Thoughts and Meditations
Personal comments made by David F. Reagan unless otherwise stated
July 31, 2004
Even There - In Psalm 139, David speaks of
his inability to flee from the presence of God (Psalm 139:7-12). He cannot
escape him in heaven, in hell, or in the uttermost parts of the sea. "Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right
hand shall hold me" (v.10). Wherever he goes, God is already
there. Where are you today? Do you think God has forsaken you? Do you
think that you have escaped God? "Even there" you will find God. He was
there before you showed up. He is there to lead you now. He is there to
hold you up with His right hand. Will you look to Him? Even there?
Younger Jews More Open to Jesus? - Yes, according to Jews for Jesus.
Baptists of Maine Bury Confederate Prisoner - Captured ship's boy buried by members of High Pine Baptist Church on or about July 30, 1863. Identity just discovered.
Hot Tub Baptisms by Bogus Minister - He claimed to be a Baptist minister (among other things) and baptized people. He was found with marriage certificates and may have performed weddings too.
Bible Versions Used by Ministers - New study shows what version of the Bible ministers prefer. The most popular is the NIV. [I'll just keep the King James Bible, thank you.]
Bible for iPod Owners - Free download of King James Bible for iPod users.
July 30, 2004
Game Show Techniques Come to Church - A church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is using the personal response technology used on "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" to liven up the services.
Jesus Becomes Model for Management - The "One Minute Manager" Uses Jesus as a Model for Leadership.
July 29, 2004
Dead Sea Scrolls Exhibit - If you are interested, some of the Dead Sea Scrolls will be exhibited in Mobile, Alabama, January 20 to April 24, 2004.
The Emptiness of Man Accepts Anything - From The Coming Anarchy by Robert D. Kaplan (p.91). "The Nobel laureate Czeslaw Milosz provides the definitive view on why Americans degrade themselves with mass culture: 'Today man believes that there is nothing in him, so he accepts anything, even if he knows it to be bad, in order to find himself at one with others, in order not to be alone.' Of course, it is because people find so little in themselves that they fill their world with celebrities."
Exercise Yourselves Unto Godliness - John Owen in his book Meditations and Discourses on the Glory of Christ (p.61) says in 17th century English, "Men are not so vain as to hope for skill and understanding in the mystery of a secular art or trade, without diligent use of those means whereby it may be attained. And shall we suppose that we may be furnished with spiritual skill and wisdom in this sacred mystery, without diligence in the use of the means appointed by God for the attaining of it?"
Let me say this in another way. Men are not so foolish as to think that skill as a surgeon or a concert pianist can be gotten in dribs and drabs at one's leisure. It takes thousands of hours of applied effort in study, practice, and experience. How can we be so foolish as to think that skill and wisdom in godly living or a profound understanding of God's holy word can accomplished with less devotion?
July 28, 2004
Mel Gibson's Passion - An important and excellent Biblical analysis of The Passion of the Christ by Doug Stauffer. Brother Stauffer is very reasoned and clear in his presentation. However, do not go if you cannot handle anything negative. He also has important material on Harry Potter.
Belief in Hell Helps the Economy - That's right. A study done by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis concludes, "A belief in hell tends to mean less corruption, and less corruption tends to mean a higher per capita income."
Plants of the Bible - Garden in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, showcases the plants mentioned in the Bible. The garden located at Rodef Shalom Congregation synagogue is planted on one-third of an acre of land in the shape of Israel.
The Comfort of God's Immutability - Immutability. That is one of the attributes, or characteristics, of God. A mutation is a change; to be mutable is to be able to change; to be immutable is to be changeless. God is immutable. But this is not just an empty idea. It provides great comfort to the people of God. In Malachi 3:6, God states, "For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed."
Notice the cause and effect of the passage. Because God changes not,
the sons of Jacob are not consumed. Evidently, if God were changeable, He
could take back His promises. And, if He took back His promises, He would
have no reason to preserve His people when they were disobedient to Him.
This truth is not just for Israel. I, too, am thankful that I serve a God
who does not change. Otherwise, I am sure that I would have been consumed
on certain occasions of disobedience and rebellion. What a wonderful God
July 27, 2004
Freedom of Religion: Malaysian Style - The constitution guarantees freedom of religion while it is illegal to print the Bible or Christian materials in the national language. It is also illegal for non-Muslims to proselytize Muslims (although the reverse is allowed). In fact, conversion to another religion is grounds for death under Sharia law that governs such cases.
