Wednesday, October 27, 2010



Excited Children masquerading as witches, ghosts, goblins, demons, and other grotesque characters skipping through the neighborhood knocking on doors chanting "trick or treat" while holding out a sack in which one is to drop a piece of candy or other goodies ... the party at school, or church, or Sunday School where they bob for apples, tell fortunes, or go through "haunted houses"... decorations of jack-o'-lanterns, witches on brooms, and black cats with arched backs ... It's "Halloween"--one of the strangest days of the year.

Are Halloween activities really just the simple, innocent holiday fun most people believe them to be? Where did this holiday originate? Why is this holiday celebrated?

History provides the answers. Though it was the Roman Catholic Church who designated the October 31st date as All Hallows Eve, or "eve of the holy ones" day, in prelude to their November 1st All Saints' Day, it was earlier pagan peoples who gave the annual holiday the sinister meaning and traditions it still holds.

"The American celebration rests upon Scottish and Irish folk customs which can be traced in direct line from pre-Christian times. Although Halloween has become a night of rollicking fun, superstitious spells, and eerie games which people take only half seriously, its beginnings were quite otherwise. The earliest Halloween celebrations were held by the Druids in honor of Samhain, lord of the dead, whose festival fell on November 1st." 1

"It was a Druidic belief that on the eve of this festival, Saman [Samhain], lord of death, called together the wicked souls [spirits] that within the past 12 months had been condemned to inhabit the bodies of animals." 2

"The Druids, an order of priests in ancient Gaul and Britain, believed that on Halloween, ghosts, spirits, fairies, witches, and elves came out to harm people. They thought the cat was sacred and believed that cats had once been human beings, but were changed as a punishment for evil deeds. From these Druidic beliefs come the present-day use of witches, ghosts, and cats in Halloween festivities." 3

Halloween "was the night for the universal walking about of all sorts of spirits, fairies, and ghosts, all of whom had liberty on that night." 4

The pagans believed that on one night of the year the souls of the dead returned to their original homes. "There was a prevailing belief among all nations that at death the souls of good men were taken possession of by good spirits and carried to paradise, but the souls of wicked men were left to wander in the space between the earth and moon, or consigned to the unseen world. These wandering spirits were in the habit of haunting the living ... But there were means by which these ghosts might be exorcised." 5

To exorcise these ghosts, that is, to free yourself from their supposed evil sway, you would have to set out food--give the demons a treat--and provide shelter for them during the night. If they were satisfied with your treat, it was believed they would leave you in peace. If food and shelter were not provided, or if they were not satisfied. these spirits, it was believed, would "trick" you by casting an evil spell on you and cause havoc.

"The modern custom of 'Trick-or-treat' began in Ireland hundreds of years ago ... A group of farmers went from house to house begging food for the village Halloween festivities in the name of their ancient gods. Good luck was promised to generous donors, and threats were made against those who would not give." 6 Thus these ancient pagan traditions continue today as youngsters, masquerading as ghosts, skeletons, and demons go "trick-or-treating"--begging in a sense for food while promising to refrain from evil deeds.

"It was the Celts who chose the date of October 31 as their New Year's Eve and who originally intended it as a celebration of everything wicked, evil, and dead. Also during their celebration they would gather around a community bonfire and offer as sacrifice their animals, their crops, and sometime themselves. And wearing costumes made from the heads and skins of other animals, they would also tell one another's fortunes for the coming year." 7

"The celebration remained much the same after the Romans conquered the Celts around 43 A.D. The Romans did, however, add a ceremony honoring their goddess of fruit and trees, and thus the association with apples and the custom of bobbing for them." 8

The apparently harmless lighted pumpkin face or "Jack-O'-Lantern" is an ancient symbol of a damned soul. Jack-O'-Lanterns were named for a man called Jack, who could not enter heaven or hell. As a result, he was doomed to wander in darkness with his lantern until Judgment Day." 9

"Fearful of spooks ... folks began hollowing out turnips and pumpkins and placing lighted candles inside to scare evil spirits from the house." 10

Since Halloween is unmistakably pagan in its origin and practice, how did the professing church come to accept and keep such a day? Again history provides the answer.

Ever since the time of Constantine--who made Catholicism the state religion--the Roman emperors realized how essential it was to have a unified empire, where as many as possible would be of one mind. The civil and religious leaders saw how important it was for the sake of unity to allow only one religion within the Roman domain.

