Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous’ Category

From the Gospel of Matthew, chapters 5-7

 

And seeing the multitudes, he [Jesus Christ] went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,

 

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.  Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.  Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.  Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.  Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.  Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.  Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.  Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

 

Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted?  it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.  Ye are the light of the world.  A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.  Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.  Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.  For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.  Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.  For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

 

Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.  Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.  Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.  Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.

 

Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.  And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.  And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

 

It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement:  But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.

 

Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths:  But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne: Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King.  Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black.  But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.

 

Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.  And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also.  And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.  Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.

 

Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.  But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.  For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye?  do not even the publicans the same?  And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others?  do not even the publicans so?  Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

 

Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.  Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men.  Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.  But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.

 

 

And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men.  Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.  But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.  But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.  Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.  After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.  Thy kingdom come.  Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread.  And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever.  Amen.  For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

 

Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast.  Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.  But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.  Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.  The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.  But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness.  If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!  No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

 

Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?  Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them.  Are ye not much better than they?  Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?  And why take ye thought for raiment?  Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?  Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat?  or, What shall we drink?  or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?  (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek: ) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.  But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.  Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.  Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

 

Judge not, that ye be not judged.  For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.  And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?  Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?  Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.  Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

 

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.  Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?  Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?  If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

 

 

Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.  Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

 

Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.  Ye shall know them by their fruits.  Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?  Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.  A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.  Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.  Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

 

 

Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.  Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name?  and in thy name have cast out devils?  and in thy name done many wonderful works?  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

 

Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.  And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

 

And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

 

The Church and the World walked far apart On the changing shore of time; The World was singing a silly song, And the Church a hymn sublime.

 

“Come, give your hand,” said the smiling World, “And together we shall go!” But the good Church hid her snowy hand And solemnly answered, “No!!

 

I will not give you my hand at all, And I will not walk with you. Your way is the way of eternal death, And your words are all untrue.”

 

“No, walk with me a little ways,” Said the World with a kindly air. “ The road I walk is a pleasant road, And the sun shines always there.

 

Your path is thorny and rough and rude, But mine is broad and plain; My way is paved with flowers and dews, And yours with tears and pain.

 

The sky to me is always blue, No lack, no toil I know; The sky above you is always dark; Your lot is a lot of woe.

 

My way, you can see, is a soft, easy one, And my gate is high and wide; There is room enough for you and me; So let’s travel side by side.”

 

Half shyly the Church approached the World And gave him her hand of snow; And the false World grasped it, and walked along And whispered in accents low,

 

“Your dress is too simple to please my taste; I have pinks and oranges to wear, Sensuous hues for your graceful form And sprays to fluff your hair.”

 

Then added he, with a shake of his head, Shielding his eyes in the glare, “ It makes much sense in this fierce sunshine Your comely calves to bare.”

 

The Church looked down at her plain, modest clothes And then at the dazzling World, And blushed as she saw his handsome lip, With a smile contemptuous curled.

 

“I will change my dress for a prettier one,” Said the Church with a smile of grace; So her simple garments were stashed away, And the World gave, in their place,

 

Beautiful satins and flowery sheens, With roses and lace and swirls; While over her forehead her bright hair fell In two bouncy, enticing curls.

 

“Your house is too plain” said the proud old World, “Let us build you one like mine, With kitchen for feasting and rec room for play And cabinets never so fine.”

 

So he built her a costly and beautiful house; Awesome it was to behold! Her sons and her daughters met frequently there, Shining in purple and gold.

 

There were cushioned seats for the lazy and rich, To sit in their glutton and pride; But the poor who were clad in humble array, Were scorned ‘til they went outside.

 

Powerpoints and films in the halls were shown, And the World and his children were there. Laughter and music and Ping-Pong were heard In the place that was meant for prayer.

 

The angel in mercy rebuked the Church, And whispered, “I know thy sin.” Then the Church looked sad, and anxiously longed To gather the children in.

 

But some were away at the midnight bowl, And others online did play, And some were hangin’ at Pizza Hut: So the angel went away.

 

Then said the World in soothing tones, “Your children mean no harm— Merely indulging in innocent sports,” So she leaned on his proffered arm,

 

And texted, and chatted, and uploaded photos, And walked along with the World, While countless millions of precious souls Over the fearful brink were hurled.

 

“Your preachers are too old-fashioned and plain,” Said the smart World with a sneer. “ They frighten my children with dreadful tales Which I do not like to hear.

 

They talk of judgments and fire and pain, And the doom of darkest night. They warn of a place that should not be Mentioned to ears polite!

 

I will send you some of a better stamp, More brilliant, educated, fast; Who will show how men their flesh may please And go to heaven at last.

 

The Father is merciful, great and good; Loving and tender and kind. Do you think He’d take one child to heaven And leave another behind?”

