A Call To The Remnant

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Archive for August, 2018

The tragic rise and dominion of the “nominal saint.”

Posted by appolus on August 20, 2018

The tragedy of the State church that Luther gave birth to and the now tens of thousands of denominations that it splintered into, is that it became a hiding place for those who knew nothing of the new birth, nor did they have to within the walls of their institutions. Infant baptism, participation in communion and blind obedience to self-appointed authority was all that was required to sit unaware of your actual spiritual state. Couple that with a mere mental assent to a set of abstract truths and you have not only the State church and the denominations but also your typical church that is found on every street corner in the land today.

Let me be clear in what I mean by a mental assent to a set of abstract truths. If you can say that Christ is the Son of God, this is an assent to an abstract truth. If you can say that Christ died for our sins on Calvary, this is an assent to an abstract truth. If you can say that there is one God, this is an assent to an abstract truth. If you can say that outside of Jesus there is no salvation nor forgiveness of sin, this is an assent to an abstract truth. You know who believes all of these things and trembles? The devil himself. There is no salvation in giving your assent to a set of theological truths. Salvation comes in the surrendered life that is marked by great change. When a new life is actually born again, then the abstract becomes a living reality. Behold there is an actual new creature that has come forth and we know this by the works of the Spirit in their life. They are radically changed and the lives they now live testify to the reality of the Word of God and the Spirit that now resides within them.

Luther was well aware of this and it presented him with a great struggle. Could he establish a true “believers church?” As he began to dismiss this notion as impossible because there were so few who were actually born again, listen to his words of Luther as he struggles with the complexities of what we would call nominal Christianity ( I say there is no such thing) and genuine Christianity ( would to God we would all be so) …………………….

“If we look aright at what people now do who reckon themselves as Evangelical and know how to talk much about Christ, there is nothing behind it. Most of them deceive themselves. The number of those who began with us and had pleasure in our teaching was ten times greater, now not a tenth part of them remain steadfast. They learn indeed to speak words, as a parrot repeats what people say, but their hearts have never experienced them. They remain just as they are. They boast much of the gospel and at first seek it earnestly, yet afterwards nothing remains for they do what they like, follow their lusts and become worse than they were before and are much more undisciplined. Ah Lord, if we only practiced this doctrine alright, there shouldest see that where now a thousand go to the Sacrament, scarcely a hundred would go. Then at last we should come to be a Christian assembly, where now we are almost utter heathen with the name of Christian;then we could separate from ourselves those of whom we know by their works that they never believed and never had life, a thing that is now impossible to us.” (Luther)

This is an absolute tragedy that Luther is describing. He was now going down the path that twelve hundreds years previously, the church tragically went down. He married the emerging church to the State and its fate was sealed. The formation of the reformed church as a church state entity was no less tragic than the formation of the Catholic church when it threw it’s lot in with Rome. Out of a thousand, Luther could not even muster one hundred genuine saints and this was in the very throes of reformation. Has the proceeding centuries improved our lot in the established church? I would venture to say that now out of one thousand who call themselves by the name of Jesus, there would be even less than the one hundred that Luther despaired over.

Can any of us seriously think that God would take this old wine-skin and pour new wine into it? Be careful what you pray for saints. If revival actually came to what we now call Christendom it would sweep away the old completely, not one stone would be left un-turned. As the grand idol of our man-made temples came crashing to the ground hell would tremble and the gates of hell would not prevail against it. As Christendom came forth like Lazarus from the grave the world would marvel to see a royal priesthood walking in the power and the glory of our risen King. The Gospel would go forth and men would be stabbed in their hearts and would cry out and miracles would follow. The world. would gaze into the refining fire and look upon the saints and marvel and wonder who was with them and sustaining them. Then they would know that it was the Son who was sent by the Father as His love came flooding out and covered the world just as the waters cover the sea.