Three Kinds of People - Genesis 43:32, in reference to Joseph eating with his brethren before they knew who he was, states, "And they set on for him by himself, and for them by themselves, and for the Egyptians, which did eat with him, by themselves: because the Egyptians might not eat bread with the Hebrews; for that is an abomination unto the Egyptians." In this verse we see three categories of people--all of whom were unable to eat (or fellowship) with the others.
Please note that the believer who is right with God cannot fully fellowship with the believers who are in rebellion. However, later, when Joseph's brothers confess their sin against him and repent, they are able to join in full fellowship. We often classify people as belonging to one of only two groups--the saved or the lost. However, this threefold division is also clear in scripture. Consider these titles from 1Corinthians.
This is also seen in the stages of deliverance experienced by the Israelites when God brought them out of Egypt.
The question is, where are you? Are you lost in Egypt? Then you need to
trust in Christ as your personal Saviour. Are you wandering in the
wilderness? Then you need to give yourself entirely to God.
July 26, 2004
Lakewood Park Baptist Church Web Site - Independent, Baptist Church in Davenport, Florida. Great looking church site.
Publishers Run From Book Seen to be Critical of Islam - The book, though written by an accomplished author, analyzes the effect of the Islamic Revival and questions the concept that identifies Islam with peace.
Temple Mount Dangers - Officials fear that Jewish extremists may be planning a plane crash to blow up the temple mount in Jerusalem.
Must Have Ten Lives - Robert Moffat (1795-1883) spent the greater part of his life serving as a missionary in South Africa. He took the gospel to many of the tribes of this region. On one occasion, a tribal chief came and demanded that he leave. Moffat stood in front of his house with his wife and baby in the doorway and declared his willingness to be burned out or to suffer the shedding of blood for the cause of God. The chief left him and commented, "These men must have ten lives, since they are so fearless of death; there must be something in immorality."
July 25, 2004
Beheading Through the Centuries - List of famous people who were beheaded.
The Rose That Bloomed - New book on the early history of Baptists in Oklahoma.
Why Are We Scared to Speak the Truth? - Great discussion of the Palestinian question from a conservative Jewish standpoint. It is not occupied territory.
The Cockroach Bible - New video series called "Roach Approach" tells Bible stories through the eyes of three cockroaches. Video games, books, and toys are planned.
Baptists From Burma - Descendants of the American Baptist Missionary Adoniram Judson move to Minnesota. From the Karen tribe in Burma, they flee political persecution.
July 24, 2004
Less is More - After the Civil War, General Robert E. Lee wrote to his son, Rob, about the farm he was working: "You will gain by cultivating less and cultivating that well." We have a tendency to do many things but to do none of them well. Sometimes, we might accomplish more if we attempted less but did that with all our heart and strength.
Go! - A great outline on The Qualifications of the Soul Winner from Soul Winning: The Challenge of the Hour by Leon F. Maurer (p.55-63).
The Infinity of God - A. W. Tozer in Volume One of The Attributes of God (p.119) speaks of the omnipresence of God. "God is equally near to all parts of His universe. We think rightly about God and spiritual things only when we rule out the concept of space altogether. God, being infinite, does not dwell in space; He swallows up all space. Scripture says, 'Do not I fill heaven and earth?' (Jeremiah 23:24) and that sounds as it God were contained in heaven and earth. But actually God fills heaven and earth just as the ocean fills a bucket which has been submerged in it a mile down. The bucket is full of ocean, but the ocean surrounds the bucket in all directions."
King James Crowned King of Scotland - On this day in history, July 24, 1567, James the mother of Mary Queen of Scots is crowned James VI of Scotland. He is only slightly over a year old. He will later become King James I of England and King James Bible fame.
July 23, 2004
Scattered Abroad - Most people do not know that the Baptist movement in the southern United States was accelerated by an anti-tax movement in North Carolina in the 1760's. This Regulator Movement was squelched by the British and the colonialists (including many Baptists) scattered in many directions. The Baptists planted churches everywhere they went and helped to create the Bible Belt in the South. Compare this to Acts 8:1-4. Article talks about a workshop on the Regulators.
My Heart is Fixed - Check out interesting article on the meaning of the word fix and how it is used in the King James Bible.
New Thought Movement - News of their annual conference. Mixes some of the teachings of Jesus with Eastern religions and more.
