like Christian doctrine.

It has been said that, “Fools rush in where angels fear to tread,” and, unwilling to stand in wide-eyed wonder at the majesty of his Maker—the Absoluter rushes in with his book of pagan philosophy in hand.

Rather than simply acknowledge that God is God, and we are not—he traces all the sin and wickedness of the world to the decrees of God, and (either overtly or covertly) charges God with being the cause of every sin. He explains God in a way that is entirely different from the pure and thrice holy God of the Bible.

To end where we began, there comes a time when we must acknowledge that no matter how brilliant you may be, when you study about God and his attributes, there comes a point at which you are left in wide-eyed, slack-jawed amazement. At that point our learning must give way to wonder.

Isa 55:9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” hlh (See also article on Ac 4:28)

ABSOLUTISM: Objections: C.H. Cayce: “If anyone fails to drink in and advocate the doctrines held to by them—that God absolutely and unconditionally predestinated all things that come to pass, and that man is an irresponsible machine, and no matter what meanness he does, he can’t help it—he is at once branded as an Arminian, or some other epithet is thrust at him, and they at once declare non-fellowship for him. This simply means that whatever their opinion is, it is the standard, and all must come up to the standard or be left out.” (Cayce’s Editorials, vol. 1, pg. 13)

C.H. Cayce: God did not predestinate that Adam should violate the law. God is the author of his predestination. You would surely admit this. Then, if God is the author of his predestination, and he predestinated that Adam should violate his law, then he is the author of the violation of that law. No man under heaven can escape that conclusion.

One had just as well say the moon is blue mud and then try to argue that it is not, as to say God predestinated that Adam should sin, and then try to argue that God is not the author of sin. God did predestinate the salvation of his people, and he is the author of their salvation. He is the author of His predestination.

If good, and not evil, was accomplished in Adam’s transgression, then there is no such thing as evil. The heathenish and idolatrous infidel saying, that “Whatever is, is right,” would then be true! Oh, horror of horrors! The idea that good, and not evil, is accomplished in all the crime, murder, theft, robbery, rape, wife-killing, mothers slaying their offspring—and all other crimes that are being committed all over the country! Lord, deliver us from such black, blasphemous, heathenish infidelity!

If God’s purpose was carried out in Adam, or if God predestinated that Adam should violate the law, then Adam did God’s will when he violated the law, or else God predestinated that Adam should not do his will. If God’s will was for Adam to violate the law, and he had predestinated that he do so, then God told him to do that which it was not his will for him to do. God told him not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If God had predestinated that he should eat of the fruit of that tree, then he told him not to do the thing that he had predestinated he should do.

The penalty for the violation of that law was death. If God willed and predestinated that he should violate the law, then the man is punished with death for doing God’s will, and what God predestinated that he should do. 1Co 10:5, But with many of them God was not well pleased; for they were overthrown in the wilderness.

If God predestinated that they should do as they did, then God was not well pleased with His own predestination. If God’s predestination is according to His will, then God was not well pleased with his own will in this instance, if he predestinated that they should do as they did. God did not predestinate that they should do as they did, for God is pleased with his predestination; but he was not pleased with them.

We fail to see where there is any grace in a system that puts the man in a state of sin by the predestination of God. If God predestinated that all should be sinners, and then he predestinated that some should be saved from sin, then God predestinated to save some from his own predestination. We fail to see where there is any room for grace in that kind of theory. It destroys every principle of grace. It would be as much damnation by grace as salvation by grace.

Man sinned wilfully, and by his own act brought condemnation and death. It was by man’s disobedience, and not by the predestination of God. Hence, God’s predestination has never damned anyone. But he did predestinate to save his chosen people from sin, and according to that predestination he saves them. His predestination to save them was grace—mercy alone. Hence they are saved by grace.

We love the doctrine of grace. Poor rebel sinners are saved by grace. Without grace we are forever lost. But we do not love the doctrine that God absolutely predestinated everything that comes to pass, and that God is the cause of our sins and wickedness. If that doctrine be true, then God absolutely predestinated that we should not believe it, and we are glad he did not leave that out. (Cayce’s Editorials, vol. 1, ppg 323,324)

C.H. Cayce: As to whether the doctrine that God did from all eternity absolutely and unconditionally predestinate everything that comes to pass, we are willing to let just about two passages from God’s word settle the matter. But in the first place we will say, without fear of successful contradiction, that the preaching of the truth, the preaching of the gospel in its purity, has never caused trouble or division in the Old Baptist Church. Advocating the doctrine of the predestination of all things does cause trouble among them. This is enough to prove that it is not the truth. But we call attention the Jer 7:8-10: “Behold, ye trust in lying words that cannot profit. Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not; and come and stand before me in this house, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations?”

Then in Jer 7:15 and Jer 7:16, “And I will cast you out of my sight, as I have cast out all your brethren, even the whole seed of Ephraim. Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them, neither make intercession to me: for I will not hear thee.” Those people were guilty of committing abominations and then claiming that they were delivered to do those things. The idea of their claim is that God determined and fixed that they should do them and that they could not do otherwise. Their claim was wrong, and God said that he would cast them out of his sight.

Next we refer to Jer 19:5: “They have built also the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings unto Baal, which I commanded not, nor spake it, neither came it into my mind.” In Jer 7:31 he says, “neither came it into my heart.” Now we will give any man until the next day after the Judgment to tell how God did from all eternity absolutely and unconditionally predestinate and fix a thing that never came into his heart or mind. (Cayce’s Editorials vol. 4, ppg 104, 105)

C.H. Cayce: In Ro 8:29 Paul tells us that those whom the Lord foreknew he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son; and in Ro 8:30 he says that whom He did predestinate, them he also called. In the epistle of the same apostle to the Ephesians, 1st chapter and 5th verse (Eph 1:5), he says, “Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.” Verse 11, same chapter (Eph 1:11), he says, “In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.”

These are the only places in the sacred Scriptures where these terms are used; and it is quite clear that in each case the apostle uses them in direct reference to the salvation of the chosen, or the predestinated way he leads his people, and no one is at liberty to use them in any other way than the God of our salvation is a sovereign ruler of the universe. No one of my capacity believes stronger than I that he most assuredly overrules all evil intentions of men and devils and gets the victory to himself, and that for his people.

But until I can explain how God can predestinate a thing and yet not be the author of it, I will not say that the wicked acts of men were predestinated by Him. It is the nature of men to sin. But salvation from sin could be accomplished only by God’s predestinating it. Whatever is said of the purposes of God, or of His overruling power, save in the places referred to, the apostles have seen fit to use other words than predestination; and if, as we believe, they wrote as the Holy Ghost dictated, the words they used were chosen by the Holy Ghost, and we cannot improve upon them.

When we use words not found in the Bible in an effort to make our position stronger, we weaken it instead. The strongest position is the Bible position, and its use of words the very best form. I do wish our brethren would stop using their own words and use those which the Holy Ghost gave to the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. These are intended for the instruction and edification of His humble poor, and do this better than any form of words that men can devise.

We all believe that our God is a sovereign; that the salvation of sinners is by the grace of God through Jesus Christ, and that we are dependent upon him for the grace that we daily need; and for all that we receive and enjoy, we desire to give Him the praise. We merit nothing but his judgments. But his mercy endureth forever. Our wrongs are in no sense chargeable to God. By man came sin, and sin is the transgression of the law, and hence contrary to the will of God. (Cayce’s Editorials vol. 4, ppg 351, 352)

ABSOLUTISM:

What does it really teach?

The following is a quote from Elder R.H. Pittman’s little book of Questions and Answers.

“What is Absolutism? A. It is an erroneous and strained view of the doctrine of predestination. Its advocates teach that God absolutely predestinated all things that come to pass, both good and evil; that what is going on in the world now, that which has transpired in the past, and that which will come to pass in the future was all predestinated before time, and could not be otherwise from what it was, is, or will be, that all the acts of men and devils were predestinated. This doctrine is not Bible doctrine—Elder Sylvester Hassell said it was imported from Italy. It was first published among Baptists by the paper known as Signs of the Times in 1832. Since that time the doctrine has been made a hobby by a few Baptists, yet none of our churches were organized upon such a doctrine—it is not found in the articles of faith of any Baptist church. It is a left handed, confusing kind of predestination, and has been the cause of strife and division. Its advocates are not satisfied with predestination as Paul expressed it. They seek to prop up predestination on one side by ‘absolute,’ and on the other side they spread it over ‘all things.’ The doctrine, when run to its logical conclusion, is nothing less than fatalism, for it makes God as being the author of sin, though most of its advocates deny this.”

When Elder Hassell said Absolutism came out of Italy he was, no doubt, referring to an Italian Catholic-turned-Protestant theologian by the name of Jerom Zanchius. Zanchius (or Zanchy, historians spell his name different ways) was born in Italy in 1516 just before the Reformation broke out in Germany. He was contemporary with Calvin, Luther, Knox, and the other great Reformers. He taught at Strasburg and later at the university of Heidelberg. Perse-cution drove him from Italy to Germany, and finally to England.

He wrote the proto-Absolute document entitled The Doctrine of Absolute Predestination. That book is the clearest, the most comprehensive, and the most logically consistent book on the subject. It became the standard statement of that doctrine. If it does not prove the doctrine, it cannot be proven. The book has continued to be published until this day. My old tattered and torn copy was republished by Baker Publishing House in 1978. It only contains 170 pages, but it gives a concise and entirely adequate explanation of what the doctrine of Absolute Predestination is all about.

In order to give as brief an explanation of the doctrine as possible, and yet look at different aspects of the subject, I will limit my remarks, for the most part, to Zanchius’s book and those theologians he quotes.

In order to make his point, Zanchius does what every Absoluter must do. He spends most of his time proving points that were never in question. Then, having proven those points beyond all possible challenge, he adds his Absolute conclusion to the argument, as if the points he has just proven have something to do with his conclusion.

When I say those points were never in question, bear in mind that I am reading the book as a Primitive Baptist, and approaching the subject from the point of view of our people. In order to give Zanchius his credit, we need to keep in mind that he was writing, primarily, for people who believed that salvation from eternal damnation depends on the merit of the sinner. They believed it was up to the sinner to earn a home in heaven. And, considering who he was writing for, the points he spends so much time proving were the very questions that were under attack. So it was proper that he should begin by showing where he was coming from.

But the fact remains that, from our Primitive Baptist point of view, those points were never the question.

Having said all that, we need to point out that, no matter how clearly, and how conclusively, you may have proven your point, you have not accomplished anything, if your premise has no connection with your conclusion.

Zanchius spends most of his time talking about the attributes of God, and it is proper that he should do that. If Bible students spent more time studying what the Bible tells us about God and his attributes, it would clear up most of the questions in religion. There is no room for a sovereign, all-wise, almighty, God of will and purpose in most of what passes for the Christian religion of our day. Let the Bible student accept the description God gives of himself, and the petty, silly notions of the religious establishment would vanish in a moment.

Zanchius deals with the attributes of God, and up until he starts talking about the predestination of sin and wickedness he does a good job of it. Then he gets completely off the track and out of the Bible.

He shows that God is almighty, all-wise, and all-knowing, but that is not the question.

There is nothing God does not know. He knows everything there is to know—past, present, and future (Isa 46:9-10). He knows everything from the mightiest heavenly body to the tiniest insect. “He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names,” (Ps 147:4). He knows every sparrow that falls to the ground; he numbers the very hairs of your head (Mt 10:29-30). He knows what you are going to do before you do it, and even when you are sure that is not what you are going to do (2Ki 8:12-13). He identifies kings and calls them by name long before they are born (1Ki 13:2; Isa 44:28; 45:1). His “eyes are in every place, beholding the evil and the good” (Pr 15:3). Who would dare deny any of it?

If there is a solitary atom in the farthest reaches of the universe, you can be sure that God knows everything there is to know about it. He knows where that atom is today; he knows where it was a thousand years ago; and (if time should last) he knows what its exact location will be a thousand years from now.

Long before we were born, he knew all about every member of the human family. He knew where and when we would be born, and he knew all the events and circumstances of our lives. There is not a thought that ever entered our minds, or a move that we ever made, but that he knew all about it. And he knew it from all eternity. The God we serve has never learned anything; he has never forgotten anything; he has always known everything.

But it is strange logic that thinks his knowing everything there is to know, somehow, proves that he manipulates circumstances and events in order to cause men to sin—according to a foreordained schedule.

Zanchius shows the sovereignty of God in the salvation of his people, and in his dealings with them, and with the wicked, but again, that is not the question.

Of course, God is sovereign. He states it over and over again. “Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?” (Mt 20:15). “And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand, or say unto him what doest thou?” (Da 4:35). Nobody has the right to challenge God for anything he does.

There is no need to multiply proof texts. God is sovereign over all creation. It is his property; we are his property; and he has the right to do with us what he will.

But that is a far cry from pretending that God gave man a law, irresistibly causes him to break the law, and then punishes him for doing what he could not keep from doing.

He shows that God exercises his almighty power in creation, and in his government of the world.

That is exactly what the Bible teaches. “The young lions roar after their prey, and seek their meat from God,” (Ps 104:21). There is not an animal in the forest, nor an insect in the grass, but that God feeds it, and provides for it.

Men can build accurate timepieces, but, no matter if their timepiece may be accurate to the thousandth of a second, they still correct it by the movement of the stars through the heavens. Who could doubt there is a God in heaven, who keeps every star on course—and on time?

He “upholds all things by the word of his power,” (Heb 1:3). It is by his power that every tiny electron is held in its orbit around the nucleus of its atom. His power holds every planet in its orbit around the sun, and every mighty galaxy in its course through the heavens. That power holds sway from the inner workings of the nucleus of the tiniest atom to the farthest reaches of creation, and holds it all together.

What we call Physical Law is nothing more than God’s usual way of sustaining the created universe, and causing to operate in a consistent manner.

Zanchius talks about the providence of God as it protects and provides for his people, and for every other creature. He proves that the providence of God embraces the mightiest angel and the tiniest insect. He proves that God numbers and names every star in the sky. He shows that God feeds every animal in the forest. He shows that there is no place in the universe beyond the power, the wisdom, and the surveillance of our all-wise, all-powerful God. He makes all those arguments, and he provides indisputable proof texts to prove his point.

But, again, all of that is a far cry from saying that God causes men to sin according to some prearranged program.

It does not make any difference how well you may prove your points; it does not accomplish anything, if those points have nothing to do with the subject in question.

The question is: did God by one eternal decree absolutely and unchangeably predetermine everything that will ever happen in time and eternity? Did God predestinate all the good—and all the evil—in the world? Emphasizing the attributes of God does not prove that point.

No matter how brilliant you may be, when you study about God and his attributes, there comes a point at which you are left in wide-eyed, slack-jawed amazement. At that point our learning must give way to wonder.

God is all-wise; he knows everything there is to know. You and I are not all-wise; we do not know everything, and we never will. God will always be the creator, and we will always be the creature. We will always stand in wonder and in awe of him. There are some things we will never be able to fully explain.

We should be wary of any system that tries to explain the unexplainable—any system that tries to bring God down to our level. We should beware of any system that charges God with conduct that is contrary to his own nature and attributes.

The Bible tells us all we need to know about the nature and attributes of God. We do not need to add our own philosophy. We can spend the rest of our lives studying and contemplating what we are told, and it will be the delight of our lives, if we do just that. Consider, if you will, some of what the Bible does tell us, and it will remove much of the difficulty.