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My soul be still

Posted by appolus on August 17, 2018

Dear Father Lord, be still my soul today
Please fill me with your grace, as I walk along the way
For each new day, I arise with the morning light
And renew my strength and gird my loins to aid me in the fight

Be still my soul that I may hear my beating heart
And know with every beat, of whom I am a part
I in You and You in me, this stone shall find its place
As you build your Holy Temple and we gaze upon your face

Be still my soul and know just who you serve
Your grace it grants me favor, and not what I deserve
For when you found me Lord, I was surely dead in sin
And then you cried ” come forth my son,” and there was life within

Be still my soul and rest in pastures green
Our Lord has gone before us, to a place no eye has seen
Now rest beside still waters, then rise with each new day
Trust not thy understanding, then He will lead the way

Be still my soul come lay your burden down
Be patient in thy sufferings, and you shall wear a crown
Glory in your tribulations, for they will teach you how
To humble yourself in the sight of the Lord, to bend the knee and bow

Be still my soul then you shall hear His voice
So even in the depths,your heart shall still rejoice
And when the roll is called up yonder and the days they are no more
We shall sing the glories of the Lord on that golden distant shore

Posted in Christian, christian living, Christian poetry, Christianity, church of scotland, end times, Jesus, pentecostal, poetry, revival, spiritual poetry, the crucified life, the deeper life, the gospel, the remnant, the state of the church, theology | 2 Comments »

Sons and daughters of the light?

Posted by appolus on August 12, 2018

I saw a statement the other day, it went something like this “If you voted for Trump you are a racist.” Think about that for a while. Then I thought about another statement I have heard. “If you voted Democrat then you are a baby murderer.” Now let those two statements sink in. As you are thinking about that, I want to say that I know many Republicans, and they are not racists. I actually dont know any racists because if I did we would not last long together in the same room.

In the last couple of years I have been accused of this because I ackowledged some of the good things President Trump has done. Now what about baby murderers which I would argue is worse that racism. I dont know any. I know many Democrats but the ones I know, while they argue philosophically for the right to abortions, they are on the whole, against the concept of abortion. I dont know any Democrat personally who is an out and out lover of babies being murdered. If I did, we would not last long together in the same room.

So where does that leave me or anyone that finds themselves in the same position as me? Well as I pondered that the other day the Lord brought this Scripture to mind, Mat 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Where are our peacemakers today? As the atmosphere grows ever more toxic how do we as Christians respond. First and foremost we should always be found speaking the truth in love. This does not add to the toxicity.

If the truth is spoken in love then it can only counter the toxic nature of the above statements. If I accuse someone of being a racist, even although I know he is not, simply because I dont like his politics, then I am part of the problem. If I accuse someone of being a baby killer, even although I know they are not, simply because I do not like their politics then I am part of the problem.

Let me share with you my view of genuine Christianity. Consider the forests of the world. The trees, through a process called photosynthesis, convert carbon dioxide into oxygen. So, in its simplest form, the tree takes something poisonous from the atmosphere and converts it into life giving oxygen. Christian, do you do that? Or, do you add to the toxic atmosphere. I had to challenge myself with this. Am I a peacemaker? And by that I do not mean am I doormat, but am I am a child of God who brings light into darkness or do I simply add to the darkness.

This is a challenging thought to me considering the times in which we live. We live in a poisonous age where the air is toxic and the forces behind this toxicity are intent on completely destroying all of us. We may not be able to stop this but we do not have to add to the poison. Lord, let me be a child of the light and let me breath in the toxic air all around me and by a process of the light that has transformed my life, let me breath out life giving peace and joy so that at least for me, I am a counter balance against the hatred. Thank you Jesus.

Posted in Christian, christian living, Christianity, church of scotland, end times, Jesus, pentecostal, politics, revival, the crucified life, the deeper life, the remnant, the state of the church, theology | Leave a Comment »

When we gather in a disorderly manner.

