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  1. Redemption (salvation, rebirth, etc.) is not something one can grow in, for its operation exists only in a single degree, i.e. one soul cannot be more saved than another. Thus the sole difference between those reborn lies within the maturity of understanding and application of all that Scripture and the Spirit of God teaches. To know by Spirit-given faith (Gal 5:22) the efficacy of Christ’s expiation for sin is to manifest in one’s lifestyle (walk) evidence of being forgiven by our loving Father. This manifests “union” with Him, but “fellowship” with Him involves a progression from mere union, as forgiveness is but the beginning of learning the love of God via obedience of His “Word of Truth” (2Co 6:7; Eph 1:13; 2Ti 2:15; Jas 1:18). NC Proceed To Progress Is it not a strange, humbling and prevalent fact that so few Christians should understand their own Christianity? Yet it is true that there are many saints in the Lord Jesus who know more about the Jews than they do about their own Christianity. Pay close heed to this, lest it be your own case. It is always the truth most important to us that the devil tries to hide away from us, and turn us bitterly from it. Nor is it only the bad thing that he perverts, to hinder our blessing. For many true believers are kept back because they refuse to look for more than the forgiveness of their sins through the Gospel. Now therein is God’s righteousness revealed by and to faith (Rom 1:17); therein the sinner owns the riches of God’s grace to his soul: but to stop there is altogether unworthy. So many saints of God fall into this snare at the present moment, that it is well to see to it that we ourselves escape it. What is the good of occupying ourselves with what does not promote our Father’s glory? Let us seek in all integrity to judge ourselves. Let us zealously seek to be taught by the Spirit (1Co 2:13). Let our eyes be fixed on the Lord Jesus that we may be filled with fervor of spirit, and purpose of heart, simple and thoroughgoing. The question for our faith and practice is the attitude that our Father assumed toward us, and our relation to Him while the Lord Jesus is above on His own right hand. How is the answer to this great truth to be carried out on the earth in the heart and way of those who believe? Must it not be through faith “working by love” (Gal 5:6)? “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Eph 1:3). It was His God and Father that raised the Lord Jesus from among the dead, and gave Him glory, that our faith and hope should be in God, His Father and our Father, His God and our God (Jhn 20:17). As in the rest of the New Testament it is not just the God of Abraham, etc.; but here, “the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” It is no longer just the revelation of the God of Abraham, of Isaac and of Jacob. You naturally become more or less of a Jew in this case, and your heart cannot then rise higher than “the promises made to the fathers” (Rom 15:8 – I believe the patriarchal promises relate primarily with inheriting the new earth, e.g. Psa 25:13; 37:9; 37:11, 22; 82:8; Isa 49:8; Mat 5:5—NC). Hence so many believers now, like the Reformers and the Puritans in former days, talk of grasping the promises. This is to ignore and lower the privileges of the Gospel and of the Church. It loses sight of the Lord Jesus Christ in heavenly glory, after the work of the Cross. Every Christian ought to understand and appreciate the total difference (chiefly between those inheriting the New Heaven and those inheriting the New Earth—NC). Therefore, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2Tim 2:15). - Wm Kelly (1821 – 1906)