First, God is infinite; he is not bound by time nor space, but you and I cannot comprehend infinity. He is eternal, but we cannot comprehend eternity.

The nearest we can come to understanding eternity is to think of it as unending time. He is (at one and the same time) the beginning and the end, the first and the last. That is not the same as saying he is the beginning, and he will be the end. He is both—at the same time. We cannot comprehend that.

Brilliant though he was, when John Newton wrote that beautiful old hymn Amazing Grace, the best he could do was, “When we’ve been there ten thousand years.” We know what he was trying to say, and we rejoice in the thought. But days and years are the opposite of eternity. There is coming a time when days and years will end, and we will be eternally with the Lord.

One of the names of God is I AM. All is one eternal now with him. You and I are creatures of time; we are bound in time, and bound by time, but not so with God.

You and I are locked into time, and traveling through time one moment after another. That does not apply to God. He is the unchangeable one. If God were bound by time the way we are—to say the least—he would become one day older every twenty-four hours. But he does not become any older; he does not change.

Time does not encompass God the way it encompasses us. He is the “high and lofty one that inhabiteth eternity” (Isa 57:15). He is not bound by time; it is the other way around; he encompasses time.

What tiny, tiny little creatures of time we all are. Think about it for a moment. Each of us occupies such a tiny little spot in the universe. We are such little things that if some-body backs off more than a few hundred yards he will have trouble even seeing us. If he could back off somewhat farther, he would have trouble spotting the earth we live on, and if he backed off far enough he would have trouble seeing our sun as anything more than a tiny speck away out yonder in the night sky.

That does not apply to God; he is everywhere at one and the same time. If you could build the largest hydraulic press, you still could not compress God into the tiny little space you and I occupy.

In much the same way that we are locked into one tiny little spot in the vastness of the universe, we are also locked into one tiny instant in time. With us there is a past, a present, and a future; but we can never possess any of it except the present. The future is always on its way; the past is forever gone; and the present lasts for such a brief instant that we can never know it until it is gone.

You may have thought about how brief a moment the present is. If you have not, do think about it for a moment.

If the present lasted for a full minute, you would never have a car wreck. You could avoid most any accident, if you had a full sixty seconds to react. If the present lasted for as much as a second you could never have a prize fight. Given a full second, any third rate boxer could get out of the way of his opponent’s fist. If the present lasted the thousandth part of a second, we could not have computers. If a computer could not split every second into a million parts and beyond, it would be so slow you could never get anything done.

But as brief a moment as the present is, that is all you and I have.

But not so with God; he inhabits eternity. You could as easily compress God into the little spot you and I occupy as you could confine him to the tiny instant we call the present. He is the I AM. All is one eternal now with him. Being the eternal one, past, present, and future are all the same with him.

We can never entirely explain God, and there is nothing with which to compare him. “To whom then will ye liken God? Or what likeness will ye compare unto him,” (Isa 40:18). All we can do is adore, and wonder, and worship.

We need to realize that there are some things the Bible teaches about God and his work—without explaining how he does what he does.

Much of the how of what God does is so far beyond our ability to comprehend, that we could not understand it—no matter how well it was explained.

Suppose some rocket scientist should take the next six months to explain to somebody like myself how they managed to build the space shuttle. Suppose he writes out every complex mathematical formula involved, and explains every intricate step. Suppose he explains all the scientific principles that must be taken into consideration. Do you suppose I could understand all he said, so I could explain it to the next person. No, of course not. He would lose me just after he said, “Now here is the way we did it....” His entire presentation would be beyond my comprehension. But even that is a very lame illustration compared to the thought of understanding some of the things God does.

The Bible tells of any number of things God does without explaining how he does it.

We are told that in the very morning of time—by the word of his power—God created the world out of nothing. He simply spoke the word, and vast worlds sprang into exist-ence. We are convinced it is so, but it is beyond our comprehension to understand how he did it.

By the same power he speaks the word, and one dead in trespasses and sins is made alive in Christ Jesus. The Spirit of God takes up its abode in the heart of the sinner, and he is born again. Again, we are told what he does, with no explanation of how the Spirit does its mighty work.

We are told that at God’s appointed time the Son of God became man. “The word became flesh and dwelt among us”(Joh 1:14). If the very heaven of heavens cannot contain him, it is beyond our ability to understand how he could become a tiny baby his mother could hold in her arms. Not only does the Bible not explain how he did it, it goes on to say it is a mystery (1Ti 3:16). If it is a mystery, we could not understand it, even if it was explained. It would no longer be a mystery.

The most central message of the gospel is the resurrection of our Lord. He rose from the dead, and one day he will raise us, and fashion our bodies like unto his own glorious body. How will he put our sleeping dust together again, and rejoin it to our departed spirit? Again, we are told it is a mystery (1Co 15:51). Raising the dead is not part of our job description, so we do not need to be concerned that we cannot explain how he will do it.

But that is not good enough for the theologian; he feels a need to explain everything. And if he cannot find his explanation in the Bible, he has a world of philosophy at his disposal.

Paul had some less than flattering things to say about philosophy (Col 2:8). The earnest Bible student is convinced the Bible provides every explanation we need. If the Bible does not provide it, we do not need it; but that does not deter our theologian friend. He finds in pagan philosophy a principle called fate, and it exactly fills the need. By searching the pagan philosophers he finds an explanation the Bible does not provide.

By stripping fate of some of its most objectionable features, and dressing it up in a Christian garb, he is able to remove the mystery. He can now explain how God can foretell the future.

The pagan doctrine teaches that everything that happens in time was predetermined long ago by a blind fate. Everything, right down to the tiniest gyration and pirouette of a falling snowflake, was determined long ago, and nothing can be changed. Almost a thousand years before Jerom Zanchius was born, a pagan prophet named Mohammed taught that, “Whatever is written is written.” Nothing can be changed; we are swept along by our fate.

The Absoluter strips fate of its blind fate stigma by bundling it with the omniscience of God. Hence fate is no longer blind.

He strips it of its random nature by bundling it with the will and purpose of God. Hence, for the Absoluter, God is able to foretell the future, because he has determined to manipulate, and orchestrate everything that happens so that everything takes place just the way he determined to make it happen. It is still a pagan doctrine; but he has made it more acceptable to an inquiring (and bewildered) student of the Bible.

The Absoluter is able to remove the mystery from God’s ability to foretell the future, but what a price he pays in the transaction.

By the time he gets through explaining God, he is left with a deity that does not correspond to the God of the Bible. He is left with a deity that looks, for all the world, like the gods of the pagans.

1. My first objection to Absolutism is that it teaches that God is unable to know about sin in advance, unless he has determined to manipulate and orchestrate circumstances in order to bring about the sin.

You need to be very careful when you talk about what God cannot do. The Bible only lists three things God cannot do: he cannot lie (Heb 6:18); he cannot deny himself (2Ti 2:13); and he cannot swear by one greater than himself (Heb 6:13). In other words, he cannot do anything that is contrary to his own nature and attributes.

But he can foretell what is going to happen in the future without in any way predestinating man’s sin. The fact that he can foretell the future is one of the proofs that he is God.

But listen to what our proto-Absoluter, Jerom Zanchius says about it, and bear in mind that he is their standard bearer.

“Therefore, His determinate plan, counsel and purpose (i.e. His own predestination of causes and effects) is the only basis of His foreknowledge, which foreknowledge could neither be certain nor independent, but as founded on his own antecedent decree.” (page 135) That is an exact quote; you can look it up.

Notice that Zanchius is sure God could not be certain about what was going to happen in the future except for “his own antecedent decree.” In other words, the only way he can know about the sin is for him to decree the sin. That sounds like dangerous reasoning to me.

But there is more; he says this “predestination of causes and effects,” this predestination of sin and wickedness, is “the only basis of his foreknowledge.” Can you believe that anybody in his right mind would argue that God has to prop up one of his own attributes by predestinating sin? God’s foreknowledge (his prescience if you want to be precise) is one of his attributes, and his attributes do not need to be propped up. But Zanchius is sure the only basis of God’s foreknowledge is “His predestination of causes and effects.” In other words, according to Zanchius, if God did not predestinate everything that is going to happen, his foreknowledge would come crashing to the ground.

But I did tell you that Zanchius borrowed this doctrine from the pagan philosophers.

But, lest anybody might think we misunderstood him, listen to him again in the same paragraph. “Again, we cannot suppose him to have foreknown anything which He had not previously decreed.” He is sure God could not have fore-known it, if he had not decreed it.

Allow me one more quote. “Now, if God foreknew this, He must have predetermined it, because His own will is the foundation of His decrees, and His decrees are the foundation of His prescience” (page 91). I believe that should remove all doubt about what he was saying. Zanchius was sure that God’s ability to predict sin has no foundation except his own willingness to predestinate sin.

These brilliant Absoluter theologians are so determined to explain everything about God, that they are willing to charge him with predestinating sin, in order to explain how he can foretell the future.

The Absoluter is convinced that he presents the attributes of God in a way that puts all other systems to shame. He magnifies God as no one else does. The fact is that he envisions God as having to prop up his own attributes.

He presents this imagined predestination of sin and wickedness as a crutch for his omniscience to lean on.

According to him, if omniscience did not have this crutch, it would stumble and fall. That is not the way my Bible describes God.

Isa 46:9-10, “Remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is none else; I am God and there is none like me. Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand and I will do all my pleasure.”

I realize the Absoluter claims that text, but before he can prove ownership, he will have to prove his notion that God is pleased with sin and wickedness. The things God has decreed to do are his pleasure.

But the Absoluter insists that God does not predestinate sin; he simply removes his restraining hand, and man sins according to his own sinful nature. He restrains the man, and keeps him from sinning, or he removes his hand, and allows him to work out his own sinful impulses. And so he goes through all of time, either restraining or permitting sin, and he does it to such a degree that all that happens takes place according to his preconceived plan.

At first glance, there seems to be some logic to the answer. Who could deny that when God’s removes his restraint from the sinner, he runs into every sinful excess. And who could deny that God does prevent man from being as wicked as he could be. The Absoluter is convinced that in this way he can explain everything that has happened, or will ever happen.

But when we look a little closer, we discover that the explanation falls far short of the goal. For one thing, most of what happens in time has no moral dimension at all. There is nothing either good or evil about a snowflake falling in one spot or another. There is nothing either good or evil about a bird lighting on one limb rather than another. Even if we would accept the Absoluter’s premise, it would fall far short of providing a foundation for the foreknow-ledge of God. It would fall far short of showing how God knows ahead of time every gyration and pirouette of every falling snowflake.

The foreknowledge of God does not need a prop, and even if it did, the Absoluter has not found a prop sufficient to carry the load.

2. My second objection to Absolutism is that it teaches that the sin of Adam was the result of God’s irresistible will.

Before he transgressed, Adam did not have a sinful nature to motivate and control him. So we come back to the question: if, as our Absoluter friend tell us, every sin happens, because God removes his restraining power, and man simply acts out his own sinful impulses, what about the sin of Adam?

If I might repeat myself, when the Absoluter explains how it is that God can foretell every little detail about every sin that will ever be committed—without being the cause of the sin—he will tell you that God simply leaves the sinner to his own nature, and his own devices, and the nature of the sinner works its way in exactly the way God predestinated that it would.

There can be no doubt that God often gives people over to work their own destruction, but to use that explanation to show that God, somehow, predestinated every sin is simply a dodge.

For one thing, the explanation breaks down, when you apply it to the sin of Adam. There can be no question that God knew beforehand what Adam would do. He provided the Lord Jesus Christ as the remedy for sin, before that first sin was committed. But until he sinned, Adam did not have a sinful, corrupt nature to motivate and control him.

When it comes to the original sin of Adam, the Absoluter has no choice—if he is going to save his pagan philosophy —and that is to trace the sin of Adam to God himself. That is exactly what our friend Zanchius does. Listen to his explanation:

“On the whole, if God was not unwilling that Adam should fall, He must have been willing that he should, since between God’s willing and nilling there is no medium. And is it not highly rational as well as scriptural, nay, is it not absolutely necessary to suppose that the fall was not contrary to the will and determination of God? Since, if it was, His will (which the apostle represents as being irresistible, Ro 9:19) was apparently frustrated and His determination rendered of worse than none effect.” (page 89)

Notice two things: first, he points out that the will of God is irresistible. He is right about that; but he goes on to claim that God (irresistibly) willed that Adam should sin.

Hear him again: “Surely, if God had not willed the fall, He could, and no doubt would, have prevented it; but he did not prevent it; ergo, He willed it. And if he willed it, He certainly decreed it, for the decree of God is nothing else but the seal and ratification of His will.” (page 88) Again, notice that he ultimately traces the sin of Adam, not to rebellion on the part of Adam, but to the decree of God himself. According to Zanchius, Adam sinned, because God irresistibly willed for him to sin.

Again, “and Luther observes that ‘God permitted Adam to fall into sin because he willed that he should so fall,’” (page 46). I doubt that needs any explanation.

He goes on, “From what has been laid down, it follows that Augustine, Luther, Bucer, the scholastic divines, and other learned writers are not to be blamed for asserting that ‘God may in some sense be said to will the being and commission of sin,’” (page 54). In this statement he is sure that nobody should be blamed for tracing every sin on the part of every person to the will of God.

Let me say again that Absolutism is the result of bund-dling the pagan philosophy of fatalism with the Bible doctrines of the power, and wisdom, and purpose of God—to the great scandal of those doctrines.

By doing that it removes the stigma of being blind and random from the notion of an irresistible, unchangeable fate. And it explains God’s ability to know the future in a way the carnal mind can comprehend.

In other words, God is able to tell what is going to happen from the first to the last moment of time, because that is the way he is going to orchestrate and manipulate all things and make them happen. In order to do that, he finds it necessary to argue that Adam sinned, because God irresistibly willed for him to sin.

But Bible truth does not need pagan philosophy to prop it up, and any time you call on pagan philosophy to explain God and his work, you will find yourself explaining God in a way that is much more compatible to the pagan way of thinking than it is to the description he gives of himself in the Bible. That will become abundantly apparent as we look further at this Absoluter’s arguments.

3. My third objection to Absolutism is that it teaches God causes men to sin.

The Absoluter bristles at that statement, and he insists that he does not believe God causes anybody to sin. He explains that God uses something he calls second cause, whereby he so manipulates, and orchestrates circumstances that man simply acts out his own sinful nature by reacting to those circumstances. He has a real problem when he tries to apply that notion to the sin of Adam, but we have already talked about that.

Here is what Zanchius says about second cause. “That God often lets the wicked go on to more ungodliness, which He does (a) negatively by withholding that grace which alone can restrain them from evil; (b) remotely, by the providential concourse and mediation of second causes, which second causes, meeting and acting in concert with the corruption of the reprobate’s unregenerate nature, produce sinful effects; (c) judicially, or in a way of judgment,” (page 64). He allows that these second causes, which are themselves providential (provided by God) produce sinful effects. He thinks God provides the second causes that produce sinful effects, and he is sure this, somehow, exonerates God from causing the sin and perversion the wicked do.

But, in spite of this lame dodge, Zanchius makes it abundantly clear that he thinks God is the sole cause of everything that happens—good, bad, and indifferent.

Listen to these direct quotes. Keep in mind that we have provided the italics to point up what he is saying.

Whatever comes to pass, comes to pass by virtue of this absolute omnipotent will of God,” (page50).