 

So she called for pleasing and smart divines, Deemed gifted and great and learned; And the plain-spoken men who had preached the cross Were out of her pulpits turned.

 

Then Mammon came in and supported the Church And sat in a well-padded pew; And preaching and chorals and floral display Soon proclaimed a gospel new.

 

“You give too much to the poor,” said the World, “Far more than you ought to do; Though the poor need shelter, food, and clothes, Why thus need it deprive you?

 

And afar to the heathen in foreign lands Your thoughts need seldom roam. The Father of mercies will care for them: Let charity start at home.

 

Go take your money and buy nice shoes And cars and pickups fine; And phones and iPods and cameras, The latest and costliest kind.

 

My children, they dote on all such things, And if you their love would win, You must do as they do, and walk in the way— The up-to-date way they’re in.”

 

The Church her purse snaps tightly shut And shamefully lowered her head. She whimpered, “I’ve given too much away. I will do, sir, as you have said.”

 

So the poor were pushed out of her mind; She heard not the orphan’s cry; And she silently covered her MasterCard As the widows went weeping by.

 

Thus they of the Church and they of the World Journeyed closely, hand and heart. And none but the Master, who knows all things, Understood they had once walked apart.

 

Then the Church sat down at ease and said, “I am rich and in goods increased. I have need of nothing, and naught to do, But to play, to sing, and to eat.”

 

The sly World heard her and laughed in his sleeve, And mockingly said aside, “ The Church has fallen, the beautiful Church; Her shame is her boast and pride.”

 

Thus her witnessing power, alas, was lost, And perilous times came in; The times of the end, so often foretold, Of form and pleasure and sin.

 

Then the angel drew near the mercy seat And whispered in sighs her name, And the saints their anthems of rapture hushed And covered their heads with shame.

 

A voice came down from the hush of heaven, From Him who sat on the throne; “ I know your works and what you have said— But alas! You have not known,

 

That you are poor and naked and blind, With pride and ruin ensnared; The expectant bride of a heavenly Groom Is the harlot of the World!

 

You have ceased to watch for that blessed hope, Have fallen from zeal and grace; So now, alas! I must cast you out And blot your name from its place.”

  Author unknown; this version taken from The Heartbeat of the Remnant (January/February 2010), 400 W. Main Street Ste. 1, Ephrata, PA 17522.