  2. Correction on last article. Not “food” but "flood threat," which some have suspected I meant. God be blessed!
  3. (Thankful to be back after a short food-threat that forced my family to temporarily move most of our things. It appears that we will not return to our residence until July, which is when the threat should expire. Thank You God! NC) Man’s only contribution to Christianity is to the naming its title. All that it is in content has its origin and operation solely in the Lord Jesus. It must be a separate system, unlike any that will ever be, in order that it, and He in it, can provide the only available source as an “anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast” (Heb 6:19). NC Originally and Eternally Heavenly Two efforts of the Enemy are characteristic of the present day, and go along together with the humanizing (Jesus had a human body but not the human nature—NC) of the Lord Jesus, and the giving a worldly character to Christianity (Christianity is that which is only from Christ and has nothing from man, but to man—NC). This leads to multifarious forms of human religiousness and of earthly organization, having little or nothing in common but this, that they exhibit practical departure from heavenly principles and grievous independence of the Divine Persons. It is therefore of no little moment that we should recognize that Christianity in its vary essence is as heavenly as He who constitutes it. Many are they who accept its divine authorship have never adequately apprehended it to be an absolutely heavenly thing, in an earthly locale. But practically we find that the less it is apprehended as heavenly, the less also will its divine aspect be before the soul. For this we may safely predict, that it is impossible to understand its character and its scope, unless in its origin, in its essence, in its operation and in its end, it is seen to be altogether a heavenly product for a heavenly purpose. Outside a very small circle, how rarely do we meet a saint who understands his parentage, and occupies according to God, his present portion! How contracted and how erroneous are the commonly-prevailing thoughts of what Christianity is. How little it is accepted as the reflection of a heavenly Christ in a heavenly people redeemed from the earth, who are here only for Himself and looking for translation at His coming. “The first man of the earth, earthly” had been running his carnal and material course for forty centuries here below, before “the Second Man” paid a visit of three and thirty years to the same scene, have been sent into it in grace to “the first.” As man, He was, He is, “the heavenly,” and by this title is contrasted with “the earthly.” In God’s reckoning He was “second Man,” for all before, God counts as one; and He was “last Adam,” for there could be no more after. But more than this He was “from (or out of) heaven” as the first was “out of the earth, made of dust.” Refused and cut off from the earth, having nothing, He is now the risen Man in the glory of God, and alike in incarnation and in resurrection is He “the heavenly”—there, now and eternally! Further, as is He “the heavenly, such also are the heavenly (ones)” (1Cor 15:48). What is now before us is a matter of race, and as to this we are born of God, are “partakers of the divine nature” (2Pe 1:4). The One “who lived, who died, who lives again,” has redeemed unto Himself a chosen race of which, as the risen Man He is the glorified federal Head, and this Word—“As the heavenly, such also are the heavenly”—so constitutes Christianity in its very essence. Every bit of it which is a genuine thing before God, expresses in word or in deed, the cardinal truth that man is in the glory of God, and God is glorified thereby. One who was once visible upon the earth, “in likeness of sinful flesh” (sinful flesh; not the body but appearance of the sinful nature, for the body is not sinful, though is used sinfully - Rom 8:3—NC), sits now in a glorified, but no less real, positive human body in the Father’s throne. From the glory of God, from the throne of the Father, and in the risen exalted Man who fills heaven with His peerless presence, Christianity has its origin; and in the power of the Holy Spirit alone, it has its activities in so far as they are according to God. “When He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right had of the Majesty on high” (Heb 1:3)—marks its starting-point, both as to time and place. It is thus “the heavenly” gone back to heaven—man in the glory of God—in whom it takes its rise; and it is this fact—the parent truth of Christianity, which imparts to it its distinctive character. It is a divine thing as He is divine; it is heavenly as He is heavenly. - R Beacon MJS excerpt (bookmark link for daily reading) for MAY 17: “There is a great difference between a foe, and; defeated foe. A conquered enemy can be put to valuable use in the hands of the victor, and that is exactly what God is doing with that old serpent. Satan is allowed to sift, and try the believer; he is used of God as a winnowing machine to clear away the chaff in us.” – MJS http://www.abideabove.com/hungry-heart/