“The will of God is so the cause of all things, as to be itself without cause, for nothing can be the cause of that which is the cause of everything,” (page 50).

He appeals to Luther for support, “God worketh all things in all men, even wickedness in the wicked,” (page 65).

He produces actions by his power alone, which actions, as neither issuing from faith, nor being wrought with a view to the divine glory, nor done in the manner prescribed by the Divine word, are on these accounts properly denominated evil,” (page 66).

“Every work performed, whether good or evil, is done in strength, and by the power derived immediately from God himself,” (page 66).

Again, he appeals to Luther, “God would not be a respect-able Being if He were not almighty, and the doer of all things that are done, or if anything could come to pass in which He had no hand,” (page 68).

If, in those quotes, Zanchius and Luther do not clearly and unambiguously charge God with being the cause of all things, whether good or evil, I confess I do not know any way words could express that doctrine. These Absoluters are so determined to provide an explanation of how God can foretell the future that they are perfectly willing to charge him with causing sin—in order to prop up their lame doctrine.

At first glance, Absolutism, like its sister doctrine, Calvinism, can be very beguiling. It seems to be a system that explains and organizes all things from the beginning to the end of time. It teaches that God is totally in charge, that nothing is beyond his control, that every motion, from the rise and fall of mighty empires to the fluctuation of every falling snowflake is according to one unchangeable master plan.

But when you scratch it just a little, you discover just below the surface, notions that are diametrically opposed to all the Bible teaches us about God and his attributes. It presents us with a god who must prop up his own attributes. It presents us with a god who is very much like us, a god who can only know the future, because he manipulates and orchestrates the future.

We can be sure that God does know everything that will ever come to pass, and he knows it down to the tiniest detail. But he knows that because he inhabits eternity. He is not bound by time the way we mortals are. That is a point the Absoluter readily acknowledges; but he never allows that fact to interfere with his system.

God is in charge; nothing is beyond his control. His power reaches to the mightiest heavenly bodies, and to the tiniest subatomic particle. But that does not mean he manipulates moral creatures and causes them to sin.

Our second article of faith says, “We believe the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the word of God, and the ONLY rule of faith and practice.” Pagan philosophy can be interesting to study, and I have spent my fair share of time studying it. But we should be cautious about supplementing the Bible with men’s philosophy.

We must always keep in mind that is what Absolutism is. It is the pagan doctrine of fate dressed up in a Christian garb and made to look like Christian doctrine.

It has been said that, “Fools rush in where angels fear to tread,” and, unwilling to stand in wide-eyed wonder at the majesty of his Maker—the Absoluter rushes in with his book of pagan philosophy in hand.

Rather than simply acknowledge that God is God, and we are not—he traces all the sin and wickedness of the world to the decrees of God, and (either overtly or covertly) charges God with being the cause of every sin. He explains God in a way that is entirely different from the pure and thrice holy God of the Bible.

To end where we began, there comes a time when we must acknowledge that no matter how brilliant you may be, when you study about God and his attributes, there comes a point at which you are left in wide-eyed, slack-jawed amazement. At that point our learning must give way to wonder.

Isa 55:9, For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

THE END

According to the GLORIOUS GOSPEL

1Ti 1:11, “According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God.”

The gospel was the theme of Paul’s preaching. The word gospel means good news. The system of propositions, and threats, and ultimatums that often passes for the gospel is not really gospel—it is not good news. But, Paul preached the gospel; he preached good news for sinners. He preached the good news of salvation by the shed blood and imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ.

Paul preached the everlasting love, and the unbounded power, of an Almighty Savior. He represented the God, who “doeth according to his will in the armies of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth, and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou? (Da 4:35)”

Paul is careful to say that, not only did he preach the gospel, he preached the glorious gospel. More than that, it is the glorious gospel of the blessed God. Do you get the idea, that he added phrase upon phrase, expression upon expression, to emphasize that this is not just any message—it is the glorious gospel of the blessed God. Do you get the idea that Paul was excited about his subject.

The first time we read about Paul he is a young man. Now, at this point, he has a lifetime of preaching behind him; he is coming to the end of his way. It is in his next letter to Timothy that he says, “I am now ready to be offered and the time of my departure is at hand.” He believed he had finished his work, and he expected to be dead before long. But none of that dampened his zeal. He was still excited about the gospel— the glorious gospel. There was as much passion in his message as there had ever been.

When I hear somebody preach, I like to think he is excited about his subject. I like to think there is nothing he had rather be doing, and nothing he had rather talk about, than to talk about his Lord

I recall once, several years ago, I was headed home from work one evening, and I passed a church with a big sign in front announcing that they were having a revival. I knew the evangelist; I had known him before either one of us started preaching, and that goes back a long way. I was through for the day, and I decided to go in and hear what he had to say, and perhaps, renew an old acquaintance. When I got inside, I discovered the evangelist was not the person I expected, but since I was inside and expecting to hear preaching, I decided to stay.

The preacher started out with the usual apple-polishing that visiting evangelists usually do, bragging on the pastor, just in case he might get an invitation to come back next year. He talked about what a devoted, dedicated, self-sacrificing man their pastor was, and how he was going to such great lengths to see after the needs of the congregation.

He assured them there were, no doubt, any number of places the pastor would rather be, and any number of things he would rather be doing than to be there with them that night. But as he went on and on convincing the people of what great sacrifices their pastor was making on their behalf, I could not help but wonder—if the pastor wanted so much to be somewhere else, and if he wanted so much to be doing something else—would he not probably be about as well off if he was somewhere else?

For all the bragging the evangelist did on the pastor’s behalf, I thought he wound up making the man look more like hired help than he looked like a kind and loving pastor.

A preacher might put forth ever so much time and effort into preaching, and preparing to preach, but it is not going to be much benefit to him, nor anybody else, if his heart is not in it. He may learn his lesson well enough to fool the people for awhile, but it will not take long until they catch on. And from that point on he will deliver his dry, dusty recitations to a restless and impatient crowd.

There is no reason any sermon should be dull and uninteresting. The gospel of salvation by the sovereign grace of God is the most exciting news that has ever occupied the minds of men.

The prophet Habakkuk tells us that God is “of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look upon iniquity,” Hab 1:13.

But this all-wise, all-powerful, God, who is so holy and so righteous that he cannot so much as look upon sin—with any sense of approval, that is—and yet he has devised a way to save hell-deserving sinners. And he does that without violating his own righteous law. I tell you, that is exciting news to me.

Why should we not shout it from the housetops? The God of Glory saves hell-deserving sinners.

It has been just over fifty-seven years since I first encountered the doctrine of God’s sovereign grace. I had been preaching for about six years for some other people. I was entirely sincere in what I preached, and I thought I had been preaching salvation by grace. And then I attended a special meeting at the Chattanooga Church.

It was at that meeting I first came face to face with the doctrines of grace, and it turned my world upside down.

I belonged to a church, which was part of a group that broke away from the main body of Primitive Baptists about forty years before. They went off immediately into Arminianism. They were probably Arminian before they left. By the time I came along, they had totally left our doctrine, but they were still proud of the Primitive Baptist name.

O. D. Young, a member of the Chattanooga Church came to work for the company where I worked, and we each discovered that the other claimed the Primitive Baptist name. I had never heard of any Primitive Baptist churches other than the eight churches in our little association. So far as I knew, those eight churches were all the Primitive Baptists there were, and I was intrigued to learn there were more than I knew about. He invited me to a special meeting at the Chattanooga Church and I was anxious to go.

Visiting Chattanooga Church was different from anything I had ever experienced. There were people there from Georgia and Alabama. They had driven all the way to Chattanooga for that meeting. That just blew my mind. Now, Chattanooga is on the Georgia line, and Alabama is not that far away, but I did not think about that at the time. When you have never been anywhere, and never done anything, Georgia and Alabama are a world away.

Those people had passed any number of churches to get to that particular meeting. They could have stopped at any one of those churches, but they had the idea they would find something at that church, which they could not find at any of those churches they passed. They were sure there was something special about that church, and something special about what they would hear when they got there. I had never met anybody with quite that kind of attachment to a church.

And they had an attitude toward their preachers, and toward their message, that I was not used to. The visiting preachers were Elders M. P. White and Holland Crumbly. They have both been dead for a long time now, but I am sure that some of you remember them. Those men preached with a kind of self assurance, a kind of conviction, that could not fail to convince you they were completely convinced of what they were saying.

I had become used to the expression, “There is room to differ.” Those preachers preached as if—on the fundamentals— there was no room to differ.

Those of you who remember Brother Crumbly remember how he could be preaching with power, with tears streaming down his cheeks; he would pause for a moment, and pound the bookboard, and say, “Boys, this is hit.” I was so in the dark I had no idea what hit was, I but I had no doubt that he knew.”

Those two men were not orators in any way that would satisfy a homiletics professor, but they had a kind of down-to-earth, from-the-heart, delivery that was more profound than anything they could have learned in a homiletics classroom. They were profound in a way that cannot be taught in the classroom.

We Primitive Baptists have a lot to say about what the gospel will not do, and we have it right. The preached gospel will not make children of God—it was never intended for that purpose. It will not teach anybody how to gain heaven nor escape hell. But for the heaven-born soul—the gospel preached in power will turn your entire world upside down.

It is like the barley bread in the Midianite soldier’s dream. That barley bread, that gospel bread, came tumbling through the camp of the Midianite army, and it struck a tent that it lay along. The glorious gospel I heard that day struck my Arminian tent, and I was never able to put it back up again.

I could not entirely put my finger on what was so different, but the preaching I heard that day was like nothing I had ever heard before. The message was different to what I was used to, and I did not understand what I had heard until it was explained to me. O. D. Young invited me to go by his house and visit for awhile after the meeting, and he explained what I had been listening to.

His explanation about the way people are saved was different from anything I had ever heard, and I could not agree—but I could not reject it out of hand.

As moved as I was by the preaching, I still had trouble with the explanation, and I went home, determined to find all the texts I needed to drive that doctrine from the field. One by one, I went to all those texts I had used to teach the Arminian doctrine— and one by one they failed me. I found texts that almost said what I needed for them to say, but almost was not good enough. If I was going to prove my case, I had to find verses that said, in no uncertain terms that our eternal destiny is in our own hands.

I earned my livelihood in direct sales—because I did not know how to do anything else. That required me to spend a lot of time traveling from one call to another, and it gave me a lot of time to think. One day I was on my service route, and I was rehearsing the subject in my mind.

I said, “That man told me that Christ died for the elect; I know better than that; Christ died for the sins of the whole world.” After fifty-seven years, I believe I could still take you to within fifty feet of the place. Just down the road, I said, “I know that man cannot be right; Christ died for every believer.”

No sooner had I said those two words, every believer, than it was as if somebody doused me with ice water, and something said, “That is not the way you said it a moment ago. A moment ago you said Christ died for the whole world; now you say he died for every believer; not everybody is a believer.”

At that moment the first glimmer of light began to shine, and nothing has been the same since. I went back to my Bible and started to look for passages which taught what O. D. Young had told me. I could never find verses which said exactly what I had preached before. But now I began to find verse after verse which said exactly what O. D. Young had told me.

Salvation really is by grace—plus nothing and minus nothing. Jesus Christ is the one and only Savior, and he does not need any help.

It was several weeks before I could sort things out well enough to preach what I was beginning to learn, but the first time I ventured to do it, I preached for almost two hours before I could find relief. Surprising to say, nobody walked out.

I was totally sincere in the Arminianism I had preached before, and I enjoyed the effort. I would not dare question the sincerity of the vast majority of those who are still involved in that system. But while I enjoyed that effort, it could not compare with the joy of discovering the truth of salvation by sovereign grace.

If I thought you had any interest at all in religious subjects, you could not get within speaking distance of me before I wanted to know, “Have you heard about election; have you heard about predestination?” To me, that was this morning’s headlines, and I could not wait to tell it.

To me it was exciting to know that God would save everybody he intended to save. It was exciting to know that if anybody wanted to be saved, it was evidence he was already saved. It was exciting to know that if somebody was saved, he would stay saved.

It was exciting to discover that the eternal salvation of sinners was in more powerful hands than mine. I had been taught that it was my job to help people to get born again—and that was a terrifying thought.

I first made a profession of faith just after my eleventh birthday, and I immediately began with my soul-saving effort. I was forever looking for somebody to witness to. As soon as I got old enough to get my own car, I had fresh opportunities. That was over sixty years ago, and at that time it was a lot safer to pick up hitchhikers. If I saw a hitchhiker, that was my opportunity. I was always going wherever he was going, if I had enough gas to get there and back. I would take him just about anywhere he wanted to go. Until I let him out, I had a captive audience. Nobody ever asked me to stop and let him out. After all, I was his free ride.

Why should I not seize every opportunity to witness? If that man standing on the side of the road might burn forever, if I did not talk to him, how could I even think about passing him up? Why should I not beg and plead with tears for him to get right with God?

There is no rest in that system. You can never know when you have worked hard enough, or witnessed often enough. You can never know if you have been as passionate, or as convincing as you should have been.

Mt 23:4, “For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne.”

To imagine you are responsible for the eternal destiny of every person you meet, or might manage to meet, is too heavy a load for anybody to carry. And to learn that God can and does carry that load—and that he has never failed at anything he went about to do— was the most exciting news I had ever heard, and I could not wait to tell it.

That was almost a lifetime ago, but I am still excited to tell it. It has been more than sixty-three years since I made my first faltering effort to preach, and I realize I am rapidly coming to the end of my way, but I have never been more excited about the gospel message. There is no excuse for a hum-drum, matter-of-fact delivery of the good news of the gospel. This glorious gospel is the most exciting news the world has ever heard, and our telling of it ought to reflect that fact. Almost three thousand years ago, Isaiah said:

Isa 40:1, Comfort ye, comfort ye, my people, saith your God.

Isa 40:2. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and say unto her that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned; for she hath received of the Lord’s hand double for all her sins..

The good news of the gospel is that the war is over—and God won—he won the war on behalf of his people.

I never will forget the day the Second World War ended. I was eight years old at the time. I was out in the backyard, doing whatever little eight year old boys do when they don’t have anything better to do.

My mother came running out the back door, more excited than I had ever seen her. She went in the back door of the house next door—without knocking— and a moment later she came back out, just as excited as she was when she went in. And she headed for the next house. She had heard on the radio that the war was over and she could not wait to tell it. For four long years our people had been fighting and dying on foreign battle fields, and now the war was over. The killing could stop now. No wonder she was excited to tell it.

She was every bit as excited as we ought to be in telling that the war for our eternal salvation is over—and God won.

A moment later, most everybody in the community, who had a car, was driving up and down the road, waving and honking their horns. Some folks were just sitting in their driveway honking away. America had been at war for four years, and after years of rationing, not everybody had gasoline to drive up and down the road.

The war was over, and America was excited.

For four long years, the entire world had been locked in a death struggle with Adolf Hitler and the Nazis in Europe, and with Hirohito and the Japanese Empire in Asia and the Pacific. Millions of people had died. Millions more were maimed for life. It was a war such as man had never seen before.

But devastating as that war was, it was just a neighborhood spat—compared to the war our Lord fought and won at Calvary.

The Second World War lasted four years. The war that was fought and won at Calvary had been going on for four thousand years. The Second World War had nations all over the world at war with each other. This war had mankind at war with his Maker. Adolf Hitler and Emperor Hirohito would have enslaved the entire world if they could have done it. Satan had already enslaved mankind ever since Adam rebelled against the Almighty.