A stringent state policy was implemented to force all non-Christians to accept the state religion. The condition for "conversion," of course, made it easy for the pagan population of Rome and elsewhere to "accept" 'Christianity'. Since "acceptance" of 'Christianity' was made simple, refusal was made difficult. This plan resulted in large numbers of the heathen population within the empire to flock into the membership of the church. These people brought with them many pagan practices and celebrations, Halloween merely being one of them.

How could the church deal with this problem? The church realized that to excommunicate these pagans would only reduce the membership of the church. This they were unwilling to do. The church had also learned in past times that it was not possible to force the people into discarding all their heathen practices
and adopting Roman ones.

There remained only one other way.

t was reasoned that if a pagan practice or festival could not be forbidden, let it be "Christianized." Let the recently converted pagans keep certain of their heathen festivals, such as Halloween or All Souls' Day--but label it "Christian." Of course they were asked not to pray to their ancient pagan gods on this day. They would now use this day to commemorate the death of "saints."

"In the A.D. 800's, the [Catholic] church established All Saints Day on November 1st so that people could continue a festival they had celebrated before becoming
Christians. The mass that was said on this day was called All Hallowmas. The evening before became known as All Hallow e'en or Halloween ... It means hallowed or holy evening." 11

"The celebration of Halloween is a survival of ancient pagan beliefs. When the early [Catholic] church was unable to stop pagan practices, it accepted them and gave them a religious tune." 12

Most of the ancient symbols and traditions of Halloween still exist today. Youngsters still dress in costumes and go trick-or-treating, begging in a sense, for food while promising to refrain from evil deeds. And, too, they still light their candles, although much smaller than a torch, and place them inside their pumpkins.

"It is the one night of the year in which a child experiences the emotion of fear, fantasy, and mystery." 13

In advising on what to do on Halloween, The Good Housekeeping Book of Entertainment says: "Orange, black, and red, the devil's colors, are the colors associated with Halloween, and this scheme should be carried out as far as
possible ... Have paper streamers and lanterns hanging from the ceiling, or if you would like to have something less usual, you could make a giant spider web with black and orange strings, or in narrow strips of crepe paper coming from the four corners of the room, complete with a large spider--one of the devil's followers." 14


Bible-believing Christians cringe and shudder at the thought of Satan worship and occult rites. But how many of these same people will dress their children as witches, ghosts, skeletons, or devils and send them out to "trick-or-treat"? How many smile approvingly at the church or Sunday School and youth organizations that have Halloween parties and sponsor "haunted house" activities?

The 18th chapter of the book of Deuteronomy; (vv 10-13) very explicitly forbids Christians to have anything to do with witchcraft, spiritism or the demonic. In verse 10 of that chapter we read:

"There shall not be found among you anyone that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire (this has reference to the worship of the pagan god, Moloch, which was state worship), or that useth divination (a false and pagan counterpart of prophecy; the art or act of foretelling secret knowledge, especially of the future), or an observer of times (astrology), or an enchanter, (to cast under a spell; charm; enrapture; to chant [magic words]), or a witch (divinations in connection with the worship of idolatrous and demoniacal powers), or a charmer (a fabricator of material charms or amulets to be worn especially around the neck as a charm against evil or injury), or a consulter with evil spirits (an inquirer by a familiar spirit), or a wizard (a false prophet, especially a conjurer; one who summons a devil by oath, incantation or magic spell), or a necromancer (one who in one form or another seeks to find information by consulting the dead)."

"Thou shalt not learn to do after their abominations ..." (Deuteronomy 17:9). Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I Am the Lord your God" (Leviticus

It is obvious that the elements, symbols, and traditions of the Halloween observance with its emphasis upon goblins and demons, witches, and skeletons, ghosts, and apparitions rising from cemeteries constitute a dabbling with the very things which Scripture forbids to God's people and an open invitation to demonic activity.

It is at this point that many will say, "But we don't worship demons or Halloween. It doesn't mean the same thing today as it did in the past. It's now just a harmless, innocent time of fun for the children and the young people."

Yet, history clearly shows that Halloween is unmistakably a "religious" (pagan and Roman) holiday. Religion is the adoration, obedience, and service rendered to the object of one's worship. It presupposes profession, practice, or observance of whatever belief and practice--in this case Halloween--as required by some superior authority. It is indisputably clear that Halloween is not commanded or sanctioned by the Lord God--the true Christian's Superior Authority--in the Scriptures.

