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The Limitations of Science

John Lennox describes the limitations of science.

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Glorification

In a world where believers are strangers and pilgrims the thought of heaven and home is a great hope and comfort. This world is not our home and there is something much better ahead for God’s people. As the old song says, “if heaven’s not my future home, Lord what will I ever do, my treasures are laid somewhere beyond the blue.” It is not just the place and all the joys associated but it is the person of the Lord Jesus that makes the destination compelling.

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What We Ought To Do

 

If I had entitled this article “What I ought to do” you might have thought, “If he knows what he ought to do why doesn’t he quit talking about it and just do it?” If I had written “you” instead, some might have decided to bypass this article altogether. But the title reads “we” because both of us need to pay attention to what the Holy Spirit says about our privileges and responsibilities. There are things we should be doing, or doing with greater zeal. So before you turn away, think of this article as a reminder to us both. Peter’s second letter had that character. He was deeply concerned that we not only gain access to the kingdom of our Lord and Saviour, but that we have an abundant entrance into it. For that reason he says, “I will always be ready to remind you of these things even though you already know them… to stir you up by way of reminder… (that) you may be able to call these things to mind… stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder”, (2 Pet. 1:12-15; 3:1).

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Preach The Word 2 Tim. 4. 1-5

’Preach the Word’ was the subject of brother Burnett’s ministry at the Ontario Worker’s and Elder’s Conference 2014. This message has been transcribed, and edited for publication in Counsel as follows.

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Apostles Doctrine

In Acts 2:42 those who responded to Peter’s first gospel address on the day of Pentecost were baptized and continued steadfastly in the Apostles’ doctrine, and in fellowship, and in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.

The step of obedience by being baptized showed their inward faith in the Lord Jesus was not a passing phase but a real genuine experience. For many it put their lives in danger, exposing them to all kinds of persecution, hardships and even death itself.

The first thing recorded of them was they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine (teaching). This means they were totally committed to being taught by the apostles’ and did not through all the circumstances they would pass deviate away from it.

Apostles’ Doctrine Revealed

We must remember what was given to them orally is now brought to us through the printed page. Every time the Epistles are read we have what they heard. Now how committed are you to it? What began in the first church in Jerusalem became a pattern for all to follow.

Paul, in a later day bringing the gospel to the Gentiles, established new churches following what was already set in place. It is said of the Thessalonians “they became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word with much affliction, and joy of the Holy Spirit (1:6). You became followers of the Churches of God which in Judea are in Christ Jesus (2:14).”

Apostles’ Doctrine Applied

There was a recent question asking why some are leaving our assemblies and seeking other places. While there are a few who do leave, there is a great group of young people staying and they have a thirst for the Word of God. This article is to encourage you to take heed to the words of Paul to “give attention to reading, exhortation, to doctrine” (1 Timothy 4:13).

He also exhorts to “meditate upon those things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all. Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine, continue in them, for in doing this you will both save yourself and them that hear you” (4:15-16 NKJV). This means the Word of God provides a good foundation for life individually and commits you to the assembly corporately.

Apostles’ Doctrine Inspired

“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped in every good work.” You will notice in order for us to be fitted for true godly living and service we need a right understanding of the Holy Scriptures.

Everything we are taught in Scripture comes not from the ideas or theories of men or women but what is given to us from God through His apostles’.

Apostles’ Doctrine Rejected

In writing to Timothy, Paul tells him to warn the Ephesian assembly to teach no other doctrine, (1 Timothy 1:3). There is a danger when we move away from the truth which was taught and pay attention to fables, genealogies, which minister questions rather than godly edification, (1 Timothy 1:4).

This is an age where there is a constant questioning of what we believe and practice bringing in the condition of 2 Timothy 4:3 “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, heap for themselves teachers who will turn their ears away from the truth and be turned to fables.”

Our attitude to the Word of God determines whether we will obey it or not!

Reprinted from www.assemblyhub.com/apostles-doctrine/

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A Holy Man, A Man of God

A Holy Man, A Man of God

After a meeting in Korea, a woman said to me, “You are a holy man, a man of God.” I felt embarrassed, humbled, speechless. Me? A holy man? A man of God?

But should we not all be holy men and women, men and women of God? What does it mean to be holy, a man or woman of God?
When the tabernacle was completed there were consecration ceremonies to consecrate it with all of its furniture and vessels to the service of God. There was also a solemn service to consecrate the priests to their holy work. “And you shall take the anointing oil and anoint the tabernacle and all that is in it; and you shall hallow it and all its utensils, and it shall be holy”(Ex. 40:9 NKJ).