Our Lord fought and won the victory, and set us free. We have every right to be excited.

Joh 8:36, If the Son, therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

I was excited to discover the truth of salvation by sovereign grace. And I was excited to discover that God has an identifiable church in the world—a church that is separate and distinct from all others.

I loved the people I had been identified with; I still do. But there was always something that did not seem to fit. They had so many things I could not find any Bible authority for. I was fifteen years old when I made my first effort to preach, but I had taught Sunday School from time to time before that.

I always enjoyed the Sunday School, and I liked to be called on to teach, but it really bothered me that I could not find anything in the Bible about how to set up a Sunday School, or any record that the first churches had them.

It was about that time that churches in our area started to have Training Unions. They went by a variety of names: B.T.U., and B.Y.P.U. and the like. They never could get the same traction as the Sunday School did. The older members objected that the Training Union was a man-made operation. They objected that they could not find any record of the first churches having Training Unions.

I had the same questions about Sunday Schools and Vacation Bible Schools, but when most of the preachers are old enough to be your grand-daddy, it is not a good idea to object too much.

I remember once, that one of the older preachers objected to some comment I had made. He corrected me, and addressed me as Sonny-boy. He was as fine a man as I ever knew, and I am sure he meant no harm. He did not mean for it to be such a put-down, but after more than sixty years, those words still sting. I tried to be cautious in my objections. More often than not, I failed.

I recall, at one point, the thought entered my mind that I wanted to start a church, with nothing in it that I could not find authority for in the Bible. That idea lasted about as long as it took to say the words. First, I knew enough about myself to know that I do not have what it takes to start a church. Besides, the very thought had a strange ring to it. The Lord has never commanded us to start a church. It is our place to look for and find his church. We may start a local assembly of his church, but it is still part of his church.

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness,” (Mt 6:33).

We are commanded to find his church, not start a church of our own.

It is exciting to know that, after two thousand years, God still has a church in the world, and he has promised that church will continue to be here throughout all ages.

“Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end, Amen,” (Eph 3:21).

“Upon this rock, I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it,” (Mt 16:18).

“In the days of those kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever,” (Da 2:44).

The Bible teaches in clear terms that the Lord’s church will stand forever. God always wins. It was exciting to me to learn that God will always have an identifiable church in the world—and I was convinced I had found it.

One of the most powerful movements in America today is a new religion called Dispensationalism. That is a fairly new form of Judaism, which manages to pass itself off as Christian. They use the same Bible as Christians. They quote many of the same proof texts as Christians, and they make some of the same arguments. But you don’t have to listen for very long until you discover it is actually the flip side of Messianic Judaism. Those two were founded, for the most part, by the same people. They are the same thing, except that one is packaged for Jews, and the other is directed at Christians.

One of the most fundamental doctrines of Dispensationalism is that the Lord did not want a church in the first place. They insist the church was an afterthought. They tell us he really wanted an economic, political, and military kingdom—with a Jewish bureaucracy—ruling the world from Jerusalem. They go on to tell us that he set up a Gentile church after he failed to get the assistance of the Jews in establishing the kingdom he wanted.

They are sure that Daniel was wrong. They insist the church will not stand forever—it will not last throughout all ages. They tell us the church will apostatize at the last, and the Lord will return to his first love, the Jewish people. They are sure that when the Lord comes again, he will do what he really wanted to do the first time. They are sure he will set up a kingdom, with himself as the head operating with the assistance of that Jewish bureaucracy.

In just over a hundred years, with their almost unlimited source of (Zionist) financing, they have taken over most of religious publishing, and virtually all of religious broadcasting. But it is exciting to me to know they are wrong. It is exciting to know that God still has a church in the world; he always will have a church; and there will be humble children of God enjoying the benefits of that church when he comes again in the clouds of glory.

It is exciting to me to hear the Lord say:

“Fear not, little flock, it is your Father’s good will to give you [not a Jewish bureaucracy] the kingdom,” Lu 12:32.

It is exciting to me to know that I am not long for this world. I am not in any hurry to go, but I do look forward to that day. I am a lot like a little boy I read about a long time ago. The pastor asked everybody to raise their hand if they wanted to go to heaven. Everybody raised their hands except that one little boy. The pastor asked him, “Son, do you meant you don’t want to go to heaven when you die?” The little boy said, “I am sorry, I thought you were getting up a load for tonight.”

Well, I am not anxious to go today, but I do look forward to the trip. I will turn eighty this year, and that fact is on my mind a lot lately. It means that I am nearer the day when I will see my Lord than I have ever been before.

I love my wife and children more than I will ever be able to tell, and I am not anxious to leave them behind. My children all provide for themselves better than I ever could, but I still like to think I am their refuge of last resort. If they are in need, I like to think I am here to provide them a place under my roof and a place at my table. I do not like to think of that day when I will not be here for them.

Unless I misunderstand my own feelings, I love my wife more than I love life itself, and I do not like the thought of leaving her behind. I enjoy being around to provide for her. I provide for her and she takes care of me. Those are the only reasons I recoil at the thought of dying.

As for the Old Baptists, they got along just fine before I came along, and I am sure they will do just fine after I am gone.

But, in spite of everything, it is still exciting to think that it will not be long until I see my Lord face to face. What a thought that is. What a prospect that is.

Death comes in a multitude of ways. Some are blessed to die quietly in their sleep. Some have a heart attack or a stroke and fall dead in their tracks. Others go through a long agonizing final illness before they die.

But, even if our dying is slow and painful, think of the outcome of it all. A few days, a few months, or a few years of suffering—and we are in the presence of our Lord. And, regardless of how long we may suffer, that is still just a moment, compared with an eternity with our Lord. God goes to great lengths to impress that fact on our minds.

“For what is your life; it is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little while, and then vanisheth away,” Jas 4:13.

And as for any suffering we may experience, Paul says,

“For our light affliction which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,” 2Co 4:17.

Regardless of how we may suffer in our final illness, Paul says it is a light affliction, and it is but for a moment, compared to that eternal weight of glory.

The story is told of the nurse who attended the atheist Voltaire in his final illness. After witnessing his terror in the face of death she is quoted as saying, “I hope never again to attend to a dying atheist.” How agonizing is the death of one who has nothing good to look forward to.

Another dying atheist is quoted as saying, “Draw the curtain; the farce is over.” But I would not dare close this little article on that sad note. The death of the saints is another matter altogether.

How many saints I have visited in their dying hours. How reassuring it has been to witness the calmness with which they waited for that moment when they would quit this world, and—instantly—be in the presence of the Lord. How reassured they were, how hopeful, how at peace they were with themselves, with their fellow man, and with their Lord. How content they were to leave this old world behind— knowing where they were going to be in just a few moments.

I recall one old brother whose kidneys had failed, and the poison was building up in this system. This was before dialysis became so common. When I asked him how he was doing, he was always doing fine. It was never a question of whether he was going to die or get better. He expected to die and then get better.

I recall another brother who was dying. He told me that his doctor was one of the most irreligious men he had ever met. He had no use for religion, and he had no use for religious people. But the good brother was so calm and at ease in the face of death that the doctor could not understand what was going on.

One day, when it was evident that death was near, I visited him and he told me his doctor had come to see him on Sunday. He had never worked on a Sunday before, but it appeared the brother might not last until Monday, and the doctor wanted to see him one last time.

He told me the doctor pulled up a chair, and said, “Tell me about your religion.” It did not appear that the doctor had any more real interest in religion than he ever did—but in his own carnal way he was mystified at what could give such peace of mind in the fact of imminent death.

We might go on and on talking about saints who have died with the most pleasant smile on their face. People whose expression indicated that at the moment of death they could see a beautiful sight nobody around them could see. We could talk about those who talked about the angels standing at the foot of their bed, or seeing departed loved ones who were standing all around them as they breathed their last.

David said, Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me,” Ps 23:4.

Who could doubt that the Lord was there to welcome them at the very moment they died. He would be back for their bodies after awhile. But, he was there to welcome their spirit—the highest part of them—into heaven right then.

It is exciting to me to know that before long I am going to be in the company of all the saints who have lived from the very first day until now. It is exciting to me to think that one day I can sit down with the saints that have gone before, and talk about our experiences along the way.

All of my life I have heard people debate whether we will know each other over there. If I know somebody down here, why should I not know him over there? The other notion does not make any sense at all. I am dumb enough already; I would hate to think I will know less over there than I do now.

But think what it will be like—to be in the very presence of the Almighty. He created the very universe by the word of his power. He created every molecule and ever blade of grass. He created the sun, the moon, and the stars. And he created you and me. And very soon we are going to see his face and enjoy his company for all eternity.

On that day he is going to call these bodies out of the grave— without all the corruption that identifies us now. All that is vile about me, all that is disgusting about me, all that is repugnant about me, he is going to leave in the ground. And on that day, I expect to be like him for I shall see him as he is.

This old carnal nature of mine vexes me and harasses me all the time. My carnality is all over me (if you will pardon the expression) like stink on a skunk. I am aware of it; anybody who knows me is aware of it, and I can’t get rid of it. But on that day I will be free—free from my old carnal nature—free to serve my Lord, and worship him in a way I have never been able to down here. I tell you, that is exciting news to me.

THE END

The Book of ACTS: Sylvester Hassell: The book entitled the Acts of the Apostles forms the bridge between the gospels and the epistles. It is a direct continuation of the third gospel, by the same author, Luke, and is addressed to the same Theophilus (“friend of God”), probably a Christian convert of distinguished social position. In the Gospel Luke repeats what he heard and read; in the Acts what he heard and saw. The Gospel records the life and work of Christ; the Acts the work of the Holy Spirit, who is recognized at every step. The word Spirit, or Holy Spirit, occurs more frequently in the Acts than in any other book of the New Testament. It might properly be called “the Gospel of the Holy Spirit.”

The Acts is a cheerful and encouraging book, like the third gospel. It represents the progress of Christianity from Jerusalem, the capital of Judaism, to Rome, the capital of heathenism. It is a history of the planting of the church among the Jews by Peter, and among the Gentiles by Paul. More than three-fifths of it are devoted to Paul, and especially to his later labors and journeys, in which the author could speak from personal knowledge. Luke was in the company of Paul, including some interruptions, at least twelve years. He was again with Paul in his last captivity, shortly before Paul’s martyrdom, his most faithful and devoted companion (2Ti 4:11). He probably began the book of Acts or a preliminary diary while with Paul at Philippi, continuing it at Caesarea during Paul’s two years’ imprisonment there, and finishing it soon after Paul’s first imprisonment in Rome, before the terrible persecution in the summer of A.D. 64, which he could hardly have left unnoticed.

The Acts and epistles supplement each other by a series of coincidences in all essential points. Paley’s examination of these numerous and undesigned coincidences in his Horoe Paulinoe, and James Smith’s Voyage and Shipwreck of St. Paul, furnish to readers of sound common sense and unbiased judgment with unanswerable arguments for the credibility of the Acts. No ancient work affords so many tests of veracity as the Acts, because no other has such numerous points of contacts in all directions with contemporary history, politics and topography, whether Jewish, or Greek, or Roman.

No other history of thirty years has ever been written so truthful and impartial, so important and interesting, so healthy in tone and hopeful in spirit, so aggressive and yet so genial, so cheering and inspiring, so replete with lessons of wisdom and encouragement for work in spreading the glad tidings of salvation, and yet withal so simple and modest, as the Acts of the Apostles.” (Hassell’s History ppg 204, 205)

What Did God

Determine Before to be Done

“For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel were gathered together, for to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done,Ac 4:27-28.

The Absoluters claim this text; it is their fortress. They are sure it establishes their doctrine as no other text does.

But before we get to that, we need to establish what we mean by absolutism. Absolutism is the doctrine that before God ever created the world, he predetermined and predes-tinated everything that will ever happen in time. We are told that he so arranged all the events, and all the conditions and circumstances leading up to those events that everything that happens—good, bad, or indifferent— happens exactly the way he predestinated it to happen.

Those of us who do not believe that doctrine refuse to believe that he predestinated everything that happens. Especially we refuse to believe that he predestinated all the sin and wickedness in the world.

The Absoluter insists that his doctrine does not make God the author of sin, but he persists in his argument that God so arranged conditions and circumstances that everything that happens—both good and evil—takes place in exactly the way he predestinated it to happen.

All of that brings us to our text. There can be no question that the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ, together with all the humiliation and mistreatment that was heaped on him, was the vilest, the most wicked, event in the history of the world. The Absoluter is sure that if he can prove God predestinated the wickedness that went on at Calvary, he will have no trouble in proving that God predestinated all the other wickedness in the world. And he is sure that is precisely what this text says. But that is not what it says. If you will stay with us for the next few minutes, I believe we can demonstrate that this text does not teach anything resembling the Absolute doctrine.

Two contrary forces at work

The first thing we need to point out is that there were two contrary forces at work that day, and it is impossible to imagine anything more different than those forces were. Those two forces had two different causes—two different sources—and, ultimately, two different ends in view. It is the failure to recognize those opposite forces—and the different causes behind those forces—that has caused most of the confusion about this text.

The first force was man at war with his maker. That war began with the sin of Adam in the very morning of time, and it continues until this very day, but it reached its climax at the crucifixion of our Lord. Never in all of history has man ever raged against his Maker the way he did at Calvary.

God became man; he was incarnate in human flesh. The adversary opposed him every step of the way; but it was especially at Calvary that he did everything within his power to destroy him.

The second force was the grace of God working out salvation on behalf of his people. God had determined from all eternity that he would save his people, and that is what he was working out at the cross.

One of those forces resulted in all those wicked men did to the Lord; the other resulted in the atonement.

The Crucifixion and the Atonement

The crucifixion and the atonement are two entirely different things, and we must not confuse the two. The crucifixion was man’s work; the atonement was God’s work. The cause of the atonement was the purpose, the grace, and the mercy of God. The cause of all they did to the Lord was the hatred and corruption their own depraved heart. It is the ultimate expression of man’s war against his Maker.

It was not God that put such hatred in their heart. We are told plainly, “They hated me without a cause.” That is, they did not need God to cause them to hate him. Those who claim God is the cause of everything those wicked men did that day have God to argue with. God tells us in no uncertain language, “They hated me without a cause.” Their hatred flowed naturally and freely from the corruption of their own heart. It did not flow from the purpose and grace of God.

God had determined from all eternity that he would work out the atonement on the cross; he prophesied he would do it that way, and there could never be any doubt that is the way it would take place. He would display his grace against the dark background of their wickedness. But their wickedness would play no part in what he was doing on behalf of his people, and there is no way anybody can show that he predestinated their wickedness—nor any wicked thing they did.

The significance of the crucifixion is that it was the ultimate climax of man’s rebellion against God—his war against God.

Man has been at war with his Maker ever since Adam sinned. All during the public ministry of the Lord the adversary did all within his power to destroy him. He could not destroy him. But when his time was fully come, the Father delivered his Son into their hands, and suffered them to do their worst. That is exactly what the Bible teaches.

“Him being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain,” Ac 2:28.

The redemption was God’s work; the wickedness that went on at Calvary was part of man’s war against God, and we must never confuse the two.