No Middle Ground - In writing about the pressures of the coming Revolutionary War in America, Esther Forbes in Paul Revere and the World He Lived In (p.127) states, "Men struggled desperately to keep some middle ground--until that ground was cut from under their feet by the rising tide of emotion, violence, and blood." How often this is true when men take sides on any issue. Those who want to stay in the middle are at one point forced to take one side or the other or else be attacked and destroyed by both sides.
Sermon Monitors Have Arrived - "At least two organizations are monitoring the content of Sunday sermons by U.S. pastors."
Appeal Lost for Malaysians Wanting to Leave Islam - They have already spent two to three years in prison because they declared their intention to leave Islam. You can go and read the rest of the story.
Persecution Continues - More Than 100 House Church Leaders Arrested in China
July 22, 2004
Bound to the Land of the Living - When Baptist historian David Benedict saw the Georgian preacher and church planter Abraham Marshall in the early 1800's, he was growing old in years. Marshall sent a message to his friends in New England. "Tell them that I am yet in the land of the dying, but am bound to the land of the living." When he was questioned on his comment, he explained, "There is no death there, while all things are dying here." From Fifty Years Among the Baptists by David Benedict (p.54)
Not in Rows - After the end of the American Civil War, General Robert E. Lee served as president of Washington College. When asked about the arrangement of new trees that were to be planted on the front campus, he replied, "Not in rows; nature never plants trees in rows." Sometimes we are guilty of putting things in rows that God never meant to be in rows. From Lee: the Last Yearsby Charles Bracelen Flood (p.142).
And All the People Said - In my youth, I belonged to Faith Baptist Church of Knoxville, Tennessee, and my pastor was Ted Willie. Quite often, especially after something good had been reported or a testimony had been given, he would say to the congregation, "And all the people said." The congregation would reply, "Amen." It was only years later that I found out just how biblical this practice was. 1Chronicles 16:36 states, "Blessed be the LORD God of Israel for ever and ever. And all the people said, Amen, and praised the LORD."
July 21, 2004
New Testament Returned to WWII Veteran After 60 Years - Just a nice personal interest story about a strange return of a Bible after 60 years. Reminds me of God's word not returning void (Isaiah 55:11).
Does Islam Allow Apostasy? - I do not know how long it will be available, but there is an excellent article from a Malaysian newspaper that asks, Does Islam Allow Apostasy? It points out a contradiction in Islamic teaching on this subject. The author states, "The operating principle seems to be - ‘Islam stands for the freedom of religion but if its own adherents choose to leave it, they will be punished, or even be put to death.’"
The Soul Winner's Prayer - by Dr. Eugene M. Harrison
Oh, give me, Lord, Thy love for souls,
For lost and wand'ring sheep,
That I may see the multitudes
And weep as Thou didst weep.
Help me to see the tragic plight
Of souls far off in sin;
Help me to love, to pray, to go
To bring the wand'rer in.
From off the altar of Thy heart
Take Thou some flaming coals;
Then touch my life and give me, Lord,
A heart that's hot for souls.
O Fire of love, O Flame divine,
Make Thy abode in me;
Burn in my heart, burn evermore,
Till I burn out for thee.
Custom of Family Preaching - The Baptist Historian David Benedict in his book, Fifty Years Among the Baptists (p. 49-50) speaks of his first visit to Charleston, South Carolina, in 1810 and his stay with Pastor Richard Furman (of Furman University fame). He speaks of a custom handed down from England and then practiced in Charleston. "When a visiting minister was invited to tea among the members, it was expected that he and all company would spend the evening at the house, and that a short off-hand discourse would be delivered." Can you imagine? A preacher comes to visit. After refreshments, you gather the family and anyone else available together and ask him to give some words of help to all of you. Perhaps we should begin a new custom of family preaching.
July 20, 2004
First Baptist Preachers Imprisoned in Virginia - The first recorded instance of Baptist preachers imprisoned for their faith in Virginia was in the county of Spotsylvania. John Waller, Lewis Craig, James Childs, and others, were seized on June 4th, 1768. At their trial, the lawyer accused them with these words: "May it please your worships, these men are great disturbers of the peace; they cannot meet a man upon the road, but they must ram a text of Scripture down his throat." May the Lord give us this kind of courage today. -from History of the Baptists in Virginia by Robert Baylor Semple (p.29-30).
