Saturday, December 30, 2006


"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God..." (Romans 8:28)
When a shepherd leads his flock over a narrow ledge, with a cliff on one side and a chasm on the other, the sheep have no choice but to follow him along the only path. In the same way, the Lord sometimes surrounds us with so many obstacles that we can't turn to the right, to the left, or even around. The Israelites, after leaving Egypt, would not have ventured to cross the Red Sea if the Egyptians had not been pursuing them. The Apostle Paul and his co-workers would never have gone to Europe to preach the Gospel if the Holy Spirit had not restricted their entrance to other areas. We would not have all the valuable letters Paul wrote if he had not been imprisoned. In our personal life it is easy to recall many incidents when circumstances forced us to do something that did not appear to be the best. We must not forget, however, that these circumstances don't happen by chance, but according to the will of the all-powerful and very loving God
Copied from Herald of Truth, 1978 (underground magazine of the Evangelical Christian Baptists of the USSR, before communism was brought down in Russia)


We come to the end of 2006, and as I finish my latest articles, I am seeing a news report that Saddam Hussein has been executed by the Iraqi government. What this will mean in our soon to be new year, only God knows. We do know this; the King of Kings and Lord of Lords is in total control of all events that shall come to pass. That gives me great comfort to know this; I hope it does for you also.

I do pray that God will grant to you a happy and prosperous new year. “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart: and lean not unto thine own understanding” Proverbs 3:5).

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Enemies of the Christian That Rise Up Against Him

We know that the world, the flesh and the devil are our enemies. We may have our worst problems with the flesh, though that very flesh may lead us to say “the devil made me do it”. The flesh brings the believer these problems:

1. Indifference= spiritual coldness.
2. Ingratitude= unthankful to God.
3. Inconsistency= unstable in all our ways.
4. Inactivity= Not interested in the things of God.
5. Indecency= Immorality, sin, rebellion.
The remedy can be found in Psalm 3:3, 4

-If you believe what you like in the gospels, and reject what you don't like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself (Augustine of Hippo).

-A preacher finished the service one morning by saying, “Next
Sunday, I am going to preach on the subject of liars. As a preparation for
my sermon, I would like you all to read Mark 17.” On the following
Sunday, the preacher rose to begin. Looking out at the congregation he
said, “Last week I asked you all to read Mark 17. If you have read the
chapter, please raise your hand.” Nearly every hand in the congregation
went up. Smiling, the preacher said, “You are the very people I want to
talk to. Mark has only 16 chapters”.
Compiled by Charles Woodruff

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

YOUR SWORD FIRST by Charles Woodruff

A French officer, whose ship had been captured by British Admiral Nelson, was brought on board the latter's flagship. He walked up to the great Admiral and offered him his hand. "No," said Nelson: "Your sword first, if you please."

There are people today who would take Christ's hand. They tell the world they have made a "decision for Christ." They want to identify with Him, at least enough to hopefully receive the benefits of heaven. But, Christ says to them: ''Repent ye" (Mark 1:15 & Luke 13:3). He is saying in essence "Your sword first; you must lay down your weapons of rebellion." You cannot become His friend until He is acknowledged as your Lord (see Romans 10:9; 1 Corinthians 12:3; Colossians 2:6).

You see, repentance is just this — a surrender. And when you surrender you do not keep your weapons. The war is over! You throw yourself at the mercy of your former enemy. The one you opposed and fought has you at His mercy. It is up to Him whether to save you or destroy you (James 4:12). Your will must bow to His or it is not a surrender. In other words, you must acknowledge Christ's Lordship in true conversion.

Of course, in evangelical repentance your surrender includes the idea of agreeing with a holy God that you are a hell-deserving sinner. True repentance does not argue with scripture, which declares that "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). "There is none righteous no, not one" (Rom. 3:10). "And all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags" (Isa. 64:6).

True repentance is a gift given by God's grace as a direct result of His goodness (Rom. 2:4). In 2 Corinthians 7:10 we note that, "For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation," and that this salvation is "not to be repented of." Many there are who have supposedly trusted Christ and yet have turned right around and picked back up their sword. With such the war is not over! “True repentance is inward, not merely external or superficial.” (Sinclair Ferguson)

I believe one of the biggest reasons why present day churches are full of rebels and "nominal Christians" is because repentance is a very missing note in most pulpits. People are not being taught that they are found guilty of treason, by the verdict of God's holy law, against the Lord of glory, and the law pronounces a terrible curse for this (Galatians 3:10; James 2:10). Our only escape is the mercy of God (Rom. 9:15-16).

“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19).

Have you laid down your sword?

"When you see a poor blind man here, you do not loathe him, nor hate him, but you pity him. Oh! But soul-blindness makes you abominable in the sight of God." (Thomas Brooks)

Thursday, December 07, 2006

"The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry."

That is the English rendering of words by Robert Burns (1759-1796), regarded as Scotland's national poet. His original words used the Scots dialect. Burns is considered by many to be a great influence on liberalism and socialism; hence we will not follow him there.

The phrase "Of Mice and Men" was borrowed by American writer John Steinbeck (1902-1968), for the title of his novel of the same name, published in 1937.

So, I borrowed the phrase from these two men to relate to you that my plan to go to Puerto Rico last week fell through. This was to be my fourth trip there and I greatly anticipated it, but, for now, it is postponed. I am needing some extensive dental work, but I thought I could have that done when I returned, yet intense pain changed my mind. I am getting the dental work done now, then, God willing, I will go to PR in late winter or early spring.

Yes, I am disappointed, but yield to the providence of God. One with more authority than Burns or Steinbeck--the Almighty Himself-- speaking through His servant James said: "Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that" (James 4:14, 15). So, Deo Volante (Latin; God willing). I'll yield and gratefully live by that. My dear friends in the churches there were gracious and understanding, thank God.

Saturday, December 02, 2006


David was a type of Christ in many ways including:
David was a prophet as well as a king; so was our Lord.
David was anointed about the 30th year of his life; so Christ, the son of David, was baptized and anointed at 30.
David in his wars had many poor men follow him such as were in debt; so Jesus Christ had many poor men who followed Him, and became His disciples, who were heavy laden under the burden of sin, called a debt.
Adapted from Preaching From Types and Metaphors by Benjamin Keach, Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI, 1972 A.D. edition. Benjamin Keach was a Baptist Preacher in London who lived from 1640- 1704.This work was originally called Tropologia.