"They received the Word with all readiness of mind and searched the Scriptures daily, whether those things were so.  Therefore many believed."--Acts 17:11

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fhigham

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Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
fhigham

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Romans 2:1 Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.

As the Apostle Paul admonished us - to examine ourselves - there is no mention of examining others.
1Cor.11:28  But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.
2Cor. 13:5  Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?
fhigham

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Psalm 50:1-2 The mighty God, even the LORD, hath spoken, and called the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof. Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined.

Psalm 118:24  This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.
fhigham

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Psalm 51:1 Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgression.

Hymn 1
After thy loving kindness, Lord,
Have mercy upon me:
For thy compassion great, blot out
All mine iniquity.
fhigham

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Reply with quote  #5 
Psalm 55:22 Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee:

Psalm 27:14 Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.

God knows our needs and if we are patient He will be with us throughout our trials.
fhigham

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Romans 9:23 “And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory.”

My office is located just off of Kenmore Square in Boston. Each spring, the street through the square is closed for the running of the Boston Marathon. I usually go down to the square to watch the runners, and there I see many tables bearing cups of water for them. These are supplied by various companies. I watch the runners as they go by, pick up a cup of water, and either drink it down or pour it over their hot, tired bodies. As I look at the cups of water available all along the marathon route, I cannot help but think of the “vessels of mercy” that Paul speaks of in the verse above.

What are these vessels? In Bible times, travelers in the East needed water quite frequently to keep from dehydrating in the hot, dry climate, just as marathon runners do during a race. They depended on the goodness of local villagers to supply this water, else their trip would end in disaster! The villagers placed small vessels of water outside their homes for the travelers called “vessels of mercy.” Law did not mandate this action; these vessels were freely offered in the service and aid of others.

“And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.” Matthew 10:42

This verse demonstrates the intent of the vessel of mercy. Giving COLD water to the thirsty was considered an act of love and mercy. Why? As we know, villagers in Bible times did not have refrigerators or running water, so to provide COLD water to travelers, one had to go to a well or spring to draw it fresh. This action speaks of the willingness to give of oneself - to go and work for the benefit of others. This is a labor that is not overlooked by God.

Vessels of mercy were of a giving nature, freely giving to all in need. We can see Christ in the vessel of mercy in Mark 6:35, “And when the day was now far spent, his disciples came unto him and said, This is a desert place, and now the time is far passed.” The disciples wanted to send the people away, but we are told that Jesus was “moved with compassion toward them,” and He provided for them in the wilderness. The ultimate example of the “vessel of mercy” is displayed in the cup we partake of each Sunday. This vessel of mercy is filled with his shed blood, and symbolizes the sacrifices he made that we might finish our marathon in this life, enduring the heat and weariness of the journey for the blessedness of the final destination.

And so we are told, “Put on, therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering.” Colossians 3:12 And, “Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful; be courteous.” 1 Peter 3:8 In other words, Be a vessel of mercy yourself !

Bro. Jim Sommerville —Berean Ecclesial News Aug 1999
fhigham

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Reply with quote  #7 

Romans 10:15 How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

Isaiah 52:7  How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!

Anthem 12
How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth! The watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the LORD shall bring again Zion. Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem: for the LORD hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem. Hallelujah! Praise ye the Lord.

fhigham

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Romans 12:20 "Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head."

The Scriptures have much to say about forgiving our enemies and suffering wrong, yet Paul says that, if we give food and drink to our enemy, "we shall be heaping coals of fire on his head." To us that does not sound much like forgiveness but like taking vengeance on our foe. I have heard some interrupt this verse to indicate that this means that God will take vengeance on them; citing Psalm 140:10 as an example: "Let burning coals fall upon them: let them be cast into the fire; into deep pits, that they rise not up again."

I do not believe this is the spirit behind Paul's command. We are to love our enemies and do good to those that hate us. After making the aforementioned statement in Romans 12:20, Paul concludes in the next verse; "Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good." How is heaping coals of fire on an enemy’s head, "overcoming evil with good?"

There are two obstacles we Westerners must get past in order to understand this verse. The first obstacle? The head is commonly used in Eastern nations to carrying things, a practice unheard of in the West. Even today we see pictures of Arabic or Asian women walking through crowded streets balancing baskets full of fruit, vegetables, or other articles on their heads. We would never think of balancing things on our head except in a circus show, but to residents of Eastern nations, this is a way of life just as it was in Bible times.

