COMMENTARY ON ISAIAH
TO BE AVAILABLE ON DECEMBER 10
A number of our friends and readers have inquired concerning the availability of the 1-volume Commentary on Isaiah
which I have prepared for a series of Old Testament Commentaries being published by The Blessed Hope Foundation. I have just learned that the printing has been completed, and the binder is promising delivery on December 10.
Those who are interested in receiving a copy of this hardbound volume may order from me, or directly from the publisher:
The Blessed Hope Foundation
P.O. Box 3505
Lakeland, Florida 33802
The cost will be $10.00 per copy - though an announcement will be made, after the actual release date, concerning the availability of a liberal discount for quantity buyers.
-- Eugene L. Garner
4861 Linview Drive
Rockford, IL 61109
PEOPLE ARE SO STRANGE! spending money they don't have, for things they don't need, to impress folks they don't like!!
THE MIND OF CHRIST -
AN UNRETALIATING SPIRIT
"Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again", (I Peter 2:23).
It is the nature of a fallen and unregenerate heart to resent and recriminate! How utterly alien to the natural inclinations of the human heart is the call of the Master, in the face of cutting taunts and undeserved wrong, to "Overcome evil with good"!
It was in the closing scenes of the Saviour's humiliation, when, silent and unresenting, He stood "dumb before His shearers", that this beautiful feature of His character was most wonderfully manifested. Yet, it beams forth, for our observation and example, in many an ordinary and less prominent incident of His earthly pilgrimage.
When He met Nathaniel, of Cana, in Galilee, He found him clinging to an unreasonable prejudice: "Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?" The cutting remark is allowed to pass unnoticed. Overlooking the unkind insinuation, the Saviour notes the favorable feature of Nathaniel's character: "Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!"
Following His resurrection, He
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appears to His disciples who are cowering in shame - half afraid to face the glance of injured goodness. He breathes on them, and says, "Peace be unto you!" Peter was the one who had the greatest reason to dread the estranged looks and upbraiding words of the Master; but a special message is sent to reassure that trembling spirit that there was no alienation in the unresentful heart he had so deeply wounded; "Go and tell my disciples . . .
Even when Judas first revealed himself to his Lord as the betrayer, it was NOT in bitter irony or rebuke, but in the fullness of pitying tenderness, that Jesus addressed him: "Friend, wherefore art thou come?"
Tears and prayers were His only revenge on the city and scene of His murder. "Beginning at Jerusalem" (in the final commission to His witnesses) was the closing illustration of a spirit "not of this
Our sincere sympathy goes to the family of Sister Janie Lee, one of our beloved members, who was called to be with the Lord on Friday evening, November 2. May her love for the Lord and His church be long remembered (and her example followed) by those dear ones whom she has left behind! E.G.
world" - a significant parting testimony that, in the bosom that uttered it, RETALIATION HAD NO PLACE!
More than one of our Lord's disciples seem to have possessed this same "mind". The conversion of Saul of Tarsus seems to have been greatly influenced by Stephen, who was stoned with the approval (if not at the instigation) of the young rabbi. The participants laid their garments at the feet of Saul as they stoned him who "kneeled down and cried with a loud voice: LORD! lay not this sin to their charge!"
The great apostle to the Gentiles felt himself obligated to faithfully rebuke Peter in the presence of the whole church at Antioch. And he recorded that rebuke in his Galatian epistle - to be handed down from age to age as a humiliating evidence of the wavering inconstancy of his fellow - laborer. Peter must have felt deeply the severity of that indictment! DOES HE RESENT IT? He also puts on record, long afterward, in one of his epistles, a sentence regarding his rebuker. He writes: "Our BELOVED BROTHER PAUL!"
When tempted to utter a harsh
word, or give some hasty, cutting answer, let us endeavor to check such a carnal display by asking ourselves: "Is this what Jesus would do?" If a brother prove unkind, inconsiderate or ungrateful, let us refer the situation to God!
Let us learn to speak of other's faults ONLY WITH GOD, in prayer - manifesting more sorrow for the sin of the censorious and unkind than for the evil inflicted upon ourselves.
RETALIATE? No such word should have a place in the Christian's vocabulary. RETALIATE? If I cherish such a spirit toward a brother, how can I possibly come before the throne of divine grace with any sort of boldness - knowing how dearly God loves that brother? "But ye have not so learned Christ."
Let us ARM OURSELVES WITH HIS MIND!
(With Apologies to Rudyard Kipling)
If you can keep "the faith" when those
Are losing it and seeking something new,
If you can stand the firmer though they
As being simple and old fashioned, too;
If you can put your hand in Christ's,
The marks of Calvary's scars upon your
Can gladly say "Amen" to all His dealing,
Or change the sigh into a joyous psalm.
If you can laugh when human hopes
When castles fall and cherished
And just keep on, though earthly props
Content to see the pattern by and by;
If you can meet abuse without complaining,
And greet your unkind critic with a
If, conscious that your human love is
You claim a Calvary love that knows
If you can bear the unjust imputation
Without a murmur or revengeful thought,
And even forfeit rights and reputation,
Because His glory is the one thing
If you can give an honest commendation
To him whose work looms larger than
Or scorn to speak the word of condemnation
To him who falls, or reaps what he
If you can give consent to Calvary's dying,
And live again in resurrection power,
If you can claim the victory, not by trying,
But resting in His triumph every hour;
If you can be content with His provision,
Though others seem to prosper & succeed;
Nor let repining mar the heavenly vision,
And simply trust in God for every need.
If you can let the mind of Christ possess
To think on "things of good report"
And ever let the love of Christ obsess you,
Constraining everything you say and do;
If you can find in Him your highest
Let Him hold sway o'er heart and soul
Then life is yours, and blessing without
And - what is more - YOU'LL LIVE AND
REIGN WITH HIM!
-- Reginald Wallis
THE DISCIPLINE OF LOVING CARE
Within the body of Christ there is a mutual responsibility to watch over one another with brotherly love. But true "discipline" is foreign to the understanding and practice of most churches today. Either there is no discipline at all, or, what is called "discipline" is nothing short of RASH INCONSIDERATENESS - both of the divinely given rules of discipline, and the welfare of the one toward whom the action is directed!
Permit me to submit a number of things that seem essential to "the spirit of Christ" and of the Word of God in the consistent exercise of Church Discipline.
1)It will involve such "self- discipline", on the part of the mature, as will set a high and holy
example for the weak - inspiring them to a walk of holiness.
2) There will be patient instruction in the way of righteousness.
3) We will lovingly admonish one another toward the "strait and narrow way" which leads to the fulness of life in the kingdom of God.
4) We will faithfully encourage and commend one another in all that is right.
5) Girding ourselves with humility, and with the rebuke of gentle care, we will wash the feet of the erring brother with the cleansing and purifying "water of the Word".
6) With careful considerateness, we will get under the burden of a fallen brother - helping him to stand, and to bear his load.
7) When every other (preceding) effort has failed, we will openly withdraw fellowship from the one who stubbornly persists in his rebellion and sin - delivering him unto Satan until he learns the rigorous wretchedness of bondage to sin, and, with repentant heart, returns to acknowledge the rightful lordship of Him Whose "yoke is easy" and whose "burden is light" (because it is divinely-tailored to each individual need). E.G.
EDITOR IN KANSAS
Materials for this issue are being prepared early so that the editor may be with Pastor Melvin Gray and his brethren, in Garnet, Kansas, on November 15-16 for a Bible Conference. He anticipates a time of blessing in the fellowship of the Gospel!