By Michael McDaniel

Strange title, right? Let me explain. I have a vinyl siding business, and recently purchased a forklift to unload and position 12’ long pallets of siding. Having never operated a forklift before, I learned quickly that the controls were opposite of what I felt was logical. For example, I pushed the lever forward to lift the pallet, since to me that appeared to be “up.” Wrong. It lowered the pallet down instead! Conversely, to lower the pallet, I instinctively pulled back on the lever, which—to me—logically meant “down.” Wrong again. It lifted the pallet up! The first few times driving the new machine, I found myself falling right back into my predictable pattern of dropping the pallet down when I meant to raise it up, and vice versa. I thought about painting the little arrow indentations on the knob with colors that would dictate the proper action. Then the Lord brought back to my remembrance an old saying that could help me with my dilemma—“The way up is down!” That seemed to fit this situation perfectly. Now when I want to lift a pallet, I know that I must pull back on the lever—pull it down! It is totally counterintuitive to me, but, hey, it works! And isn’t that just how it is in God’s economy? The only way “up” is to first get “low” by humbling ourselves. This kind of thinking is foreign to the world’s mindset. In fact, it is downright ludicrous! Everyone knows that if you want to climb up the social ladder, you must promote yourself above others. Then, others will honor you and hold you in high esteem. But that is totally opposite from how God thinks! We learn in Isaiah 55:8-9: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Let’s look at some passages that reveal God’s higher thoughts to us: Mt 23:12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted. Mt 18:4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Lu 18:13-14 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. Now that is forklift theology! Oh, we know these and many other scriptures that teach us that the way up—to be highly esteemed by God—is to be lowly and contrite of spirit. But how often do we find ourselves instinctively pushing the lever forward (to go up), when we should be pulling it back (down) instead? Sometimes we have to drop a few pallets in life before we learn this lesson. And, sadly, many never do learn this lesson. Our crafty foe has led us to be filled with pride and self, and we are driven to be puffed up, up, up! And that is precisely and predictably when we fall down, down, down! Not once, but over and over again. It is kind of like me instinctively pushing the lever up when I should have been pulling it down. Our Lord said that if I “exalt myself” then I shall be abased. On the other hand, Jesus said that if I humble myself … I will be exalted. Not in the eyes of men, but in God’s eyes; and those are the eyes that matter, amen? Humble yourselves Now we come to the application—just how do I humble myself before God and man, so that God will lift me up? Some believe that you cannot rightly “humble” yourself, but that you must be humble inwardly by the new nature in Christ. While I agree with that sentiment to a degree, Scripture clearly says in James 4:10: “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” Again, Peter said: “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.” (1 Pe 5:6) Therefore, we are to actively humble ourselves before God, and employ that forklift theology that says “the way up is down.” How do we accomplish this “descent”? It all begins in our mind Paul said in Romans 12:3, “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” Although there are many aspects of humility, we want to focus in on the idea that humility is having the proper perspective about God, ourselves, and others. The Puritan writer, William Law, said: Humility does not consist in having a worse opinion of ourselves than we deserve, or in abasing ourselves lower than we really are; but as all virtue is founded in truth, so humility is founded in a true and just sense of our weakness, misery, and sin. He that rightly feels and lives in this sense of his condition, lives in humility.[1] True humility does not mean that we denigrate or demean ourselves, or constantly put ourselves down. That is false humility and contrived. Some equate self-abasement with some sort of self-flagellation, beating themselves up. No, a true sense of humility must come after we see ourselves as the sinners that we are, and our need for the Saviour. As we walk in this constant awareness of our nothingness and His all-ness, we walk in true humility. Matthew Henry also expressed this idea: Humility is an estimate of ourselves as we are. It is a willingness to be known, and talked of, and treated just according to truth. It is a view of ourselves as lost, poor, and wandering creatures.[2] How do you see yourself? When we begin to see ourselves for who we really are, it can be very humbling. The more we see God for who He is, and realize what Jesus did for us, the smaller we become in our own minds. God becomes incomprehensibly large, and we shrink in comparison. Suddenly, our “good” does not seem so good anymore, and we realize the limitations of our own goodness. Our self-righteousness diminishes as God’s righteousness grows infinitely bigger. Our selfishness is exposed and God’s self-lessness is magnified. Finally, we realize that our love for others is pitiful compared to God’s love for man. Our perspective begins to change, and we become very small in our own eyes, as God becomes preeminent. Our hearts become a funnel, willingly receiving greater love, joy and peace. (Ga 5:22) As Matthew Henry observed, “humility is founded in a true and just sense of our weakness, misery, and sin. He that rightly feels and lives in this sense of his condition, lives in humility.” Destroy the self life Let’s back up another step. Before we can truly see God for how great He is, we must destroy the power of the self life that feeds our pride. As long as we are on the throne of our hearts, God cannot be. As long as we are large in our own eyes, God will not commune with us. So many Scriptures tell of God’s intolerance of pride and self-centeredness: Pr 8:13 The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate. Ps 138:6 Though the LORD be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly: but the proud he knoweth afar off. Pr 29:23 A man’s pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit. Ja 4:6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. God’s wounds that heal How are we dethroned, so that Christ may reign? There are many ways that this can be accomplished. God may use discipline or trials and tribulations to break down the strongholds of pride and self in our lives. As He does this through His Holy Spirit, self diminishes and God increases. Why? Because any events in our lives that undermine and destroy self, also exalt God and promote humility. J. Gregory Mantle, in his book The Way of the Cross, stated: “True self-discovery wounds our pride and spoils the good opinions we form and cherish of ourselves.”[3] As this happens, the Spirit plants the seeds of humility in a prepared and plowed heart. Humility through serving others As we see God for how great He is, another wonderful thing happens—we begin to become increasingly aware of the needs and interests of others around us. Philippians 2:3-4 says: “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.” As we affix our gaze upon the Holy One, we will begin to also see His children and their needs. This is a sign that the immature selfish believer is becoming a mature selfless believer. He humbles himself and takes up the basin and the towel, as did Christ when He washed the disciples’ feet. The Master-Servant has shown us how to humble ourselves and serve our brethren. Matthew 20:28 tells us: “Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” Roy Hession, in his classic book The Calvary Road, stated: The low position we take toward the Lord Jesus is judged by Him by the low position we take in our relationship with our fellows. An unwillingness to serve others in costly, humbling ways, He takes to be an unwillingness to serve Him, and we thus put ourselves out of fellowship with Him.[4] Another wonderful quotation regarding Christian service is by F.B. Meyer: I used to think that God’s gifts were on shelves one above the other and that the taller we grew in Christian character, the more easily we should reach them. I find now that God’s gifts are on shelves one beneath the other and that it is not a question of growing taller, but of stooping lower and that we have to go down, always down, to get His best ones. In Christian service, the branches that bear the most fruit hang the lowest.[5] Is the way down too hard? Forklift theology is an unpopular theology, and one that is rejected by the world. Even the religious world promotes self-esteem, prosperity, and easy-believism … all easy roads, and well traveled. Many are traveling these “upward” roads today, and few are on the downward path. How is it with you, today? Is what I have promoted too hard, and too unrealistic? Consider the question posed by Roy Hession, in The Calvary Road: Does it seem hard and forbidding, this way down? Be assured, it is the only way up. It was the way by which the Lord Jesus reached the throne, and it is the way by which we too reach the place of spiritual power, authority, and fruitfulness.[6] I am still new to my forklift, and when I want to lift the load, I still instinctively want to push the lever up instead of down. But now that little phrase keeps coming back to me before I push it … the way up is down. True with forklifts … true with life!