The priests were consecrated previously. “And this what you shall do to them to hallow them for ministering to me as priests” (Ex. 29:1). Aaron and his sons became holy men, set apart to serve God as priests, holy men. Who are the priests today, hallowed for ministry to God? Peter emphasizes that today all believers are priests: “…a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” (1 Pet. 2:5). Today all believers are priests, hallowed to God to serve Him. The priest was a priest twenty four hours a day and was to live a holy life, a pure life for God. Hence Peter exhorts all Christians, “…but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, ‘Be holy for I am holy’”(1 Pet. 1:15-16). Remember the dignity of your calling as a priest and live a holy life.

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Editorial: The Appearing of Jesus Christ

“Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: that the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:” (1 Peter 1:6, 7)

Peter points the weary strangers to what he calls ‘the appearing’ – or has some translate it – ‘the revelation of Jesus Christ’ This is not the mystery of the rapture that Paul speaks about, when the church shall be taken to be with Christ. Peter points to the second coming of Christ at the close of the tribulation period when Christ shall visibly return to the earth to establish His kingdom.

The Certainty of His Coming

He really is coming again. The Old Testament prophets said He would come. There are scores of references but consider this one from Zechariah 14:4, 5, “and His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem….And the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.” Or consider these famous words of Daniel found in chapter 7 and verses 13 and 14, “I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of Man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.”

The New Testament apostles said He would come. Paul spoke of His second coming in 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10, ”…when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ; who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power, when he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe…” Peter spoke of His second coming in the verse quoted above (1 Peter 1:6, 7). John spoke of His second coming in the book of Revelation. Consider Revelation 1:7, “Behold, he cometh with clouds, and every eye shall see him, and they also who pierced him; and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.”

The Lord Himself said He would come. Of the many references here is one from Matthew 27:30, “And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven; and then shall the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.”

Both Old and New Testaments are unmistakably clear that the Lord Jesus Christ is coming again.

The Clarity of His Coming

When our Lord left this earth most did not know Him.  Among those who did opinions were divided. Even after the miraculous witness of the early apostles many rejected the testimony about Him. Today men and women know little of Christ. Through the enemy’s efforts of confusion many are unclear who He really is. Our role as believers to give witness to Him and shine as lights in this world.  But on that day, there will be no doubt who He really is. He will shine in power and great glory. The vision of Isaiah 6 witnessed by the prophet saw the whole earth filled with His glory. This will be seen the day of His return. There will be no doubt who He is. Every knee will bow to Him.  What a privilege is ours to bow the knee to Him now!

The Compensation of His Coming

Peter has more to tell us. He links the ‘trial of your faith’ with His second coming. He tells us that our tried faith will be ‘found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ’ This echoes Paul’s words of 2 Corinthians 5:17, “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,”  Do you wonder why you pass through times of trial and difficulty?  Why do God’s people suffer? Is this normal Christian experience? Yes. We will meet our trials again, except we will hardly recognize them. They will be found to give us glory and honour. A glory and honour we could not obtain any other way than by the way the Lord led us through life. Its storms and its sorrows. Its tears and its trials. In all of these He will compensate us at that future day.

Yes, He is coming. The church looks for the rapture when we will be taken away. But we look too for His second coming when He will be seen in glory, a glory that we too shall share.

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New Website

Counsel launches it’s new website.

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The Emotions of Christ

In the events surrounding the last of the ‘signs’ of John’s Gospel – the raising of Lazarus, we get an insight into the heart and soul of the Word made flesh. It commences with the encounter that Martha had with her Master on the road as He approached Bethany. John is fulsome in the detailed discussion that took place and would indicate that all the while Martha was standing as they conversed. Her opening remark “Lord if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died” has the feeling of a rebuke. Whereas Mary, while she used the same words said them on her knees weeping in an attitude of adoration and worship. This attitude corresponds with Luke’s account of the Lord’s visit to Martha and Mary’s home. The former over wrought, complains that she is left alone to serve while Mary sat at His feet. The word ‘weeping’ used of Mary and those who were with her was really a wailing, customary of those times. Whereas the word used by Jesus means the tears were running down His face! Divine eyes shedding human tears.

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The Seven Churches: Part 3

This is the third of four articles examining the seven churches by way of exposition and practical application. All Bible study should have these two elements: what does the passage mean to those who received it and what can I do about it today? None of us live in any of these cities, our location and circumstances are different but there are lessons for us.

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