The second obstacle? We no longer use "coals of fire" in our activity of everyday living. We are accustomed to central heating and gas/electric stoves for cooking and warmth, but don't think about the fact that coals were routinely used for these purposes in Bible times. In those days, if a household's cooking or heating fire went out, some member of the family would take a brazier on their head to a neighbor's house to "borrow" fire. If the neighbor was generous, she will heap the brazier (on the person's head) full of coals so the household could rekindle their fire!

So then, to feed an enemy and give him drink was like heaping the empty brazier with live coals -- which would mean food, warmth, and almost life itself to the person or home needing it! This was, in Biblical times, a symbol of finest generosity -- rather than an act of vengeance! This clearly reinforces that Paul's conclusion is correct: We must not be "overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good."

Has somebody wronged you? Go and do something good for him!

Bro. Jim Sommerville Berean Ecclesial News Jan 1999

fhigham

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Reply with quote  #9 

Psalm 63:1-3
1 O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; 2 To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary. 3 Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee.

Hymn 18
Lord, Thee my God, I'll early seek:
My soul doth thirst for Thee;
My flesh longs in a dry parch'd land,
Wherein no waters be.

That I Thy power may behold,
And brightness of Thy face,
My panting heart now yearns to stand
Within Thy holy place.

Since better is Thy love than life
My lips Thee praise shall give:
I in Thy name will lift my hands
And bless Thee while I live.

E'en as with marrow and with fat
My soul shall filled be:
Then shall my mouth with joyful lips
Sing praise unto Thee.

fhigham

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This is a day of darkness—of no open vision—of no miracle. If we remember this, we shall not be overthrown by the apparent forsaking of the earth by God. We are called upon to walk by faith, not by sight. If our eyes could but penetrate the vail that now hides the unseen from view, we should realise that the forsaking was only so in semblance. Christ and angels innumerable are interested and actively employed in human affairs, though we see them not. Brethren, let us not grow weary and faint. The walk of faith will soon be ended—the veil will be drawn aside, and the darkness dispelled. The Son of Man shall come.” Meanwhile it is for us to believe though we see not. Let us steel our hearts against the influence of the wicked, for all men have not faith. The children of God and the children of the world are well represented in Christ and his murderers. The latter knew not that the dark hour of the crucifixion was in Heaven’s revealed programme—“He trusted in God; let Him deliver him now, if He will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God.” Though appearances (humanly speaking) were against Christ, he knew that God was working out His purpose in him, and patiently endured to the end. Who was wise, Christ or his enemies? His resurrection is the answer Let us profit by this beautiful lesson. The present is our dark hour. Shall we view it as do the wicked —shall we curse God and die —or shall we patiently go through it and reap the reward?

London.
A. T. J.

The Christadelphian  : Volume 24. 2001, c1887.

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Exo 10   Psa 64,65   Rom 15,16
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Reference to:
Exo 10:3  And Moses and Aaron came in unto Pharaoh, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD God of the Hebrews, How long wilt thou refuse to humble thyself before me? let my people go, that they may serve me.

...This chronic instability of Pharaoh’s purpose must have been much more trying to Moses than we can have any idea of. We know the upshot; and we know the precise object aimed at in this divinely-helped fickleness of Pharaoh. We can, therefore, contemplate his inveterate unreliability with calmness. But Moses, at the time of it, was intent only on achieving Israel’s liberation. On this subject he was expectant at every move. Consequently, there must have been a genuine disappointment at every fresh failure in his endeavours. His disappointment finds frequent expression in the lamentations he addresses to Yahweh on his ill-success at various stages. He received, however, the best consolation possible—a divine explanation of the situation. The storm over, the air cleared, the sun again outshining from the blue sky, and a return of cheerfulness in all the land, Pharaoh’s resolution to hold on to the people of Israel was supplemented by this message from Yahweh to Moses: “I have hardened Pharaoh’s heart, that I might show these my signs before him, and that thou mayest tell in the ears of thy sons and of thy sons’ sons what things I have wrought in Egypt and my signs which I have done among them; THAT YE MAY KNOW HOW THAT I AM YAHWEH.” If Pharaoh had not resisted, the signs could not have been shown for lack of occasion, and the knowledge of Yahweh’s existence and power would not have been communicated in the vivid and unmistakable form which the purpose of God, at this stage of the earth’s history, called for. Consequently, Pharaoh’s resistance was a necessary evil divinely arranged for. It called forth such a manifestation of the visible and personally-directed power of God as sufficed to convince Israel of Yahweh’s existence and spread His fame and name among the nations of the earth. By this, a foundation was laid for the operations of subsequent ages, the interdependence of which with the Egyptian wonders will become manifest to reflection, and be more particularly and clearly apparent in the day of the clear and open vision that will come with Christ, the prophet like unto Moses.