[1] William Law, as cited in AGES Digital Library (Rio, WI: AGES Software, Inc, 2000) [2] Matthew Henry; Matthew Henry Commentary as cited in AGES Digital Library (Rio, WI: AGES Software, Inc, 2000) [3] Gregory J. Mantle, The Way of the Cross (Rod and Staff Publishers, Inc.; Crockett, KY; 1993); p.19 [4] Roy Hession, The Calvary Road (CLC Publications; Fort Washington, PA, 2002) [5] F.B. Meyer, Topical Encyclopedia of Living Quotations (Bethany House, Minneapolis, MN: 1982) p. 102 [6] Hession, Ibid

Originally published in The Heartbeat of the Remnant (January/February 2010), 400 W. Main Street Ste. 1, Ephrata, PA 17522.

By Andrew V. Ste. Marie

 

            I ask that you forgive me for my bold title.  I know there is a natural temptation for some to laugh over such a bold title, and for others to take offense.  But it is neither with levity nor with a desire to offend that I write this article.  With a great burden for those who are partaking in the sin of telling their children lies about Santa Claus, I write this as a bold warning, yet in a spirit of love.

            Santa Claus is a lie.  No parent can deny this fact.  It does not need demonstration, elaboration, or discussion.  It is a plain fact.  Santa Claus does not exist.  He is a lie.

            What does the Bible say about liars?

 

 

“These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren” (Proverbs 6:16-19).  (Notice that lying is put in the same category with murder!)

 

“He that speaketh truth sheweth forth righteousness: but a false witness deceit.  The lip of truth shall be established for ever: but a lying tongue is but for a moment.  Deceit is in the heart of them that imagine evil: but to the counsellers of peace is joy” (Proverbs 12:17, 19-20).

 

“Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are his delight” (Proverbs 12:22).

 

“A true witness delivereth souls: but a deceitful witness speaketh lies” (Proverbs 14:25).

 

“A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit” (Proverbs 15:4).

 

“Excellent speech becometh not a fool: much less do lying lips a prince” (Proverbs 17:7).  (Has not Christ made us “kings and priests unto God and his Father” [Revelation 1:6]?  If lying lips are not becoming to a prince, how much less a king and priest?)

 

“A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall not escape” (Proverbs 19:5).

 

“A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall perish” (Proverbs 19:9).

 

“The desire of a man is his kindness: and a poor man is better than a liar” (Proverbs 19:22).  (Would you like to be dirt-poor?  According to Solomon, it would be better for you to be dirt-poor than to tell your children lies about Santa!  Why?  Because “he that speaketh lies shall perish” [Proverbs 19:9]!)

 

“Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles” (Proverbs 21:23).

 

“A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin” (Proverbs 26:28).

 

“They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy” (Jonah 2:8).

 

“Provide things honest in the sight of all men” (Romans 12:17b).

 

“[Charity]…rejoiceth in the truth” (I Corinthians 13:6b).

 

“Now I pray to God that ye do no evil; not that we should appear approved, but that ye should do that which is honest, though we be as reprobates” (II Corinthians 13:7).

 

“And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.  Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another” (Ephesians 4:23-25).

 

“For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth; ) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord” (Ephesians 5:8-10).

 

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (II Timothy 4:3-4).

 

“I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth” (IJohn 2:21).

 

“But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death” (Revelation 21:8).

 

“And there shall in no wise enter into it [the heavenly Jerusalem] any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life” (Revelation 21:27).

 

“For without [the city] are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie” (Revelation 22:15).

 

Please do not think I am yelling.  I want to make very clear the word of God in this matter.  Telling your children about some jolly man who slides down the chimney and leaves presents for them may seem like innocent fun to you, but what does God think about it?  The Bible says “no lie is of the truth” (IJohn 2:21)!

 

            What should the people of God tell their children about Santa Claus?  Tell them the truth: Jesus Christ is real – Santa Claus is not!

 

“For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty” (II Peter 1:16).

 

Originally published in The Witness December 2010.

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