"Abstain from ALL appearances of evil" (1 Thessalonians 5:22).
"And many that believed came and confessed, and shewed their deeds. Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men" (Acts
19:18, 19).
"Whether therefore ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do ALL to the glory of God" (1 Corinthians

1. Halloween Through Twenty Centuries, Ralph Linton, P. 4.
2. Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th Ed. Vol. 12 pp. 857-858.
3. World Book Encyclopedia, 1959 Ed. pp. 3245-6.
Highland Superstitions, Alexander MacGregor, p. 44.
5. Folklore, James Napier, p. 11.
6. Holidays of Legend, Mildred H. Arthur, p. 87.
7. World Book Encyclopedia, quoted in Atlanta Journal & Constitution, Associated Press,
October 6, 1977.
8. ibid
9. World Book Encyclopedia, 1977 Ed., Vol. 9, pp. 24-5.
10. The Book of Festival Holidays, Marqueite Ickis, pp. 125-6.
11. World Book Encyclopedia
12. Holidays of Legend, p. 87
13. The Book of Festival Holidays, pp. 125-6.
14. Good Housekeeping Book of Entertainment, p. 168.

~~ Written and Compiled by Robert McCurry


I really could not add anything to Pastor McCurry’s excellent, concise study on Halloween, but it is worth noting that many Protestant churches observe Reformation Day on this date, or as a Reformation Sunday on the Sunday immediately following October 31st. This is because 490 years ago, on October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of the church in Wittenberg, Germany and the Protestant Reformation was begun. The Catholic church, and many others would rather you didn’t remember that, but celebrate Halloween instead. An article at Wikipedia, submitted by a Lutheran, which I believe to be accurate, has this to say about it:

“Reformation Day is a religious holiday celebrated on October 31st in remembrance of the Reformation, particularly by Lutheran and Reformed church communities…… On this day in 1517, Martin Luther posted a proposal at the doors of a church in Wittenberg, Germany to debate the doctrine and practice of indulgences. This proposal is popularly known as the 95 theses, which he nailed to the Castle Church doors. This was not an act of defiance or provocation as is sometimes thought. Since the Castle Church faced Wittenberg's main thoroughfare, the church door functioned as a public bulletin board and was therefore the logical place for posting important notices. Also, the theses were written in Latin, the language of the church, and not in the vernacular. Nonetheless, the event created a controversy between Luther and those allied with the Pope over a variety of doctrines and practices. Luther and his supporters were excommunicated in 1520“.

On Reformation Day “The liturgical color of the day is red, which represents the Holy Spirit and the Martyrs of the Christian Church. Luther’s hymn, A Mighty Fortress is Our God is traditionally sung on this day. Lutherans customarily stand during the hymn, in memory of its use in the religious wars of the Sixteenth Century. It is also traditional in some Lutheran schools for schoolchildren to hold Reformation Day plays or pageants that re-enact scenes from the life of Martin Luther. In the 2003 movie Luther, an accurate portrayal of the story of Luther is given".

And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.”
(Revelation 18:4).

Saturday, October 16, 2010


The Shortest Prayer in the Bible!

Matthew 14:22-33

By Charles Woodruff

The Lord Jesus had recently fed the 5000 men, plus women and children, in Galilee. “The importance of this outstanding miracle can be gathered from the fact that it is the only one of our Lord’s miracles to be mentioned by all four gospels.”-Herbert Lockyer (1) The total number fed may have exceeded 10,000 people.

Just afterward we read: And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away. And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone” (Matthew 14:22-23). Jesus was likely in prayer regarding His upcoming ministry in the Gentile regions such as Tyre and Sidon, and perhaps for His coming ordeal in Jerusalem. Isn’t it striking that Christ, the Messiah, was so often in prayer?