Having received this explanation, Moses, with a strengthened courage, returns to Pharaoh to renew the divine demands. “Thus saith Yahweh Elohim of the Hebrews: how long wilt thou refuse to humble thyself before me?” (Ex. 10:3). But why, say some, challenge Pharaoh for his obstinacy when it was divinely-helped? The answer is obvious. The question in dispute was not Pharaoh’s character. Pharaoh’s attitude was a minor, though necessary element in the situation. The great matter was this: the public and overpowering exhibition of God’s existence and power for the enlightenment of that and all subsequent generations. To accomplish this effectually, it was needful there should be such an opposition as Pharaoh’s to the divine demands, and to have such an opposition there must be such an opposer, and to have such an opposer, he must be provided and helped. He was raised up for the occasion: “In very deed, for this cause have I raised thee up for to show in thee my power, and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth” (Ex. 9:16). It was not, therefore, a question of Pharoah’s merits or demerits. But, of course, in the communications necessary to be held with Pharaoh, it was convenient and inevitable that this feature should appear. There is no difficulty in understanding the matter when once the divine point of view is apprehended. Look at it with God’s eyes, and in the light of God’s purpose, and there is no more difficulty about Pharaoh’s raising-up and hardening, than there is about an iron founder hardening, by furnace and steam hammer, a mass of iron intended for fine machinery in a royal steam yacht, while of the same brand he differently treats a portion intended for pocket keys. Look at it with any other eyes, and the matter is environed with all the difficulty that the merely natural-man critic finds or professes to find in it; but to look at it with any other eyes is nothing less than excessively stupid, and logically impossible, for the matter is either divine, or nothing at all. If God was not in these proceedings of Moses, they were impossible, and did not happen, and, in that case, there is nothing to trouble about. If God was in them, there is no difficulty. And we have already seen that it is in reality not an open question as to which of these hypotheses accords with all the facts that have to be taken into account.

Moses, then, appealing again to Pharaoh, tells him that if he persist in his refusal to let Israel go, there will come such a visitation of locusts, that the residue of the field produce that had escaped the ravages of the previous plagues, will be clean eaten up.

bro Robert Roberts. (1883; 2002). The Visible Hand of God (120). Logos Publications.

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Reference to:
Psalm 64

In Psalm 64 it is written, “the workers of iniquity whet their tongue like a sword, and bow their arrows, bitter words, that they may shoot in secret at the perfect.” In this the tongue is compared to a bow from which words are shot forth as arrows. Hence, a multitude may not only itself be a bow, but its tongues may be bowed or bent, to shoot forth doctrine or testimony, which, as an arrow in the vitals, shall put to death the enmity of the carnal mind, or “the thinking of the flesh,” against the Deity. When such a multitude would deliver the testimony it held to be true, it would be drawing the bow and shooting at its adversaries the word of truth. This word would also be the arrow of their bow, as well as their sword; and whether regarded as an arrow or a sword, “living and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart”—Heb. 4:12.

But there is a remarkable instance of the use of the phrase drawing the bow, in the sense of proclaiming the truth, in Isa. 66:19: thus, “I will send maihem of those that escape to the nations Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, drawers of the bow; Tubal and Javan, the coasts far off which have not heard my fame, nor seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the nations.” “Yahweh gives the word, and great is the company of those who publish it”—Psa. 68:11.

bro John Thomas, Eureka  : An exposition of the Apocalypse. Volumes 1-5. (electronic ed.) (volpg.2.143). West Beach, South Australia: Logos Publication.