  4. For a saint to have solitude is of the deepest importance, because it is then the heart renews its acquaintance with the Lord Jesus, who only has entrance into our most solitary retreats. When we are thoroughly alone and apart, He loves being our sole companion; it is, so to speak, the time for Him to be like the ray of light which permeates into the dark cavern wherever it can; and to the inmate of the cavern never was light more prized. I believe there are two things learned in solitude that cannot be gained otherwise—one, that I see myself apart from everyone and everything, a very necessary matter; and the other, that I see the Lord in quite a peculiar light, in a singular and unique way, apart from everything and everyone. His individuality, blessed be His name, comes out to me in solitude in a way it never does in a crowd. Canticles give you very much the idea of this: what one is to oneself when quite alone, and what He is to one thus alone. When I am alone with Him, He obtains His singularly pre-eminent place; not just as a Savior, though He is ever that to faith; but He is known to the heart as the sun. He “rules the day” (Gen 1:16), so that when all other objects are visible, He is still entirely preeminent, and the sense of His supremacy, well-known and well-sustained, is the most effectual resource for the heart all the day long and abides with it through its most anxious encounters. In solitude with Him, the value and resource He is to the heart is learned, and when busied in responsibilities, it turns to Him as the needle to the pole, or as the flower to the sun. Where the soul has acquired the sense of His sovereignty in its solitude, when it has to return to others and to duties, everything falls in relation to Him. He is first, and things and people assume and derive importance, not as to whether they are pleasing or otherwise, but as they relate to Him. If you make the claims on you as being the sun of your system instead of the Lord Jesus, whatever seems to come short throws your day into darkness, because the claims are not answered to as you desire them to be, and there is the sense of an eclipse. If the Lord were the distinct known magnet to you, every responsibility would be less anxious, and you would fulfill each better; and instead of being saddened and disappointed, you would hear Him saying, “She has done what she could” (Mar 14:8), and with this you would have a weight that would render whatever you did more appreciated. It is not the amount one does, nor the consciousness of one’s own usefulness which makes one happy in serving, but the assurance that one would be called on and used in case of need. Love never likes to see its object needing, for it serves because it loves. Do not try to arrange your world with only a lamp in your hand; for if you had a sun, all would be easy enough! It is in solitude with the Lord Jesus that one learns to find Him as the sun. When the heart has found its rest and satisfaction in Him, it can turn to Him naturally and continually in every circumstance. - J B Stoney
  5. Hi and God's blessings to all! I'm a retired High School Auto Mechanics teacher since 2010 and have been using much of my time for the last 10 years in the fellowship of God's Word on about a dozen sites. Blessed be God!
  6. Appreciate the greetings all, and thanks LM for the replies!
  7. The materials are out of print and are 300-400 years old, which of course can no longer hold a copyright. They are spiritual growth teachings mostly from the Plymouth Brethren and I've been sharing them on a dozen sites or so for about 10 years. Thanks for the information! I suppose I can post them on The Reading Room but I keep getting this message - The page you are trying to access is not available for your account.
  8. Hi and God bless! I was wanting to know the best place to post spiritual growth materials. Thanks!
  9. When anyone reborn in Christ is asked how they are doing, they can always reply (should they desire, even if in tears) “I couldn’t be doing better!” “How’s that so you may ask?” The blessed answer is that regardless of your situation, you are never without the Father (Jhn 14:23)—in the “life” of the Lord Jesus (Col 3:4)—via Their Holy Spirit (Jhn 14:16). The more God works this in our hearts and minds, the greater we will possess Their peace and love with all around us, which ever leads us to remember to wait on God in complete trust and patience at all times! NC The Perfect Work Of Patience “Strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, unto all patience” (Col 1:11). I shall find plenty of difficulties in the way, and temptations of all kinds—possibly death, as has often been the case in some countries; but we are strengthened with all might. There is the strength! I have been brought into close relationship and fellowship with my Father, and there I get this power. Unto what? “Unto all patience” (myself, I find that patience is the primary indicator concerning the degree of maturity in our faith, because “patience” is the place where we “possess” our “soul” - Luk 21:19—NC). This sounds a poor thing, but you will find it is just what tries you. “Let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing” (Jam 1:4). Are you always patient? Do you not want divine power for it? I many want right setting in the church, or in the Lord’s work, or in a thousand things; but I must have patience (not so much to show we are exercising it but that God is working it in our souls, ever increasing our trust, i.e. faith—NC). I must wait on God. I can take things meekly and quietly with others; and then if that is the case, my life is in full display before the Father, and there is enjoyment in Him. I enter into all this blessedness