Wonders of Creation - The wonderful richness of creation can be seen in Psalm 104:24 -"O LORD, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches." In this verse we see:
July 19, 2004
America in Crimson Red - New book by James R. Beller; subtitled The Baptist History of America. My comment: GET IT! I just received my copy. This book is excellent! I receive nothing from this. The book is just that good. For information, click here.
Worldwide Need for Bible Teaching - I just checked the last ten people who signed up for our email newsletter. A couple of them did not give any indication of their location. Several were from the United States. But three were from other countries. We had one each from Jamaica, Bahrain, and Lithuania. I thank God for the opportunity to be a blessing to these people. Please pray for those around the world wanting to know God's precious word.
The Abomination of Shepherds - In Genesis 46:34, Joseph informs his brothers that "every shepherd is an abomination unto the Egyptians." While taking nothing from the literal meaning of the passage, this passage has a wonderful application. Egypt, in scripture, is a type of the world. Shepherds are those who as pastors watch over the souls of men They are called to keep the flock (Acts 20:28; 1Peter 5:1-2). We see from the type that this world (Egypt) hates pastors (the shepherds). They are an abomination to Egypt. The Bible further bears this out.
Exclusion From the Kingdom - Recently, I have heard a new doctrine proposed. It is that unfaithful Christians of this age will not be in the kingdom. That is, they will not participate in the millennial reign of Christ on earth, but will be excluded. Some actually teach that they will suffer in the lake of fire during this time because of their unfaithfulness. As it turns out, this is not a new doctrine at all. Appendix 5 in the book called Forgotten Truths written by Sir Robert Anderson is titled "Exclusion From Millennial Kingdom." (on pages 148-150)
This appendix begins, "Exclusion from the millennial kingdom, we are told by some, will be the penalty imposed on Christians who lapse into immoral practices. And in proof of this we are referred to such passages as 1 Cor.6:9, 10; Gal.5:21; Eph.5:5, etc." He goes on to refute this false teaching on the basis that the kingdom of God as mentioned in the epistles of Paul is not a synonym for the millennial kingdom of Christ but refers to the spiritual kingdom of God (see Romans 14:17; 1Corinthians 15:50).
The true believers in Christ have already been translated into the kingdom of His Son (Colossians 1:13). Rather than giving a way into the kingdom, the passages in question (1Corinthians 6:9 and others) are exhorting us to walk worthy of the calling we have and not follow after the perversions of this world. 1Thessalonians 2:12 states, "That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory." 2Thessalonians 1:5 states, "...that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer." As Sir Robert Anderson says, this is "a reference not to the future state, but to the place and calling of the Christian here and now. It is akin to the exhortations of Ephesians 4:1." This is where we are called upon to walk worthy of the vocation wherewith we are called.
So, when was this refutation of the doctrine of millennial exclusion
written? It was initially published in the year 1914--that is, 90 years
ago. There is nothing new under the sun.
July 18, 2004
Chariot of the Cherubims - Mentioned in 1Chronicles 28:18, the "chariot of the cherubims" is part of the design of the Holy of Holies in the Temple of Solomon. This chariot is not mentioned anywhere else in scripture. Neither does there seem to be any hint of a physical chariot in the temple. What is it? Perhaps a hint can be found in Ezekiel 10:1-22. Four cherubims are connected with four wheels and they transport the glory of God. This could be called the chariot of the cherubims. But in Ezekiel 10, there are four cherubim. Solomon just had two made for the Holy of Holies. Where are the other two? They are to be found on the mercy seat that sat on the top of the ark of the covenant. The ark was the only piece of furniture that was used in the tabernacle of Moses that continued to be used in the temple. It had two cherubim (Exodus 25:19). This gave four cherubim surrounding the presence of God at the ark of the covenant. This explains why Hezekial prayed unto the "LORD God of Israel, which dwellest between the cherubims" (2Kings 19:15). These four cherubim made up the chariot of the cherubims.
Persecution of Baptists - Baptist Churches in the former Soviet Union province of Uzbekistan are suffering persecution. A church in the town of Urgench has been stripped of its registered status and been declared illegal. Two of the Baptists of this city have been beaten and threatened with lengthy imprisonment. It seems that Islam is trying to prevent Christianity from spreading. But here in America, we do not even know where Uzbekistan is, much less Urgench. We do not understand the price others have paid for our freedoms. Pray for these believers and others around the world who are suffering for the cause of Christ. See the complete story. See article on the peace and tolerance of Islam.
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