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Reference to:
Rom 16:25  Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,
Rom 16:26  But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:

...There was “a mystery”, however, connected with the gospel which was not manifested in the proclamation of it before the day of Pentecost. The people were taught in parables, but the apostles were favoured with an interpretation of them in private; for, said Jesus to them, “To you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God, but to them it is not given”.(Mark 4:2; Mat 13:11) Referring to this, Paul says, “My gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, but now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets … made known to all nations for the obedience of faith.”(Rom 16:25-26) “Pray for me”, says he, “that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in bonds.”(Eph 6:19) Again, “By revelation God hath made known unto me, Paul, the mystery, which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto the holy apostles and prophets by the spirit; that the Gentiles should be fellow-heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel … To me was given to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which, from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things: to the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in the high places might be made known through the church the multifarious wisdom of God”.(Eph 3:3-10)

From these writings we learn that the gospel of the kingdom of God is a phrase which embraces the whole subject; and that the mystery of the kingdom, and the fellowship of the mystery, are things pertaining to the gospel of the kingdom in a special sense, but unknown until revealed to the apostles. The mysteries of the kingdom were placed on record in the sacred writings; but their signification was hidden from the prophets themselves, until “the keys” thereof were vouchsafed to the apostles. Hence, says Peter, “Of the salvation of souls the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: searching what, or what manner of time the spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Unto them it was revealed that not unto themselves, but unto us did they minister the things which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Spirit sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into”.(1Pe 1:1-12)

The mystery of the kingdom, then, has been made known, and we find that it had relation to the sufferings of the Christ; and repentance, remission of sins, and eternal life in his name, to the Jews first and afterwards to the Gentiles. The prophets, who foretold these things, were not able to penetrate the mystery of them; and the angels themselves, who brought the word to them, desired to understand them. But this was not permitted; and it was preserved as a secret until after the sufferings of Christ, which were to be the foundation of the manifestation.

When the “point of time” drew nigh for “the finishing of the transgression, the making an end of sin-offerings, the making reconciliation for iniquity, and the bringing in of everlasting righteousness”,(Dan 9:24) Jesus who had been anointed the Most Holy, the sealed prophet of the Father, and fully confirmed as Messiah the Prince, selected one man of the twelve (who had the least reason to exalt himself above his brethren as “the prince of the apostles”), as the depository of the keys of the Mysteries of the Kingdom of God.

This highly-honoured individual was Simon Peter, son of Jonas, who denied his master with oaths and curses. But, being converted, and restored to favour by his gracious Lord, he was prepared to be the unaspiring “servant of the least”; and to strengthen his brethren in all the trials and afflictions they were called upon to endure for the truth’s sake. “I will give unto thee, Simon Barjona”, said the king, “the keys of the kingdom of God; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”(Mat 16:19) Here was an appointment of Peter in a special sense to the particular function of binding and loosing men on earth.

bro John Thomas, Elpis Israel : An exposition of the Kingdom of God. With reference to the Time of the End and the Age to Come. (electronic ed.) (196). Birmingham, UK: The Christadelphian.

Compiled by Bro. Len Naglieri

fhigham

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Reply with quote  #11 
Psalm 67:1 God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause his face to shine upon us; Selah. 2 That thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving health among all nations.

 

fhigham

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Psalm 68:29 Because of thy temple at Jerusalem shall kings bring presents unto thee.

fhigham

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Psalm 69:34–36.—This is one of the Psalms quoted in the New Testament as prophetic of Christ. The “zeal of Yahweh’s house” was illustrated in Christ’s cleansing of the temple (John 2:17). The gall and vinegar (verse 21) were given to him at his crucifixion. Thus, his casting out of the city of the Great King because of his zeal for righteousness, has long been on record as a historical fulfilment of this and other prophecies, and of the parables he himself based upon them. It only remains that the prophecies of his coming in glory be likewise translated into history. This is the burden of the conclusion of the Psalm: “The Lord heareth the poor, and despiseth not his prisoners. Let the heaven and earth praise him, the seas, and everything that moveth therein. For God will save Zion, and will build the cities of Judah that they may dwell there, and have it in possession. The seed also of his servants shall inherit it, and they that love his name shall dwell therein.”

 The Christadelphian : Volume 41 Bd. 41. electronic ed. Birmingham : Christadelphian Magazine & Publishing Association, 2001, c1904, S. 41:70
fhigham

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Reply with quote  #14 
Psalm 71:20–24.—“Thou which hast showed me great and sore troubles, shalt quicken me again, and shall bring me up again from the depths of the earth . . . My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing unto thee, and my soul which thou hast redeemed.” As before pointed out, Christ is the illustration of this, and his own rejoicing in redemption after “great and sore troubles,” is the type to which David and all the saints will conform.

The Christadelphian : Volume 41 Bd. 41. electronic ed. Birmingham : Christadelphian Magazine & Publishing Association, 2001, c1904, S. 41:70
fhigham

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Reply with quote  #15 
Psalm 72:18

Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things. 19 And blessed be his glorious name for ever: and let the whole earth be filled with his glory; Amen, and Amen.
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