After His time of prayer the Lord began the journey to rejoin his disciples, who by this time were about halfway across the Sea of Galilee. His method of travel was different from anything ever seen. As I said in my recent article, Walking on the Water, in our day there are many jokes about walking on the water. I mentioned the famous football coach (the late Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant of the University of Alabama), who was jokingly said to have such abilities as to be able to walk on water. I think we all know that such a feat is beyond the power of mortal men. But Jesus Christ was able to walk on water, and he was doing that for three or four miles to get to his disciples. In my previous article I had said seven miles, but my information was probably inaccurate. The sea of Galilee is not that wide. In total miles, it is about seven miles wide, and is about thirteen miles long. If He was only halfway across, it was not over four miles. Anyway, I would almost wager that you can’t walk that far on water. I would go further and say you can’t walk on water at all! Only the Son of God can do this. He was walking on water in an intense storm! As our text says: But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea” (Matthew 14:24-25). Note that the wind was contrary. It was against them. They were tossed with waves. It was not a pleasant boat ride! “The peaceful calm of the Sea of Galilee can quickly become transformed by a violent storm. Winds funnel through the east-west aligned Galilee hill country and stir up the waters quickly. More violent are the winds that come off the hills of the Golan Heights to the east. Trapped in the basin, the winds can be deadly to fishermen.(2)

These ships of that time were not like today’s modern ships with several decks, individual cabins, a restaurant or two, saunas, swimming pools and a ballroom. This was likely a vessel around 26.5 feet long, 7.5 feet wide and 4.5 feet high. It could hold 15 men. (Really, a boat!) (3)

The point is, such a ship was under great pressure in such a storm. Imagine a man walking on this storm tossed sea as if He was taking a stroll through a park! This was Jesus. The contrary wind did not bother Him. Remember in an earlier incident Jesus was with His disciples on a ship in a storm, and He was asleep. They were scared out of their wits. “And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!” (Matthew 8:25-27)

We are told it was the fourth watch of the night when Jesus approached their ship. By Roman military reckoning there were four watches of three hours each in a night; from 6.00 P.M until 9.00 P.M.; 9.00 P.M. until 12.00 A.M.; 12.00 A.M. until 3.00 A.M.; and 3.00 A.M. until 6.00 A.M.. This happened in the fourth watch, so the disciples had been in the sea for at least nine hours as Jesus approached them. When they saw Him, they thought He was a ghost. “And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid” (Matthew 14:26-27). Some translations have this as Jesus saying “Take courage! I AM! Stop being afraid!” (4) The Greek εγω ειμι (I Am) warrants this reading which reminds us of Exodus 3:14And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.” Also in John 8:58 “Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.”

One of my favorite passages is John 18:4-6 where His awesome power is revealed in a simple answer: “Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye? They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am he. And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them. As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground.” (Note that “he” is supplied by the translators). Jesus Christ is the eternal I AM! (5)

Back in our Matthew 14 narration, suffice it to say that Jesus was once again reminding all of us of who He is, and of His abiding presence, and their protection in His hands. This account is also given in Mark 6:45-56, and John 6:16-21. But only in the Matthew account is Simon Peter’s part mentioned. This is the main reason for this article. I want to tell you about the only other person mentioned in the Bible who walked on water.

“And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?” (Matthew 14:28-31)

Can we believe it was Simon Peter who walked on the water? Most Christians would probably rather be like Paul than Peter. We are probably all more like Simon Peter. Impetuous, outspoken, not always knowledgeable, but sure of himself. Before we criticize him too much, let us recall that there were 11 others in the ship, and none of them volunteered. What did that take? I agree with Scottish minister Dr. Hugh Martin (1822-1885) commenting on Peter “‘And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.’ He walked on the water. Unto Simon Peter it was according to his faith--his faith, grounded on his Master’s personal power and his Master’s faithful word. ‘He walked on the water, to go to Jesus.’ (6)

The Lord didn’t say in His rebuke “O ye of NO faith” He said “little faith”. Peter had a little faith. Maybe more than Andrew, James, John, Thomas, Bartholomew, Philip, James Bar-Alphaeus, Judas the brother of James, Matthew, Simon Zelotes, and Judas Iscariot. (Paul wasn’t there. Paul was not converted yet. That came years later). Which of these on board volunteered? Answer: NONE! But Peter started walking on the water toward Christ. Yes, he did it! The only other man that we know about that has ever walked on water. But, then he saw the wind boisterous (raging), and he took his eyes off of Jesus Christ. Then he began to sink. He was going down in to the raging sea. Was he thinking “this is the end of me?” J.C. Ryle has some good comments here “(Peter) did not reflect that he was nearer to Christ when once on the water, than he was when he first left the ship. Fear took away his memory. Alarm confused his reason,”(7)

But wait; did not Jesus Himself say Come? Can you not believe Him, the Son of God? Yes, you can. So, what did Peter do? He cried “Lord save me!” This is what we call “the shortest prayer in the Bible.” We see it answered. Jesus reached out and took him by the hand and saved him from death. He was already a called disciple of Christ, and to seal the bargain of Peter’s salvation, and ours, Jesus was yet to taste death at the cruel Roman cross. But Peter’s earthly life was here saved in answer to this shortest prayer. We must know that it is not how long we pray, or how short. Not necessarily how fervent (though this one was fervent, I assure you). It was effectual!