and not merely “made meet,” but “giving thanks” (Col 1:12), because I am ever in the positive blessed enjoyment of it all. When I am walking in patience of heart and longsuffering, my soul is with the Father. I get the blessed enjoyment of what He is, and I grow in the knowledge of Him. “To him that hath shall be given” (Mat 13:12). If I am honest, I say, “I do not know what His will is”; perhaps there is something in myself that I have not yet detected. Here I have all these exercises; but it is in the sense of the divine favor resting upon me with the consciousness of a child of God. The more a child is with his father, and delights in him, of course the better he will grow up understanding what his father likes. It is so with us before our heavenly Father. “Strengthened with all patience.” You will find there is nothing that tests the strength of your soul like waiting for your Father. We think we must do things that we think right; we must learn rather to wait. Take Saul, for example in 1Sam 13 (cf. 11-14—NC). He ought to have waited, and said I can do nothing. We have but a little while to go through the wilderness, but it is always with the Father! Now, beloved, I only ask—and earnestly ask you—is your soul free with your Father, reconciled to Him? Are you in His presence in virtue of the Cross? There I have perfect righteousness against sin; and I find peace and rest, not merely rest but God’s rest. For He rests in His Son, and in the blessedness of all those He has brought nigh in His Beloved. The Lord give you to see the position where He has brought you (union now and forever—NC), and in the consciousness of your fellowship with the Father, to set forth, and to “walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God” (Col 1:10). If you look to your Father and get into His holy presence, do you realize perfect liberty with Him? Poor unworthy creatures we certainly are in ourselves (and in the light I see more how worthless I am in myself); But my Father “spared not His own Son” on my behalf (Rom 8:32). There is no doubt or cloud as to that which He is for our souls, because it has been perfectly revealed to us in the Word of God, as it has been proven in the Lord Jesus Christ Himself on the Cross. - F G Patterson Viewers who like these type of materials will find Miles J Stanford’s daily devotional an integral part of these spiritual growth teachings, as they directly complement one another, being from like authors (circa 1700’s-1800’s). Below is the link to retain and an excerpt from his daily devotional “None But The Hungry Heart”: “We are all of us prone to forget the weighty fact that ‘God trieth the righteous.’ ‘He withdraweth not His eyes from the righteous’ (Ps. 11:5; Job 36:7). We are in His hands, and under His eye continually. We are the objects of His deep, tender, and unchanging love; but we are also the subjects of His wise moral government. His dealings with us are varied. They are sometimes preventive; sometimes corrective; always instructive.” – C H Mackintosh (1820-1896) http://www.abideabove.com/hungry-heart/
  10. The perverseness of man is seen more plainly in Israel after they were in the land of Canaan than while going through the wilderness. This did not appear at first, where an instance of what the energy of faith is in one man can do. All the days of Joshua, and indeed all the days of the elders that outlived Joshua, the people served the Lord; but when that generation had passed away, another arose which knew not the Lord nor His works, and they did evil (Judges 2:7). Israel’s entrance in Canaan seemed very promising, and they would have become possessed of it all if disobedience had not stopped the tide of blessing flowing in upon them. God, in His grace, showed what they might count upon if they would be obedient. The passage over the Jordan recalled to mind that the same God who led them through the waters to escape from Egypt was now leading them where the river had rolled into the promised land of Canaan. The Red Sea and the Jordan River typify important truth. In both, the waters are the symbol of death, resurrection and ascension of and with the Lord Jesus. The first is deliverance from the bondage of Satan, from the power of darkness into the kingdom of His dear Son (Col 1:13)—a totally new position. It is the introduction of the believer into the world as a wilderness, where no water is, save that which flows from the risen Lord Jesus as the smitten Rock; where, if He be not seen, there will be constant murmuring for water. The Jordan points to a further truth, that is, that the believer has done with all things here below as objects of desire before his soul. It is the practical realizing of the new standing that he has died with Christ, and is risen again with Him. The Red Sea brings us to His resurrection and ascension—the result of His work on the Cross for us. The Jordan is the Holy Spirit making good in our souls, and producing practical growth suited to the place in which the death, resurrection and ascension of the Lord Jesus has positioned us. So the Red Sea introduces us to a wilderness, and Jordan, into the enjoyment of the heavenly places, its privileges and also its conflicts. The Jordan is, for faith, the realizing of the full results of the Red Sea passage. The trial of Israel is no longer a wilderness trial. There they had previously failed; how will they behave in the land of promise? It is the same story, even