Wicked men were active in every part of the crucifixion. Men took him through the mock trial. Men beat him with whips. Men beat him into such a bloody mess that he hardly looked like a man (Isa 52:14). Men assembled the cross. Men drove the nails. A man pierced his side. Men mocked him, and ridiculed him. That was all man’s work, but man had no part in redemption. Man played no part in the atonement.

The wicked were involved

in his humiliation

Having said all that, we must acknowledge that what they did contributed in a very real way to his humiliation. The mocking, the beating, the spitting, the crown of thorns, the denial of the very modesty of his own clothing, all that was a very real part of his humiliation; and the wickedness of man played a part in that.

Luke tells us, “In his humiliation his judgment was taken away,” Ac 8:33. In Isaiah it reads, “He was taken from prison and from judgment.”

Part of his humiliation was the false judgment that was passed on him. The spotless and pure Son of God, who “had done no violence, nor was deceit found in his mouth,” was judged as if he was a common criminal, deserving of death.

But God draws a very clear boundary between the humiliation of the Lord and the atonement. Heb 12:2, “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Our Lord despised the shame—the humiliation—of all they did to him. Can you imagine the mortification of being stripped of his clothing, and crucified, exposed to the mockery of that sacrilegious mob.

But there was a “joy that was set before him.” That was the joy of redeeming his people and atoning for our sins. For the joy of the one he endured the shame of the other. It is hard to imagine how he could have drawn a clearer and more distinct boundary. The one was a source of joy; the other brought shame and embarrassment. The sins of men were very much a part of the one; they were not a part of the other.

God delivered his Son

into their hands

Old Elder Benjamin Lampton used to say, “It was not necessary for God to predestinate wickedness; man has done a very good job of that all by himself.”

We are simply told that God delivered his Son into their hand. Their wicked depraved heart did the rest.

“Him being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain,” Ac 2:23.

In his determinate counsel and foreknowledge God determined to deliver his Son to their vengeance. He determined to suffer them to heap every indignity on his own beloved Son. They would mock him, and ridicule him. They would plow his back, and jerk out his beard. They would spit in his face, and beat him until his face no longer looked human. They would taunt him, and call him names.

All that was a part of his humiliation; but his humiliation was not the atonement. Their mockery was not the price of our redemption. Their parting his garments among them was not the price of our redemption. Their beating him in the face did not redeem us. Rather he redeemed us by laying down his life for us (Joh 10:11,15).

His humiliation causes the atonement to shine all the more brightly, and that was the very purpose of the humiliation, but they are not the same thing.

Delivered into their hands

God did not determine to cause them to do any of those things; but in his determinate counsel and foreknowledge he did determine to deliver him into their hands. Their depravity would do the rest.

God prophesied they would do all of that, and there was never any possibility it would take place in any other way. How could God do that? He is the eternal one; he inhabits eternity. He can look across time as easily as you and I can look across a room. But he is no more the cause of all he sees than we are the cause of all we see.

God determinated from all eternity that he would deliver his son into their hands. He did not determine to accept their work as any part of the atonement. So far as the atonement is concerned, the Lord trod the winepress entirely alone.

Sin did not bring salvation

Nothing those men did contributed in any way to our salvation. There is no way around it. If what those men did contributed to the atonement, then sin brought salvation. If what they did contributed to the atonement, then Jesus did not do the work by himself. That would make them his helpers. But that is not the way the Bible tells it.

“I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me....And I looked and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury it upheld me,” Isa 63:3,5.

He says it over and over; there was nobody involved in this work except himself. The Arminian thinks the preacher is involved; the Absoluter thinks those who nailed him to the cross were involved. They are both wrong.

God did not need their help

The atonement was a transaction between God the Father and God the Son—on behalf of his people—and those wicked men were not parties to the transaction. God did not need their help, and nothing they did added anything to what God accomplished on our behalf.

The Lord told us over seven hundred years ahead of the time, “I have trodden the winepress alone, and of the people there was none with me.” He went on to say, “I looked and there was none to help, and I wondered that there was none to uphold, therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me.” God did not need those wicked men to assist him in his work. He was perfectly capable of saving his people, and he did it all by himself.

Ultimate Good and Ultimate Evil

Never in time or eternity did the ultimate good and the ultimate evil come face to face the way they did at Calvary. In the very face of the greatest evil this world has ever known God worked out the salvation of his people, and nothing they could do could stop him.

Keep in mind that the Bible is one harmonious fabric throughout. It is consistent; it never contradicts itself. If there is ever a contradiction, it is in your own mind.

Also keep in mind that in studying the Bible you begin with what is clear and undeniable. Then (with the Lord’s help) you study and reason your way—step by step—toward that which is not so clear. If you start with what is most clear, and move one step after another to the next most obvious fact, by the time you finish, you will often discover that those unclear questions have fallen into place. That is certainly the case with this text.

What God

determined before to be done

First, notice what Christ was doing at Calvary in the first place. God determined from all eternity that his Son should suffer, bleed, and die on behalf of his people.

That is what he “determined before to be done.”

That is why he came into this world; that is why he went to Calvary. God imputed our sins to his Son, and he died to pay our sin debt. Our sins, and the guilt of our sins, were removed by the suffering and death of our Lord.

“For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel were gathered together, for to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done,Ac 4:27-28.

Exactly what does he mean by what God’s hand and counsel “determined before to be done?” The Absoluter tells us it involves all that went on that day. He tells us God orchestrated and manipulated every stroke and every blow that struck our Lord, that he predestinated every vile thing that was done to him.

But we must never charge God with being the author of sin, and we must never charge him with manipulating any man, and causing him to sin.

The Absoluter can come up with some mighty fancy footwork, explaining how God can arrange conditions and circumstances, and something he calls second cause, so that everything man does—for good or evil—God predestinated him to do it. It is amazing what elaborate tapestries he can weave in explaining how God can cause men to do everything they do, without being the cause of what they do.

But we do not need theological mumbo-jumbo. If we will just let the Bible say what it says, most subjects become fairly simple. And this subject is simple enough, if you just let the Bible say what it says.

God purposed that his Son

should suffer, bleed, and die

It was the purpose of God that his Son should suffer, bleed, and die, and up to that point that was also the purpose of those who were gathered together.

It was the purpose of that mob that Jesus should suffer, bleed, and die. It is in that sense they were gathered to do what God determined before to be done. They were gathered together to bring about the suffering and death of the Lord.

The same intent; different causes

But their motive, and the cause of their action were totally different from God’s purpose. God determined that his Son should give his life; the mob intended to take his life.

The cause of what God did was the most loving and gracious of all motives. The cause of all they did was the most evil and hateful of all motives. The one sprang from the purpose, the love and mercy of God; the other sprang from the corruption of their own depraved heart.

No one can reasonably deny that they were, indeed, gathered together for to do whatsoever God’s hand and counsel determined before to be done. They were gathered together to bring about the suffering and death of the Lord. But God was no more the cause of what they did, than they were the cause of what God did.

The Absoluter limits God’s

ability to know the future

We need to realize first that God knows everything there is to know. He knows everything that will ever happen before it happens, and he has known it from all eternity. That is one of the proofs that he is God. The Absoluter tells us that God cannot know what is going to happen, unless he has determined to manipulate and orchestrate all the conditions and circumstances leading up to that event, so that whatever happens is the inevitable result of all that has gone before, and so the inevitable result of God’s decree.

But that notion limits God. It has God using his power to prop up his foreknowledge. It would have us believe that if God did not cause all things to happen just the way they do, the foreknowledge of God would come crashing to the ground.

Those who think God must make men do what they do, in order to know what they are going to do, have imagined that God is like we are. But God is not like us. He is not so limited that he cannot know what is going to happen without orchestrating and manipulating it to make it happen. He can look across time as easily as you and I can look across the room.

God knows all that will ever happen, and when he chooses to do so, he reveals to us as much as he wants us to know. Over a period of hundreds of years he inspired the prophets to write all that was needed to be known about the life and death, the ministry and crucifixion of the Lord. There could never be any doubt that all that would transpire at Calvary would come about the way God said it would.

How could he do that? He is God, he can do anything he chooses to do. He inhabits eternity. The prophet tells us that. Time does not encompass God the way it encompasses us. He encompasses time. He is the I AM, the eternal one.

There is ever so much God does that we cannot explain. In fact, we cannot explain much of the how of anything God does.

We cannot explain how he created an entire universe out of nothing. He is so vast the very heaven of heavens cannot contain him, and yet he was born of a woman and lived in a body such as you and I have. We cannot explain that. We cannot explain how the Spirit does its work in regeneration. We cannot explain how he is going to raise the dead. So we should not be surprised that we cannot explain how he can know every tiny detail of what is going to happen in the future.

But it is the height of folly to try to explain the unexplain-able by insisting that God knows the future, because he pulls the strings, and makes everything—both good and evil—happen just the way it does. Nobody was ever more unwise, than when he tries to compensate for his own ignorance by charging God with being the cause of all the evil in the world.

God succeeded at the cross;

the mob failed

But we are reminded that it says, “Him being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain,” Ac 2:23, or when it says they “killed the Lord Jesus,” 1Th 2:15. Over and over God charges them with killing the Lord Jesus.

If it was the death of the Lord that purchased salvation, and if they killed their Lord, was it not their killing the Lord that brought salvation? At least in that sense, was the sin of man not an integral part of our salvation? How could the Lord have saved his people if the soldiers had not done their part in bringing about his death?

The soldiers did not bring about his death;

the Lord gave his life;

First off, that line of reasoning assumes too much. The Lord clearly tells us they did not have the power to take his life.

“I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep,” Joh 10:11. They did not take his life; he gave it.

Verse 15, “As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.”

Again we are told, “Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father,” Joh 10:17-18.

But we are reminded that we read over and over that they killed the Lord Jesus. If they did not actually bring about his death, why does the Bible repeatedly use that language.

Divine justice speaking

One thing we must keep in mind, especially in this context, is that we belong to God; we are his property. And the law belongs to him. He has a right to say what is required of us, and he has the right to set the penalties.

It is his right—not ours—to say what constitutes murder. He says, “Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer,”

1Jo 3:15. If God claims the right to charge one who hates his brother with being a murderer, I, for one, am not going to argue that he has no such right. And if God claims the right to charge one with murder if he hates his brother, he certainly has the right to charge those wicked soldiers with having killed the Lord.

We must be very careful about setting limits on what God can do, or what charges he can bring against sin and sinners.

The nature of the act

lies in the motive of the heart

In his book entitled Justification, Elder J. H. Oliphant explains it very well. “Sin resides in the will, the intent; not so much in the act as in the will. A man shot with the design to kill a deer; he missed the deer and killed a friend; there was a man killed, but the crime of murder was not committed. Another man shot with the design of killing a man; he missed the man and killed a deer. In this case there was murder, but no one killed; the crime was in the will. In this way men may be guilty of murder, theft, adultery, etc., without the deed actually being committed. The will is the nest of sin.”

They intended to kill the Lord. They were gathered together for the purpose of killing him. They did everything necessary to be done in order to kill him—if it had been possible that he could have been killed. And they left thinking they had killed him. So they did everything necessary to incur their guilt.

Bear in mind that the nature of the act is determined by the motive of the heart. That is a principle clearly established in law. A prosecuting attorney told me recently that he had sent men to the penitentiary on that distinction.

Even though they failed in their effort to kill the Lord, they were guilty of killing him, nonetheless—and God so charges them.

Purged with blood

But, if the wickedness of man added nothing to the atonement, how is it that our sins are purged by the shed blood of Jesus Christ. How could we have been redeemed by blood, if the soldiers had not done their part?

Was it not the place of those soldiers to shed the Lord’s blood. Was that not their contribution to the atonement?

God “laid on him” (Isa 53:6), imputed to him, “the iniquity of us all,” and he judicially and legally carried those sins on the cross. The shedding of his blood put away those sins.

Atonement by blood is, indeed, the central fact of the gospel. Aside from the virtue of Christ’s shed blood nothing else means anything.

We are told, “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood, and without shedding of blood is no remission,Heb 9:22.

Peter tells us, “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot,” 1Pe 1:18-19.

Paul tells us about “the blood of the everlasting covenant,Heb 13:20.

When the Lord gave us his own Supper, he said, “This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins,” Mt 26:18. The list goes on, and on, and on. The very focal point of the gospel is that we are redeemed by the suffering, the death, and the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, and without shedding of blood is no remission.

Then, if our sins are atoned for by the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, how could they have been atoned for, if those soldiers had not beaten him, if they had not plowed his back. How could they have been put away if that soldier had not pierced his side? Did they not, at least, assist in our salvation to the extent they shed his blood?

That is a valid question, and it must have an answer. But first we must realize there is a difference between those soldiers’ drawing blood, and the Lord’s shedding his blood. The Lord freely and voluntarily shed his blood, and it is that shedding of his blood that brought salvation. Our salvation was purchased by the Lord’s shedding his blood; it was not purchased by soldiers drawing blood. There is a difference, and it is the most profound of all distinctions.

The Lord freely and voluntarily

shed his blood

After I wrote the first draft of this little booklet one good brother pointed out that my application of Ps 22:14 was probably not right. I have gone back and read the text several times. Even though it leaves me having to admit that I have been wrong all along in my application of that text, I appreciate his faithfulness. None of us is right all the time, and I appreciate those who are faithful to point out my errors.

The lesson I was drawing from that verse is right; Christ did consciously and experientially feel the weight and the guilt of our sins pressing down on his soul as he hung on the cross. That was the very travail of his soul that Isaiah talks about. But I was using the wrong verse to prove it. This verse teaches an entirely different lesson.

That is one of our advantages as Primitive Baptists. We do not have seminaries, and do not want them. But you can be sure that if you miss the mark, and if your error is funda-mental, your brethren will beat your ears down. That can be painful, but I would not have it any other way. That fact generates a kind of uniformity the seminaries can ever produce.

Poured out like water

But, let’s go back to the verse and see exactly what it does say. It is amazing the light it casts on the subject before us.

In Ps 22:14, we are brought to the moment of the Lord’s death. It reads like this; “I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.”

It am of the opinion that you should read any text literally, unless there is a clear reason to do otherwise. This is one of the most literal of all texts, and it is a powerful statement, when you just let it say what it says.

If you look up that verse in Strongs’ Concordance, you will notice that the word translated melted is number 4549 in Strong’s Hebrew Lexicon. (That is in the back of Strong’s Concordance.) The word is mawsas. That did not help much; so I looked up mawsas in Gesenius’ Lexicon. According to Gesenius, mawsas means “to cause to flow, to flow down, to dissolve, to melt.”

You cannot imagine the thrill that ran over me when I read that definition. Admittedly, it meant that I had been reading the verse wrong for all these years; but I am perfectly willing to give up any opinion, if someone can show me that opinion is in error. The brother did me a great service; and I shall be forever in his debt.

Now, let’s go back and read that verse one more time. Remember that this entire passage is a prophecy of Christ on the cross. He is brought into the dust of death (vs. 15), and at the moment of his death, he says, “My heart is like wax.” In other words, his heart is no longer firm, and under pressure, and pumping blood. His heart is like wax; it is soft, and limp, and pliable.

Then he tells us why his “heart is like wax.” He says, “It is melted in the midst of my bowels.” His heart has melted (emptied, flowed down) into the midst of his bowels.