1. Peter prayed to the right person. 2. Peter prayed to the point. 3.Peter prayed in sincerity. 4.Peter prayed in urgency. 5. Peter prayed to the one that he knew had the power to answer him.

The Lord gave him a rather gentle rebuke, not harsh. He said to Peter “Why didst thou doubt?” He didn’t doubt at first, but later did. The wind and the waves were not his problems, unbelief was. The Lord has told us “All things are possible to them that believe.” “If you have faith as a grain of a mustard seed, you can say unto this mountain, be thou removed, and it shall be cast into the sea.” Then before you know it, they were all in the ship together on the calm sea. No problem for Jesus to calm a raging sea in your life or mine, blessed be His Name!

“And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.” (Matthew 14:32-33)

Some Good Related Thoughts from Matthew Henry

(See) “The concern Christ has for his disciples in distress: He drew nigh to the ship; for therefore he walked upon the water, as he rides upon the heavens, for the help of his people, (Deuteronomy 33:26). He will not leave them comfortless when they seem to be tossed with tempests and not comforted. When they are banished (as John) into remote places, or shut up (as Paul and Silas) in close places, he will find access to them, and will be nigh them. (3.) The relief Christ gives to his disciples in their fears. They were afraid, more afraid of an apparition (for so they supposed him to be) than of the winds and waves. It is more terrible to wrestle with the rulers of the darkness of this world than with a tempestuous sea. When they thought a demon haunted them, and perhaps was instrumental to raise the storm, they were more terrified than they had been while they saw nothing in it but what was natural. Note, [1.] Our real distresses are often much increased by our imaginary ones, the creatures of our own fancy. [2.] Even the approaches of comfort and deliverance are often so misconstrued as to become the occasions of fear and perplexity. We are often not only worse frightened than hurt, but then most frightened when we are ready to be helped. But, when they were in this fright, how affectionately did Christ silence their fears with that compassionate word (John 6:20), It is I, be not afraid! Nothing is more powerful to convince sinners than that word, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest; nothing more powerful to comfort saints than this, “I am Jesus whom thou lovest; it is I that love thee, and seek thy good; be not afraid of me, nor of the storm.” When trouble is nigh, Christ is nigh." --Matthew Henry on John 6:20


(1) Herbert Lockyer; All the Miracles of the Bible, page 197; Zondervan, Grand Rapids, 1961. Dr. Lockyer went on to say regarding this miracle “This repeated miracle is also referred to a second time in Matthew and Mark, making, in all, six mentions in the gospels. In this prominent nature miracle, the lordship of Jesus over nature and providence is clearly seen. He is concerned about bodily needs, as well as spiritual, and is before us as the All-Sufficient One. Because of His sovereignty, He is capable of creative power exercised on behalf of the needy.”

(2) Todd Bolen; Sunset,;

(3) From an illustration and note in English Standard Version Study Bible on Matthew 14. It is stated that the information and illustration is based on the remains found on the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee of an approximately 2000 year old fishing boat. More information may be found, along with a photo of the reconstructed ship at under “Wooden Boat Reconstruction.”

(4) Amplified Bible, on Matthew 14:27: copyright 1987 Zondervan Corporation and the

Lockman Foundation; Published by Zondervan, Grand Rapids.

(5) See also Interlinear Greek-English New Testament by George Ricker Berry; on Matthew 14:27; John 8:58 and John 18 :4-6; Zondervan, Grand Rapids, 1967 edition.

(6) Hugh Martin, Simon Peter, page 44; Banner of Truth, London; 1967 edition; OOP

(7) J.C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels; Matthew, page 163, James Clarke,

London, 1965 edition

Published by Charles Woodruff- email:

Monday, October 04, 2010



A recent newspaper article told of a man in North Carolina who claimed he could walk on water. He had allegedly told friends in a barroom of his unique ability. He was later found in a local creek-- -drowned!