then growing old in the history of man. There is no condition, however favorable, where man (most of Israel and even most of mankind – Mat 7:13, 14—NC) responds to the goodness of God. There is no confidence in God, however lavishly His benefits are given. The people have not yet learned what they are in themselves, and so they have confidence in themselves—nay, they even boast of their obedience to Moses. “All that thou commandest us we will do, and whithersoever thou sendest us, we will go. According as we hearkened unto Moses in all things, so will we hearken unto thee” (Josh 1:16, 17). Like all self-righteous men, unconscious of fault, they pronounce readily sentences of death upon the disobedient. Yet their disobedience had been so great, that Moses said, “Ye have been rebellious against Jehovah from the day that I knew you” (Deu 9:24). Thus it is that the Word of God gives in a few brief touches the portrait of man, and without comment leaves it to tell its own sad tale. To have no confidence in the flesh is the hardest and, perhaps the last thing learned by any saint of God, and in most how many the lesson, how severe the discipline—yea, how persevering the patience of the Father, until the necessary process is completed, and sentence of death pronounced by the believer upon his old man (flesh, i.e. sinful nature—NC)! To this point each growing one must be brought. The flesh shall not boast in the Father’s presence: no glorying there but in the Cross of the Lord Jesus Christ. - R Beacon
  11. The perverseness of man is seen more plainly in Israel after they were in the land of Canaan than while going through the wilderness. This did not appear at first, where an instance of what the energy of faith is in one man can do. All the days of Joshua, and indeed all the days of the elders that outlived Joshua, the people served the Lord; but when that generation had passed away, another arose which knew not the Lord nor His works, and they did evil (Judges 2:7). Israel’s entrance in Canaan seemed very promising, and they would have become possessed of it all if disobedience had not stopped the tide of blessing flowing in upon them. God, in His grace, showed what they might count upon if they would be obedient. The passage over the Jordan recalled to mind that the same God who led them through the waters to escape from Egypt was now leading them where the river had rolled into the promised land of Canaan. The Red Sea and the Jordan River typify important truth. In both, the waters are the symbol of death, resurrection and ascension of and with the Lord Jesus. The first is deliverance from the bondage of Satan, from the power of darkness into the kingdom of His dear Son (Col 1:13)—a totally new position. It is the introduction of the believer into the world as a wilderness, where no water is, save that which flows from the risen Lord Jesus as the smitten Rock; where, if He be not seen, there will be constant murmuring for water. The Jordan points to a further truth, that is, that the believer has done with all things here below as objects of desire before his soul. It is the practical realizing of the new standing that he has died with Christ, and is risen again with Him. The Red Sea brings us to His resurrection and ascension—the result of His work on the Cross for us. The Jordan is the Holy Spirit making good in our souls, and producing practical growth suited to the place in which the death, resurrection and ascension of the Lord Jesus has positioned us. So the Red Sea introduces us to a wilderness, and Jordan, into the enjoyment of the heavenly places, its privileges and also its conflicts. The Jordan is, for faith, the realizing of the full results of the Red Sea passage. The trial of Israel is no longer a wilderness trial. There they had previously failed; how will they behave in the land of promise? It is the same story, even then growing old in the history of man. There is no condition, however favorable, where man (most of Israel and even most of mankind – Mat 7:13, 14—NC) responds to the goodness of God. There is no confidence in God, however lavishly His benefits are given. The people have not yet learned what they are in themselves, and so they have confidence in themselves—nay, they even boast of their obedience to Moses. “All that thou commandest us we will do, and whithersoever thou sendest us, we will go. According as we hearkened unto Moses in all things, so will we hearken unto thee” (Josh 1:16, 17). Like all self-righteous men, unconscious of fault, they pronounce readily sentences of death upon the disobedient. Yet their disobedience had been so great, that Moses said, “Ye have been rebellious against Jehovah from the day that I knew you” (Deu 9:24). Thus it is that the Word of God gives in a few brief touches the portrait of man, and without comment leaves it to tell its own sad tale. To have no confidence in the flesh is the hardest and, perhaps the last thing learned by any saint of God, and in most how many the lesson, how severe the discipline—yea, how persevering the patience of the Father, until the necessary process is completed, and sentence of death pronounced by the believer upon his old man (flesh, i.e. sinful nature—NC)! To this point each growing one must be brought. The flesh shall not boast in the Father’s presence: no glorying there but in the Cross of the Lord Jesus Christ. - R Beacon
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