Emptied into the midst of his bowels

But to make it abundantly clear, he uses two different words to signify the same thing. He begins the verse with, “I am poured out like water. The word translated poured out is shawfak. If you look up that word in Strong’s Lexicon (it is number 8210), it is defined as “to spill forth....gush out, pour (out).” He says his blood gushed out into the midst of his bowels.

That was his own voluntary act; it was not the work of those wicked soldiers. He voluntarily poured out (shed) his life’s blood on behalf of his chosen.

It appears the Holy Spirit is making the text as clear as it needs to be—my own initial confusion notwithstanding. It is amazing how simple, how clear, the Bible becomes, if we just let it say what it says.

Isaiah tells us, “Verily thou art a God that hidest thyself, O God of Israel, the Savior,” Isa 45:15. That wicked crowd did not assist the Lord; they did not even know what was going on. At the moment God was providing salvation for his people, he hid what he was doing from the prying eyes of the wicked. They could see what they were doing; but they could not see what he was doing—out of their sight.

He voluntarily laid his life down

I am told that when a person was crucified, he did not die from his wounds. Having nails driven through their hands and feet was not in itself a mortal wound. Painful though those wounds were, they were not by themselves life-threatening. Rather, when a person was crucified, as his strength failed, his body would sink lower and lower, his lungs would fill with fluid, and the weight of his body pressing on his lungs smothered him. He would hold his weight up as long as he could, and when he could do so no longer, he finally smothered to death. That is one of the reasons crucifixion was such a slow, painful, agonizing death.

But the torment of the crucifixion, painful though it was, was not sufficient to kill the Lord. Just before he died, he cried with a loud voice and gave up the ghost. A person smothering to death does not cry with a loud voice. He was demonstrating for all to hear, that though he was about to die, they did not, and could not, kill him. He was about to voluntarily lay his life down.

At one moment he cried with a loud voice—he was very much alive. The next moment he yielded up the ghost and died.

Those who persist in claiming the soldiers succeeded in actually bringing about the death of the Lord need to tell us, what did those men do to the Lord between the time he cried with a loud voice and the time he died. At one moment he was very much alive; the next moment he was dead. What did the soldiers do—in that interval of time—that was sufficient to kill him?

The fact is that during that interval of time there was one final act that brought about his death. We are told that he yielded up the ghost. That was the single act that brought about his death. For all they did to him, he did not die until he voluntarily yielded up the ghost. But that was his act, not theirs. The Lord freely and voluntarily laid down his life.

When he died

our redemption was complete

It was the death of the Lord that paid our sin debt; and the instant he died, our sins were forever put away. Just before he died, he said, “It is finished;” he cried with a loud voice; he yielded up the ghost, and he died. The earth shook; the rocks rent; the veil of the temple was rent in twain; and God rolled our sins away.

Joh 19:32-34, “Then came the soldiers and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs: But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side and forthwith came there out blood and water.” It was after the Lord died—after our sins had been atoned for—the soldier pierced his side.

When he pierced the side of the Lord, “forthwith came there out blood and water,” not just blood, but blood and water. He had been some time dead; the separation of the blood that takes place at death was already well under way.

It is hard to imagine that soldier made any contribution to the atonement, when the atonement was already finished before he came along with his spear.

With his stripes we are healed

But somebody reminds us that Isaiah says, “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed,Isa 53:5.

I do not claim to have all the answers about this question, nor any other. I have had to change my mind too many times about too many things to claim to have more than a few answers about a few subjects. I have been wrong too many times to fall out with my brother, because he cannot exactly pronounce my favorite Shibboleth.

But, having said all that, I believe the Bible is clear enough for us to know that in the work of redemption the Lord did his work entirely alone.

Isa 63:3,5, “I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me....and I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury, it upheld me.”

The humiliation of the Lord,

and the atonement

To end where we began, we need to keep in mind that there were two contrary forces at work that day. The first was man at war with his Maker. The second was the grace of God working out the salvation of his people. The one resulted in all the abuse and the indignity—the humiliation—that was heaped on our Lord. Man was very much involved in that work. The second was the grace of God working out the atonement on behalf of his people. In that work God was entirely alone.

The abuse and the indignity they heaped on the Lord—and the stripes they laid on his back—cause the grace of God to shine all the more brightly; but nothing those wicked men did contributed in any way to our salvation. The stripes with which we are healed were not the stripes those wicked men put on his back. Those stripes contributed to his humiliation, but they were not the stripes with which the people of God are healed.

At the very most all they did to the Lord was a reflection of what God the Father did to him—out of their sight. “Verily thou art a God that hidest thyself, O God of Israel the Savior” (Isa 45:15). While they were striping and bruising his body, God striped and bruised his soul. But God would not allow them to watch as he did his mighty work.

Someone recently made a movie about the crucifixion and the final hours leading up to it. I have not seen the movie; I don’t expect that I will. I do not want to see any actor pretending to be my Lord—not even play-acting. But from all over the land we hear reports of how people have been affected, and their lives impacted, by the graphic portrayal of his suffering and death.

I have no doubt the movie is as faithful to the facts as any movie has ever been. But I believe it is safe to say that the movie comes nowhere near portraying the actual suffering of the Lord. Isaiah says, “His visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men” (Isa 52:14). His visage (his face) was beaten until he hardly looked human. I have seen snippets of the movie on television, and it does not portray his beating as being all that brutal. So as graphic as the movie is, it still falls short of portraying his suffering for all it was.

But while I never expect to see the movie, I do often think about his suffering and death, and I cannot think about the beating he took, without, somehow, feeling the sting of the whip. I cannot think about how they slapped him and spat in his face, without feeling the anger rise up in me. I cannot think about how they denied him the modesty of his own clothing, without wanting to find something, a robe, a blanket, anything, and run up and cover him from their mockery. Oh, the mockery, the shame, the humiliation of it all. We could never, and should never, minimize the agony, the shame of all he suffered at the hands of those who crucified him. When I realize all he suffered for me, I want to fall at his feet, and say, “Thank you Lord, thank you, thank you, thank you.”

The travail of his soul

But, still, for all the shame, and the excruciating physical pain, he suffered, that was a small thing compared to the travail of his soul.

Isa 53:11, “He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied.”

For over fifty years I have preached about how the Lord legally and judicially carried our sins to the cross. And that is true; he did. That is the theme of this fifty third chapter of the prophecy of Isaiah. But then, one day, I realized that, not only did the Lord legally and judicially carry my sins to the cross. He consciously carried my sins.

As he was hanging on the cross he could consciously feel the weight and the guilt of my sins. The Lord had never been so precious to me as he was, when I realized that he could consciously feel the guilt of my sins pressing down on his soul.

If you will, think back to a time when you did something you knew was wrong. You thought about it before you did it. You argued with your conscience. You decided that at any other time, and under any other circumstances, and, perhaps, for anybody else, it would be wrong, but maybe, just this once and never again, it would be alright. When you argue with yourself over whether something is wrong, you always lose.

So you went ahead and did whatever it was you were thinking about, and no sooner than you did it, your conscience woke up. Your conscience can be a very poor guide. It will be as quiet as a mouse until the deed is done, and then, when it is too late, it will wake up and accuse you.

Do you remember how guilty you felt, how helpless and undone? There was no excuse; you did it with your eyes open, and then you paid the consequences. There is no torment more painful than the torment of a guilty conscience. When you consider how you felt when your sins were pressing on your soul, suppose that at some time you should feel all the guilty consciences you have ever felt in your entire life tormenting you at the same time. Do you think you could bear the load?

Now consider that not only did the Lord consciously feel the weight and guilt of all your sins pressing on his soul as he was hanging on the cross, he could consciously feel ALL the guilt of ALL the sins of ALL his people.

Our consciences are more than a little hardened by sin. We do not have the same sensitivity to sin the Lord had. So it is impossible for us to feel what the Lord felt. More than that, the human mind cannot conceive of the travail of his soul as our Lord consciously felt all the weight and all the guilt of all the sins of all his people pressing down on him.

That was the travail of his soul Isaiah was talking about. That was what he carried on the cross. It is in that sense that Isaiah said, “He shall see of the travail of his soul and shall be satisfied.” That was the greatest agony of the cross. Compared to that, the physical pain, excruciating though it must have been, was a little thing.

If his physical suffering was the greatest torment of the cross, there have been others who have suffered similar agony. We all know of people who have died in indescribable physical pain. But no man ever experienced what the Lord suffered as he felt the weight and the guilt of our sins pressing down on his soul. No man ever suffered what Isaiah calls the travail of his soul.

The justice of God is satisfied

The agony those soldiers imposed on his body did not satisfy the righteous demands of God’s law, but the travail of his soul did. At the very most all they did was a reflection of what God was doing—out of their sight. Let’s take one last look at what Isaiah calls the travail of his soul.

Isa 53:4, “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken of God, and afflicted.” Notice he was smitten of God; that is not the same as being beaten by the soldiers. At the very time the soldiers were doing their worst—out of their sight—God was doing all that was best for his people. He was afflicting the soul of our Lord.

Verse 5, “But he was wounded for our transgression, he was bruised for our iniquities; he chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” Again, notice that all of this was for our transgression, for our iniquities. Everything the soldiers did was for the purpose of satisfying their own malice. They did, indeed, beat him, but it was for a different cause.

Verse 10, “Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief.” These are the bruises God put on him; they are not the bruises the soldiers inflicted. Again, it is God who put him to grief. The grief God heaped on his soul was far greater than the grief the soldiers inflicted on his body.

Verse 11, “He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied.” He did not say, “He shall see the pain in his hands and his feet.” He did not say, “He shall see the pain in his back.” The travail of his soul satisfied the demands of the broken law of God; the pain inflicted by those soldiers did not.

Verse 12, “Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death.” The word that is here translated poured out is different than either word used in Ps 22:14. Here the word is arah. Gesenius defines the word as, “to empty a vessel, to pour out, in doing which its bottom is laid bare, uncovered.” The word used is different, but the principle is the same. The Lord “poured out his soul unto death.” His heart gushed out into the midst of his bowels. That was his act; it was not the act of those wicked soldiers. He voluntarily laid down his life; it was not taken from him.

Again, the question is whether, all by himself, he redeemed his people by shedding his blood, or if the soldiers participated by drawing blood.

The prophet will not allow us to miss the point. “Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief,” verse 10. The passage is as clear as it needs to be. The Lord bruised him; the Lord put him to grief. That was God’s work, and it is with those stripes we are healed.

If you are convinced that was man’s work, I hope you will not feel hard at me for believing that—from beginning to end—and in every respect—the atonement was God’s work.

The Old Testament type

If you will, allow me one more thought as a postscript. The Old Testament sacrifices were symbolic of the sacrificial death of Christ. In those sacrifices there were four elements necessary. There was the sacrifice, the lamb, the bullock, etc. There was the priest to offer the sacrifice. There was the altar on which the sacrifice was offered. And there was God himself to accept the sacrifice. That is a clear picture of the offering of Christ on our behalf.

First, Christ was himself the sacrifice. Joh 1:29, “Behold the lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world.” Those Old Testament sacrifices pointed to him.

Second, he was the priest offering the sacrifice. Heb 2:17, “Wherefore in all things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.

Third, his own deity was the altar on which, in his human nature, he was offered as a sacrifice to God. It was the altar that sanctified the offering. Mt 23:19, “Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift?” The altar on which the Lord was offered to the Father was not Calvary. If that was the case, the altar was desecrated; there were two thieves crucified with him. The altar on which he was offered to the Father was his deity. It was his deity which set apart and sanctified his humanity.

Fourth, there was the Father, who accepted the offering as full and complete satisfaction for our sin debt. He imputed our sins to his Son (Isa 53:6); he poured out on him his wrath against sin; he smote him (vs. 4), bruised him, and brought him to grief (vs.10); and he was satisfied with the travail of his soul (vs. 11) as an offering for sin (vs. 10).

This was strictly a transaction between God the Father and his Son—man was not included in that transaction

He did his work out of sight of the crowd. They did not participate in the transaction. They did not even know what was going on. The only thing they accomplished was to rage against their Maker at the very time he was working out redemption on behalf of his people.

Isa 63:3,5, “I have trodden the winepress along; and of the people there was none with me....And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury it upheld me.”

THE END

ELDER C. H. CAYCE ON Ac 4:28

The following is a response by Elder C. H. Cayce to an article by the Absoluter Elder Fairchild on Ac 4:28. That verse has always been used by the Absoluters in their effort to prove that God predestinated all things that happen in time, whether the act is good or evil. Their argument is that if God predestinated the most evil act ever committed by man, we should no problem in believing he predestinated every other evil act. Elder Cayce very easily proves that God predestinated that his Son would give his life—that he would lay his life down. Our salvation is God’s work alone; it is not the joint result of God’s work, and the work of those wicked men at Calvary. He shows that God did not predestinate their wicked acts, and that their wickedness contributed nothing to our salvation. He shows that the passage is a prayer by the disciples that God would rather thwart their efforts, and that he would accomplish his own will—in spite of their best efforts to the contrary. The article was published in the Nov. 3, 1938 issue of the Primitive Baptist. hlh

STUDIES IN PREDESTINATION

November 3, 1938

In the Footprints of the Flock for May, 1938, Elder Fairchild has a continued article under the above heading. We copy the article in full, and recommend a careful reading of it before reading what we have to say concerning the same.

THE ARTICLE

“Predestination is not the incentive or motive power that causes men to do either good or bad. Men do good deeds, not because it was predestinated they should do them, but because they are prompted by a righteous spirit to do them. And they do evil deeds, not because it was predestinated they should do them, but because they are moved by an evil spirit to do them. They do good deeds for the same reason a good tree bears good fruit, and evil deeds for the same reason that a corrupt tree bears corrupt fruit.”

“Is not that clear? I believe we are all agreed on the above statement. The thing I am trying to get all my readers to understand is that there is a vast difference between God’s predestinating a thing and authorizing or causing that thing to come to pass.”

“The Bible clearly teaches that God has predestinated many of the wicked deeds of men, but it as clearly condemns the idea that God ever causes, authorizes or influences men to do wrong. No more wicked deed was ever committed by men or devils than the betrayal, condemnation and crucifixion of Jesus Christ. And yet His inspired servants tell us, ‘For of a truth against thy holy child, Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together, for to do WHATSOEVER THY HAND AND THY COUNSEL DETERMINED BEFORE TO BE DONE,’Ac 6:15,15. The whole mob, Jews, Gentiles, Herod, Pontius Pilate, doing whatsoever the hand and counsel of God determined before to be done. Predestinate and determine before mean exactly the same, so those who condemned and crucified the Savior did just what God had predestinated they should do.”

“Will anyone dispute this? If so, will he please tell me what the above Scripture means? But while God predestinated that this should be done, was He the author of those men’s sin? Did He cause or influence them to do it? Certainly not. Listen to Peter: ‘Him being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and with wicked hands have crucified and slain.’ Ac 2:23.”

“God not only foreknew, but also determined that they should condemn and crucify Jesus, and yet they did it with wicked hands. They knew nothing about God’s purpose in the death of Jesus, and voluntarily condemned and put Him to death. They were just as guilty as they would have been if God had not before determined or predestinated it. They knew Him not, nor understood the voice of the prophets which they read, and fulfilled them in condemning Him,’ Ac 13:27.”

“Will any one claim that these men were not responsible for their deeds because they fulfilled God’s purpose? No, they did it with wicked hands.”

“No doubt some one will want to know how God can predestinate an act and not be the cause or author of it. I have already shown that predestination is not the force that causes men to act, but as that predestination is not the force that causes men to act, but as this is the crux of the question, let me further illustrate. Over in Eastern Tennessee there are many large springs–good size streams springing out of the earth and wending their way toward the sea. They run through rich narrow valleys, and often cut away the banks and carry off the soil. If left to take their course they would wash away much of the soil, but those farmers save their soil by keeping the stream in proper bounds. They cut a new channel and straighten the stream in one place, and put in an abutment to protect the bank in another. They do not cause the water to flow down stream, but they do fix its channel and thus save their farms.”

“These farmers go further than just preventing the streams from washing away their land. They sometimes direct it in an entirely new channel, cutting a race for it, and bringing it around the side of the mountain to where it will have a great fall. Here they build a mill and use the force of the water in its fall to run its machinery. They did not cause the water to flow down stream, but they fixed its channel, directed its course, utilized its power and not only prevented it from destroying their lands, but made it grind their wheat and corn, and in many other ways serve the community. And who will say those farmers did wrong in fixing the channel of the stream and turning it into a blessing instead of leaving it to take its course and wash away their best soil?”

“God no more causes men to do wickedly than those men caused the water to flow down stream. The water run down stream because the force of gravity draws it that way; and men do wickedly because their evil lustful nature draws them that way. And as men fix the channel of the stream and turn the force of the water into a blessing, so God sets the bounds of the wicked, lays out they path they shall travel, determines or predestinates what things they may do and what things they shall not do, and thus confines their wickedness in such a channel that it works for the good of them that love God. That is not bad of God, is it? Aren’t you glad that God has fixed the bounds of the wicked? If the wicked were turned loose, unrestricted and unbounded by God’s decree, where would our safety be?”

“I am not so much concerned as to whether God has predestinated the righteous deeds of men or concerned as to whether God has determined or predestinated the wicked acts of men. Only by the bounds of the wicked being unalterably set can the righteous be secure.”

“Aren’t we agreed on this? It seems to me that here our limited and unlimited predestinarians can find a common meeting ground. The contention of our limited brethren that God is not the author of sin and in no sense causes men to sin, is not only granted but advocated as strongly as they advocate it. And our unlimited brethren’s argument that God’s predestination or determinate counsel extends to all the wicked actions of men and devils, fixing their bounds, governing their deeds, determining what they may and may not do, is set forth in perfect harmony with His goodness and perfection. Does not each find here all for which he is contending and nothing contradictory to it?”

OUR COMMENTS

The first thing we wish to say regarding the foregoing is that Elder Fairchild is here apparently engaging in his old tricks of trying to wrap up his doctrine so as to get our brethren to swallow it before they realize what it is that they are taking. Let the reader carefully note the fact that a strong effort is made in the article to convey the idea that predestination does not cause anything. Note the very first sentence in the article: “Predestination is not the incentive or motive power that causes men to do either good deeds or bad..” In the Footprints for June the elder says this:

“I thought I made it plain last month that predestination is NEVER CAUSATIVE. Regarding predestination as causative is at the bottom of most of the schisms over that subject.”

If God’s predestination is not causative, and never causes anything to come to pass–if predestination has nothing whatever to do with a thing coming to pass–then why be such a stickler for the doctrine that God predestinated all things that come to pass? Why be so bent on advocating that doctrine, if God’s predestination has nothing to do with things coming to pass? If God’s predestination of a thing has nothing whatever to do with that thing coming to pass, then the thing predestinated would come to pass just as well, and just the same, without God’s predestination, then, is a useless thing, and nothing ever comes of it, either good or bad. The doctrine may be the truth, but we are not yet ready to accept it. Are you? Let us try that just a little.

Let us first call attention to Ro 8:28-29,20, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He did predestinate, them He also called; and whom He called, them He also justified; and whom He justified, them he also glorified.”

In this God the Father is for you in foreknowledge and predestination; the Holy Spirit is for you in calling; the Son is for you in justification; and the final end of all this is the final glorification of every heir of promise–every one that loves God; every one that was known beforehand by the Father in the covenant of grace. Take God’s foreknowledge out of the matter, and not one would be glorified. Take justification out of it, and not one would be glorified.. Hence, all these, together, is the cause why one is glorified. Not only so, but take God’s predestination out of it, and not one would be glorified–unless it should be done by accident. Hence, God’s predestination is linked in as a part of the cause of one being glorified.

To deny that God’s predestination is a part of the cause why one is glorified is to simply deny the certainty of the final salvation and glorification of any poor sinner. Primitive Baptists have always held that the final salvation and glorification of all the elect of God is certain and sure, because God has predestinated, determined beforehand, that they should be conformed to the image of His Son, and finally glorified in heaven.

But if predestination has nothing whatever to do with a thing coming to pass, then the Primitive Baptists have been wrong in this contention all along the line. Are you ready to surrender, and to renounce, the truthfulness of the doctrine which has been characteristic of our people all along?

Let us have another text–Eph 1:3-6, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: according as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love; having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the beloved.”

In this we have the fact that those who were chosen in Him before the ages of time began were predestinated unto the adoption of children. That is, God predestinated that those He choose should be adopted into the heavenly family–predestinated them unto the adoption of children. If predestination has nothing to do with a thing being done–and never causative–then God’s predestination is no part of the cause of one being adopted into the heavenly family–it has nothing to do with, and is no part of the cause of, one receiving the adoption of children.

But God does adopt every one He chose, and they are taken finally into the heavenly family in glory, because He has “predestinated un unto the adoption of children.” God determined beforehand that they should be thus adopted, and He brings them into His heavenly family in accord with His previous determination, or His previous purpose thus to do. Predestination does have something to do with this coming to pass.

In the June issue of the Footprints Elder Fairchild also says: “Therefore, to be consistent we must contend for the predestination of all things or nothing.” There you are, flatly! If we must contend for the predestination of God in the salvation of sinners, we must also contend that He predestinated all things that come to pass. If He predestinated all things that come to pass, then He also predestinated all the crimes, and all the sins, that are committed in the world. According to this, God predestinated all the sins that we commit; then He predestinated to save us from our sins. If this is true, then He predestinated to save us from His own predestinating Bosh!

When Elder Fairchild was publishing the Footprints in 1909 he said in that paper for September, 1909: “This world is governed by the law of cause and effect–not one thing is left to blind chance. There is not only a cause for every effect, but there is a cause for every cause except the First Cause. The First cause is an uncaused cause–all the reasons for its existence are in itself. First Cause is another name for God. God is the first cause of all causes.”

We replied to this in THE PRIMITIVE BAPTIST of October 26, 1909. See page 314 of our Editorial Writing, Volume I. We quote these few words from that reply:

“According to the logic of it God did not cause Adam to violate the law, but the devil caused Adam to do so. Elder Fairchild says God is the first cause of all causes. Then God caused the devil to cause Adam to violate the law. Adam would not have violated the law if the devil had not caused him to do so; and the devil would not have caused Adam to violate the law if God had not caused him to do that. There can be no effect without a cause. Then Adam could not have violated the law if the devil had not caused him to do so, and the devil could not have caused Adam to violate the law if God had not caused him to do so. If this does not make God the author and the first cause of sin, we confess we do not know the meaning of the words. There is no use caviling over the matter; it simply makes God the first cause and the author of all sin.”

In the article above Elder Fairchild refers to, and quotes, what we consider to be the strongest text in the Bible in support of the doctrine that God predestinated all things that come to pass (Ac 6:15,15). Note that He says the “whole mob, Jews, Gentiles, Herod, Pontius Pilate” “did just what God had predestinated thy should do.” If God is pleased with His predestination, then He was pleased with what that ungodly mob did. According to that doctrine, they were doing the will of God. In Mt 12:50 Jesus said, “For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.”

According to Elder Fairchild’s doctrine, those wicked men–the whole mob–Jews, Gentiles, Herod, Pontius Pilate, and all the rest of that motley crowd–were, and are, brother, and sister, and mother of the blessed Jesus, for he does the will of God, too; for the Lord predestinated that he should do everything he does. As another said, who advocates the same doctrine Elder Fairchild does, “God could not lie, but He raised up a nasty little devil to do His lying for Him.” This doctrine these fellows advocate, sure enough, makes God meaner that the devil.

Let us here have the text above referred to. First we will quote, as follows, beginning with verse 5 (Ac 4:5 down to and including verse 22:

“And it came to pass on the morrow, that their rulers, and elders, and scribes, and Annas the high priest, and Caiaphas, and John [not the Apostle John], and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem. And when they had set them [Peter and John] in the midst, they asked, By what power, or by what name, have ye done this? Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, if we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole; be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by Him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at naught of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. And beholding the man which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it. But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves, saying., What shall we do to these men? For that indeed a notable miracle hath been done by them is manifest to all them that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny it. But that it spread no further among the people, let us straitly threaten them, the they speak henceforth to no man in this name. And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard. So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people; for all men glorified God for that which was done. For the man was above forty years old, on whom this miracle of healing was shewed.”

We have taken this long extract from this chapter to show plainly what gave rise to the following–or to what is embraced in verses 26, 27, 28. It is plainly seen here that these wicked men–rulers, elders, scribes, Annas, Caiaphas, John, Alexander, and the kindred of the high priest–were threatening the apostles and forbidding them to speak in the name of Jesus. When Peter and John were thus threatened and forbidden to speak in the name of Jesus they were let go.

See verse 23, “And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them.”

Verse 24 says, “And when they heard that.” The antecedent of the pronoun they is their own company, in verse 23. Their own company, to whom Peter and John went, heard the report, which they made, of the threatenings of those wicked men.

So, let us read verse 24, “And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said.”

Just here let us interrupt the reading to ask a question or two. If God predestinated everything that comes to pass, and His predestination is according to His will, then were not those wicked men doing what was God’s will for them to do? And, as the apostles lifted up their voice with one accord in prayer to God, did they pray for God’s will to be done? If so, did they not pray for those wicked men to do just what they were doing? Did not Jesus teach His disciples to pray to the Lord, “Thy will be done?” Is it not a fact that the prayer of the apostles here simply resolves itself into a request, or a pleading, for the Lord to interpose and to interfere with these wicked men, and to hinder and prevent them from carrying out their wicked threats and designs It is simply a pleading unto Him that He would do in this case as in another, to which they refer.

Now, let us read on: “And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is; who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against His Christ. For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou has anointed, bot Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, for to do whatsoever thy had and thy counsel determined before to be done. And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, by stretching forth thy hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus. Ac 4:24-30.”

This is plainly a prayer to God to prevent these wicked men from carrying out their threats and designs [emphasis added]. It is a prayer to God to interfere in this case, just as He did in the other case, when Herod, Pontius Pilate, and the wicked mob were gathered together against His Christ. Did the Lord interfere in that case, and hinder, or prevent, them from carrying out their design? He most surely did. They did not carry out His predestination. The Lord did not allow them to do that.

He does not allow wicked men and devils to carry out His predestination; He carries that out Himself [emphasis added]. It was God’s predestination that Jesus should die–that He should lay down His life. Those wicked men had tried, from the time of His birth, to take His life; but the Lord did not allow them to take it.

Jesus said (Joh 10:11,15,17-18): “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd giveth His life for the sheep.” “And I lay down my life for the sheep.” “Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.”

Here we have it plainly that they did not take His life; but it was according to the will of the Father that the Son die. So those wicked men were not allowed to take His life. Their purpose and design was thwarted and overthrown [emphasis added]. So, the apostles, in the text just referred to above, prayed the Father to thwart and prevent the carrying out of the designs of these wicked men in this instance, as He did before. When the soldiers came to the Saviour, as He hung on the cross, with the thieves, the thieves were not dead, but Jesus was dead already (see Joh 19:33). In Ac 2:23 it is said that He was delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God; but it does not say that what those people did was by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God [emphasis added].

What they did was not by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, but was by wicked hands. God’s determinate counsel was one thing, and what they did was another thing. It was by nothing else than by the devil’s own lie and invention that men have advocated the idea that those wicked men and devils were fulfilling and doing and carrying out God’s will, purpose, pleasure, and predestination. We never have believed it, and we do not now believe it, and never expect to believe it. If that doctrine is the truth, the eternal God has unalterably fixed, predestinated and decreed from eternity that we should not believe it—and we are glad He did.

With these things before us, what shall we say? It is very clear and evident that all this pretense of pleading for peace and reconciliation is pure buncombe. This, above, is the blasphemous doctrine you swallow when you swallow Fairchild. Excuse us please. We still stand just where we have stood all along the line. See our Editorial Writings, Volume I, pages 18, 335, 337, and 340; Volume II, page 218; Volume IV, page 389, as well as other articles in our writings on the same subject.

Such doctrine always has caused trouble when advocated among Primitive Baptists, and it always will. It is heresy of the blackest sort and of the very deepest dye. The sooner the Primitive Baptists get rid of every mother’s son that advocates it, the better off they will be. Put such as that out of the boat, and stop up the leak to keep it out, or else the boat will sink; the candlestick will be removed, and the blessings and privileges of gospel worship and service will be taken from that place. This is verified from the history of the past. May the Lord deliver His poor little children from such doctrine, is our humble prayer. C. H. C.

(Our thanks to Sister Betty Davidson for retyping the article. hlh)

APPENDIX BY ELD. J. M. THOMPSON

We see the statement, “The Son of God was delivered into the hands of wicked men, that they should with wicked hands, do to him what God’s hand and counsel had before determined to be done.” There is not another passage of scripture that is relied upon more to prove their position and that seems to give support to their view than Ac 4:26-28.

I have asked some of the advocates of the predestination of sin, What did the enemies of Jesus gather together to do as recorded there? And it has been the mind of every one that it was to take his life. That was the thing necessary to be done if they would rid the world of Jesus whom they hated. I presume every reader now will accept this view. Now I ask, Did they take the life of Jesus? They most assuredly did not.

“Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again,” Joh 10:17-18. He said, “It is finished, and he lowered his head, and gave up the Ghost,”Joh 19:30. He laid down his life.

Then the Jews being opposed to them remaining upon the crosses on the yearly Sabbath “which was an high day” believing it seems, that death would not come by crucifixion, so as to remove the bodies, requested that their legs be broken that they might taken away. The soldiers broke the legs of the men, who were crucified with him. When they came to Jesus, they saw that he was already dead. They had not taken his life as they purposed to do, when they gathered together. He laid it down. Christ offered himself through the eternal spirit without spot to God in the laying down his life, Heb 9:14.

God’s hand and counsel determined that the offering must be made; that the life of the dear Lamb of God must go for his chosen people. His foes could not take it even thought he was delivered into their wicked hands and he was crucified and slain by them. Whatever may be said about crucifying and slaying him, it is certain they did not take his life, the very thing to be done as they realized to put him out of their way. Every proof text manipulated distorted and misapplied to support their position so hurtful to our people when understood will not witness for them. John M. Thompson Zion’s Advocate, May, 1898.

THE END

Ac 4:28 “For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel were gathered together, for to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.

The Absoluters claim this text; it is their fortress. They are sure it establishes their doctrine as no other text does.

But before we get to that, we need to establish what we mean by absolutism. Absolutism is the doctrine that before God created the world, he predetermined and predestinated everything that will ever happen in time. We are told that he arranged all the events, and all the conditions and circumstances leading up to those events so that everything that happens—good, bad, or indifferent— happens exactly the way he predestinated it to happen.

Those of us who do not believe that doctrine refuse to believe that he predestinated everything that happens. Especially we refuse to believe that he predestinated all the sin and wickedness in the world.

The Absoluter can come up with some mighty fancy footwork, explaining how God arranges conditions and circumstances, and something he calls second cause, so that a man does everything—for good or for evil—that God predestinated him do. It is amazing what elaborate tapestries he can weave in explaining how God can cause men to do every thing they do, without in any way being the cause of what they do.

The Absoluter insists that his doctrine does not make God the author of sin, but he persists in his argument that God arranged conditions and circumstances so that everything that happens—both good and evil—takes place in exactly the way he predestinated it to happen.

All of that brings us to our text. There can be no question that the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ, together with the humiliation and mistreatment that was heaped on him, was the vilest, the most wicked, event in the history of the world. The Absoluter is sure that if he can prove God predestinated the wickedness that went on at Calvary, he will have no trouble in proving that God predestinated all the other wickedness in the world. And he is sure that is precisely what this text says. But that is not what it says. If you will stay with us for the next few minutes, I believe we can demonstrate that this text does not teach anything resembling the Absolute doctrine.

Two contrary forces at work

The first thing we need to point out is that there were two contrary forces at work that day, and it is impossible to imagine anything more different than those forces were. Those two forces had two different causes—two different sources—and, ultimately, two different ends in view. It is the failure to recognize those opposite forces—and the different causes behind those forces—that has caused most of the confusion about this text.

The first force was man at war with his Maker. That war began with the sin of Adam in the very morning of time, and it continues until this very day, but it reached its climax at the crucifixion of our Lord. Never in all of history has man ever raged against his Maker the way he did at Calvary.

In order to save his people from their sins, and from eternal damnation, God became man; he became incarnate in human flesh. He took on him such a nature as you and I have. As God he could not be tempted; he could not suffer, and he could not die. He became man in order to do all those things.

The adversary opposed him every step of the way; but it was especially at Calvary that he did everything within his power to destroy him. All the wickedness that went on at Calvary was man’s work. It was the ultimate expression of his war against his Maker. That wickedness was no part of the atonement, and it was no part of redemption.

The second force at work was the grace of God working out salvation on behalf of his people. God had determined from all eternity that he would save his people, and that is what he was working out at the cross. At Calvary he worked out the atonement; he brought about the redemption of his people.

Redemption and atonement

Before we go any further we need to define redemption and atonement. They go together, and one is the inevitable result of the other. There is no way you can have one without the other, and they are so bound together there is nothing really wrong in referring to them as the same thing. We use the terms limited atonement and particular redemption interchangeably. But it seems to me they are not exactly the same thing. It is kind of like fire and heat Fire and heat are not the same thing; but one is the inevitable result of the other.

Redemption was God’s buying back of his people from his own righteous indignation against sin. It was his payment of their sin debt. Atonement is our reconciliation with God, based on the payment of our sin debt.

First, redemption is the payment of our sin debt.

1Pe 1:18-19, “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”

Re 5:9, “And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof; for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people and nation.”

Atonement is the reconciliation with God that was purchased, and brought about, by that redemption. It is the result of redemption.

Ro 5:10-11, “For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.”

Redemption and atonement were the work of God, and the wicked conduct of those men had nothing to do with it. They participated in their own damnation; but they did not participate in our salvation.

The Crucifixion and the Atonement

We also need to point out that the atonement and the crucifixion were not the same thing, and perhaps, that is the most important lesson to learn. The crucifixion was man’s work; the atonement was God’s work. They are two entirely different things, and we must never confuse the two.

Man had nothing to do with redemption, but he had everything to do with the crucifixion of the Lord. It was men who took him through the mock trial. Men beat him with whips. Men beat him until his form was more marred than any man. Men cut the timbers. Men assembled the cross. Men drove the nails. It was a man who pierced his side. Men mocked him, and ridiculed him. That was all man’s work, but nothing man did had any part in redemption.

At the very most all those men did was a reflection of what God was doing—out of their sight.

The climax of man’s rebellion

Question: if nothing the soldiers did, contributed anything to our salvation, what is the significance of the crucifixion?

The significance of the crucifixion is that it was the ultimate climax of man’s rebellion against God—his war against God.

Never in time or eternity did the ultimate good and the ultimate evil come face to face the way they did at Calvary. In the very face of the greatest evil this world has ever known God worked out the salvation of his people, and nothing they could do could stop him.

When a jeweler is showing a diamond he will often display it on a black velvet cloth. The beauty of the diamond is seen all the more clearly against the black background. God contrasted all he did on behalf of his people against all the wickedness that went on that day. The glory of God’s grace is all the more resplendent against the blackness of man’s sin.

Man has been at war with his Maker ever since Adam sinned. All during the public ministry of the Lord the adversary did all within his power to destroy him. He could not destroy him. But when his time was fully come, the Father delivered his Son into their hands, and suffered them to do their worst.

“Him being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain,” Ac 2:23.

Far from participating in the work, man was raging against his Maker at the very moment God was working out the salvation of his people.

Two different forces; two different causes

Again, there were two different forces, and two different causes at work that day. The cause of the atonement was the purpose, the grace, and the mercy of God. The cause of the crucifixion was the hatred and corruption man’s corrupt and depraved heart.

It was not God that put such hatred in their heart. We are told plainly, “They hated me without a cause.” That is, they did not need God to cause them to hate him. Those who claim God is the cause of everything those wicked men did that day have God to argue with. God tells us in no uncertain language, “They hated me without a cause.” Their hatred flowed naturally and freely from the corruption of their own heart. It did not flow from the purpose and grace of God.

The Crucifixion was not the Atonement

The crucifixion was no part of the atonement. Nothing those wicked men did was any part of the atonement. Rather the crucifixion was the time and place where God worked out the atonement. It was the context in which God did his work; but it was not part of that work.

God had determined from all eternity that he would work out the atonement in the context of the crucifixion, and he prophesied that he would do just that. He would display his grace against the dark background of their wickedness. But their wickedness would play no part in what he was doing on behalf of his people, and there is no way anybody can show that he predestinated their wickedness—nor any wicked thing they did.

We are simply told that God delivered his Son into their hand. Their wicked depraved heart did the rest.

“Him being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain,” Ac 2:23.

Old Elder Benjamin Lampton used to say, “It was not necessary for God to predestinate wickedness; man has done a very good job of that all by himself.” God delivered Jesus into their hand, and they did what their depraved heart moved them to do.

God inhabits eternity; he is not bound by time

But somebody wants to know, “How could God purpose to work out redemption in the context of the crucifixion, if he did not fix and predestinate all those men did?

God is the eternal one; he inhabits eternity. He is not bound by time the way you and I are. All is one eternal now with him. He can look across time as easily as you and I can look across a room. But he is no more the cause of all he sees, than we are the cause of all we see.

Sin did not bring salvation

But, back to our subject, nothing those men did contributed in any way to our salvation. There is no way around it. If what those men did contributed to the atonement, then sin brought salvation. If what they did contributed to the atonement, then Jesus did not do the work by himself. That would make them his helpers; it would make them joint-saviors with him. But that is not the way the Bible tells it.

“I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me....And I looked and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury it upheld me,” Isa 63:3,5.

He says it over and over; there was nobody involved in this work except himself. The Arminian thinks the preacher is involved; the Absoluter thinks those who nailed him to the cross were involved. They are both wrong.

One harmonious fabric

Keep in mind that the Bible is one harmonious fabric throughout. It is consistent; it never contradicts itself. If there is ever a contradiction, it is in your own mind.

Also keep in mind that in studying the Bible you begin with what is clear and undeniable. Then (with the Lord’s help) you study and reason your way—step by step—toward that which is not so clear. If you start with what is most clear, and move one step after another to the next most obvious fact, by the time you finish, you will often discover that those unclear questions have fallen into place. That is certainly the case with this text.

What God determined before to be done

But somebody replies, “For all you have said, the question remains, what was it God determined before to be done?”

To answer the question, notice why God sent his Son in the first place. God determined from all eternity that his Son should suffer and die on behalf of his people.

That is what he “determined before to be done.”

That is why he came into this world. That is why he went to Calvary. God imputed our sins to his Son, and he suffered and died to pay our sin debt. That is what redemption is all about. That is the basis of the atonement. Our sins, and the guilt of our sins, were removed by the suffering and death of our Lord.

“For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel were gathered together, for to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done,Ac 4:27-28. Exactly what does he mean by what God’s hand and counsel “determined before to be done?” The Absoluter tells us it involves all that went on that day. He tells us God orchestrated and manipulated every stroke and every blow that struck our Lord, that he predestinated every vile thing that was done to him.

But we must never charge God with being the author of sin, and we must never charge him with manipulating any man, and causing him to sin.

We said before that the Absoluter can come up with some mighty fancy footwork, explaining how God can arrange conditions and circumstances, and something he calls second cause, so one thing inevitably leads to another, and that man does everything—for good or evil—that God predestinated him to do. It is amazing what elaborate tapestries he can weave in explaining how God can cause men to do everything they do, without being the cause of what they do.

But we do not need theological mumbo-jumbo. If we will just let the Bible explain the Bible, most subjects become fairly simple. And this subject is simple enough, if you just let the clearest texts explain those that are not so clear.

God purposed that his Son should suffer and die

It was the purpose of God that his Son should suffer and die, and up to that point that was also the purpose of those who were gathered together.

It was the purpose of that mob that Jesus should suffer and die. It is in that sense they were gathered to do what God determined before to be done. They gathered together to bring about the suffering and death of the Lord.

The same intent; different causes

But their motive, and the cause of their action were totally different from God’s purpose. God determined that his Son should give his life; the mob intended to take his life.

The cause of what God did was the most loving and gracious of all motives. The cause of all they did was the most evil and hateful of all motives. The one sprang from the purpose, the love and mercy of God; the other sprang from the corruption of their own depraved heart.

No one can reasonably deny that they were, indeed, gathered together for to do whatsoever God’s hand and counsel determined before to be done. They were gathered together to bring about the suffering and death of the Lord.

But God was no more the cause of all the evil they did, than they were the cause of what God did.

When you get the lesson in any text, you should let it rest. You should not stretch it out of all reason in order to make it say what it does not say. You do not have to torture and stretch this text and make it cover all the sin and wickedness that went on in connection with the suffering and death of the Lord. You should simply take the verse for what it says, and leave it at that.

Please bear with my repetition; but it cannot be emphasized too often. The Lord tells us, “They hated me without a cause.” They did not need God to predestinate that they would hate him. Their hatred—and all that sprang from that hatred—flowed naturally and freely from the corruption of their own depraved heart.

We mentioned a moment ago that if you will begin with what is clear and undeniable, and move step by step from that to the next clearest point, eventually you may very well find yourself at the question that has been troubling you, and that question may fall right into place. That is what we hope to do in the next few pages.

The Absoluter limits God’s ability to know the future

We need to realize first that God knows everything there is to know. He knows everything that will ever happen before it happens, and he has known it from all eternity. That is one of the proofs that he is God. The Absoluter tells us that God cannot know what is going to happen, unless he has determined to manipulate and orchestrate all the conditions and circumstances leading up to that event, so that whatever happens is the inevitable result of all that has gone before.

But that notion limits God. It has God using his power to prop up his foreknowledge. It would have us believe that if God did not cause all things to happen just the way they do, he could not know what would happen. They are sure his foreknowledge would come crashing to the ground.

Those who think God must make men do what they do, in order to know what they are going to do, have imagined that God is like we are. But God is not like us. He is not so limited that he cannot know what is going to happen without orchestrating and manipulating it to make it happen. That is one of the proofs he is God.

God knows all that will ever happen, and when he chooses to do so, he reveals to us as much as he wants us to know. Over a period of hundreds of years he inspired the prophets to write all that was needed to be known about the life and death, the ministry and crucifixion of the Lord.

There could never be any doubt that all that transpired at Calvary would come about the way God had prophesied it would.

There is ever so much God does that we cannot explain. In fact, we cannot explain the how of most of what God does. We cannot explain how he created an entire universe out of nothing. He is so vast the very heaven of heavens cannot contain him, and yet he was born of a woman and lived in a body such as you and I have. We cannot explain that. We cannot explain how the Spirit does its work in regeneration. We cannot explain how he is going to raise the dead. So we should not be surprised that we cannot explain how he can know every tiny detail of what is going to happen in the future.

But it is the height of folly to try to explain the unexplain-able by insisting that God knows the future, because he pulls the strings, and makes everything—both good and evil—happen just the way it does. Nobody was ever more foolish, than when he tries to compensate for his own ignorance by charging God with being the source of all the evil in the world.

God succeeded at the cross; the mob failed

They were, indeed, gathered together for the purpose of bringing about the death of the Lord; but they totally failed. They did everything they could to kill him, and they could not do it.

Then what does it mean, when it says, “Him being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain,” Ac 2:23, or when it says they “killed the Lord Jesus,” 1 Thess 2:15. Do those verses not say plainly that they killed the Lord?

When it says they “killed the Lord,” it is talking about their sin. It is not talking about what they actually accomplished. We have the Lord’s word for it that they did not have the power to kill him.

“I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep,” Joh 10:11. They did not take his life; he gave it.

Again we are told, “Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father,” Joh 10:17-18.

But the question remains, we are told over and over that they killed the Lord (Mr 8:31; 9:31). How can you say that does not indicate they were successful in killing the Lord? Again, the Lord was talking about their sin. They were, indeed guilty of killing the Lord, even though they did not succeed in accomplishing what they tried to do.

In his book entitled Justification, Elder J. H. Oliphant explains it very well. “Sin resides in the will, the intent; not so much in the act as in the will. A man shot with the design to kill a deer; he missed the deer and killed a friend; there was a man killed, but the crime of murder was not committed. Another man shot with the design of killing a man; he missed the man and killed a deer. In this case there was murder, but no one killed; the crime was in the will. In this way men may be guilty of murder, theft, adultery, etc., without the deed actually being committed. The will is the nest of sin.”

Even though they failed in their effort to kill the Lord, they were guilty of killing him, nonetheless.

They intended to kill him. They were gathered together for the purpose of killing him. They did everything necessary to be done in order to kill him—if it had been possible that he could have been killed. And they left thinking they had killed him. So they did everything necessary to incur their guilt. But for all they did, they still did not succeed in killing the Lord.

Bear in mind that the nature of the act is determined by the motive of the heart. That is a principle clearly established in law. A prosecuting attorney told me recently that he had sent men to the penitentiary on that distinction.

It was the death of our Lord that paid our sin debt. If they had actually succeeded in killing the Lord, we might conclude that their sin did, indeed, contribute to our salvation, but that is not the case. They could not kill him; he laid his life down.

With his stripes we are healed

But somebody reminds us that Isaiah says, “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed,Isa 53:5.

They wounded him; they bruised him, and they put the stripes on his back. If we are healed with his stripes, suppose those people had just stayed at home. Then how could we be healed with his stripes? They wounded and bruised him; does that not show that what they did had some part to play in the atonement? No, it does not.

The simplest rule in Bible study is: read the context. The Bible explains itself better than any of us can explain it. If you will read just a few verses before and after, it will become clear which wounds, and bruises, and stripes are under consideration. It was not the marks those people put on his back.

“Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted,” Is 53:4. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out who laid those stripes on him. He was “stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. That is the verse immediately before our text.

“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our i