Posted by appolus on August 1, 2018

The question for today is, ” Can God bless a people and congregations who stand opposed to the Biblical mandates He laid down?” I want to share a piece written in the 1840s to show that this is not some new teaching or new concerns for the saints. There are examples in every century of God’s witnesses testifying against a disobedient people. Who are these disobedient people who so cavalierly disregard the Word of God? I will let you answer that question for yourself and see how your own gathering or congregation stand up against the Word of God for the Word of God is the measure of all things. We rely upon Scripture alone to provide our goal-posts. We know that cultures and people and this world are ever-changing. New trends, new thoughts, new ideas, but the Word of God never changes. We know that Heaven and earth shall pass away but the Word remains forever. Within it lies the thoughts and commands of God. It is His diary and His auto-biography and every true saint of God loves the Word and is led and guided by it by the power of the Holy Spirit. No revival ever takes place without first the acknowledgement that how we are living or how we worship God is deeply lacking or flawed. This is the beginning of it and the end of it is actual change. If there is no willingness or desire in us to change how we live or how we serve God or how we conduct our services then should we expect any change? It’s a wee bit audacious to cry out to God to come down when at the same time we are willfully ignoring His express instructions on how to gather. Here is the piece by Joseph John Gurney taken from his book of 1842………….

In order to bring our subject to a satisfactory conclusion, we must, in the last place, inquire what was the primitive plan of conducting congregational worship. If the clerical system which crept into the church in times of diminished vigour and purity, and to which the generality of Christians are accustomed in the present day, had been instituted by our Lord, and practised by his earliest followers, there can be no doubt that we should have found ample notices of it in Scripture. We should have read of the congregations of the Lord’s people, each under the presidency, guidance, and teaching of some one appointed preacher who should act as the head, heart, lungs, and tongue of the whole assembly; on whose lips all were to hang; on whose doctrine all were to depend, to the utter exclusion of the rest of the congregation.

Page 162. But so far are we from finding such a pattern in the New Testament, that a directly contrary view is there presented to us. The apostle Paul has given us, incidentally indeed, yet most graphically, a living description of the Christian assemblies for divine worship as they were held in his own day see 1 Cor. xiv. There we find that the vocal ministrations, practised on these solemn occasions, were, in no degree, restricted to the individual tenant of a pulpit; but were completely congregational, conducted under the immediate influences of the Spirit in the liberty of the Holy Ghost. One had a psalm, another a doctrine, another a tongue, another a revelation, another an interpretation. On all were poured forth, under different administrations, the gifts of the same Spirit.

Above all the blessed gift of prophecy, through which the word of truth was freely preached, was liberally diffused by the Great Head of the church so that “all might prophecy” (when rightly called to the work), and all be edified. Here the whole body is represented to us as alive in the native power of truth a joint and united spiritual priesthood, prepared of the Lord to offer up “spiritual sacrifices, acceptable unto God through p163 Jesus Christ.” Now since all the vocal offerings of primitive congregational worship, were thus prompted by the moving of the Holy Spirit, it follows that when no such divine motion was felt, the congregation must have remained in silence. Nor is it, as I apprehend, possible that such a system of worship could have been conducted in true decency and order, on any other basis. “Keep silence before me, all ye islands, and let the people renew their strength; let them draw near, then let them speak.” “The Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him.”

When we gather in These awful commands must surely have been found to have a virtual application to the primitive assemblies of God’s people; composed, as they were, of persons who dared not speak aloud in divine worship, except as the Holy Spirit gave them utterance. At such times of awful silence, the Lord Jesus Christ must have been felt to be present with them, taking the office of Preacher into his own hands, and ministering to every member of the body, according to its need. He is indeed “the Minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which God pitched and not man” our Prophet as well as our Priest, who still speaks, p164 by his Spirit, “with authority” “as never man spake;” and it is only as we are gathered to a living dependence upon his teaching, that we can really grow and flourish in religion, and bring forth the fruits of righteousness to the praise and glory of God. In the whole matter of Christian ministry as its author, conductor, inspirer, and theme, and above all, as He who teaches us immediately by his Spirit our Lord Jesus Christ is, and ever will be, our ALL in ALL. Could we but renounce our dependence on the systems, forms, and contrivances of men, and put the fulness of our trust in His wisdom, love, and power, there is every reason to believe that his truth would spread with wondrous energy; and mightily would that blessed day be hastened when “the kingdoms of this world” shall “become the kingdoms of our Lord; and of his Christ.”

Posted in Christian, christian living, Christianity, church of scotland, end times, Jesus, pentecostal, revival, the crucified life, the deeper life, the remnant, the state of the church, theology | 4 Comments »