Of course, most of us are familiar with the jokes about a famous football coach who was so successful he could "walk on water." But in reality we find that walking on water is a human impossibility. The law of gravity says a man will sink to the bottom of the water despite his efforts to walk on it. Yet we read in Matthew, Chapter 14, of One who was able to not only successfully walk on the sea, but he did it in the midst of a storm of apparent hurricane force! Jesus Christ was out walking on the sea in a storm so fierce that his disciples (many of them veteran fishermen), were almost hysterical, so much so that they even thought Him to be a ghost!

Here is the biblical narrative: And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away. And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone. But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God” (Matthew 14:23-33).

How could any man have the power to walk approximately seven miles on the stormy sea? (Matthew 14:24). The answer, of course, is that Christ is no mere man, but the God-man: God was manifest in the flesh” (I Timothy 3:16). He was in the begin­ning. He is the Creator. “All things were made by Him” (John 1:3). The Creator of the universe has every right to do what He will with His handiwork. He is the King! He is Sovereign! So if He wanted to walk on water, He has complete liberty to do so.

It is interesting to note that in the chapters preceding, we have a progressive revelation of Christ first in Matthew 8:27. He rebuked the wind and sea and it was immediately calm. His disciples declared What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him! In Matthew 12, He spoke of Himself as Son of man. Representative man as our second (and last) Adam, to restore what humanity lost in Adam. In Chapter 13, He is the Great Rabbi (teacher), and spoke of Himself as a prophet (v.57). But here in Matthew 14, He clearly reveals Himself as God, and as we saw in verse 33, they worshipped Him as the Son of God.

One of the most striking things about the event recorded here is that Simon Peter when he took his eyes off Jesus began to sink and he cried out, "Lord Save Me!" (Matthew 14:30) He knew he was helpless and that he did not have the power to save himself. So he called on the only One who could save him.

It is important that we who are Christians realize that if we take our eyes off Jesus, and look at the storm, and angry waves of this present day, we too will sink in despair! If we look at the storm clouds of immorality and permissiveness of today which threatens to overwhelm our country in a tidal wave of sin; if we look at all this instead of our Savior, we too may be swallowed up--- in defeat! We must keep our eyes on Him who walks with us in the storms!

Sadly in our day, many have taken their eyes off of Jesus and are looking to other things for salvation. But like the man in North Carolina, and like Simon Peter before he looked to Jesus, those trusting in any ability but Christ's will sink. We must realize we don't naturally have the power to walk on water, nor save a soul. We must urge people to “look unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith” (Heb. 12:2). The One who said "Look unto Me and be ye saved, all ye ends of the earth: For I am God and there is none else" (Isaiah 45:22). This One is the Lord. “I am the LORD I change not” (Malachi 3:6). He is “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). Let us urge men and women to look to Him.

“My disorder was a violent fever: Jesus hath rebuked it. I am raised up once more. Oh may it be that I may minister unto Him! For me to live is Christ. But, alas! How little do I live to His glory. Yesterday (December 16, 1750), I entered upon my seven—and--thirtieth year. I AM ASHAMED TO THINK I HAVE LIVED SO LONG AND DONE SO LITTLE!”---George Whitefield, Vol 2, page 289; American edition published by Cornerstone Books, Westchester, Illinois in cooperation with Banner of Truth, London, 1970. (Emphasis mine, cw) (Whitefield did so little? May God help me who truly has done so little!)

"Let us never for a moment think that our standing is in our sanctification, our mortification, our graces, or our feelings, but know that because Christ offered a full atonement, therefore we are saved; for we are complete in Him. Having nothing of our own to trust to, but resting upon the merits of Jesus—His passion and holy life furnish us with the only sure ground of confidence." Charles Spurgeon Morning and Evening.

“True grace may ebb and flow but never die. Job's complaint ended in the former chapter: in this a hot dispute began. Job having cursed his day, as was indeed a wounding, such as almost at every word, drew blood; and was not only a rod upon his back, but a sword at his heart.” Joseph Caryl on Job.

“Cling to Christ, I say, and never forget your debt to Him. Sinners you were, when you were first called by the Holy Ghost, and fled to Jesus. Sinners you have been, even at your best, from the day of your conversion. Sinners you will find yourselves till your dying hour, having nothing to boast of in yourselves. Therefore, cling to Christ.” J.C. Ryle

Published by Charles Woodruff- email: