Published by Charles Woodruff- email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Published by Charles Woodruff- email: email@example.com
THE TRUE MESSIAH
One of the greatest musical blessings to me is George Frederick Handel’s Messiah. The greatest blessing in the universe is the one of whom Handel wrote; the true Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible word Messiah is the Hebrew word משׁיח (mashiyack, which means in Englishanointed). The word Messiah is found four times in the King James Version. That’s twice in the Old Testament; Daniel 9:25, 26, as Messiah the Prince, and twice in the New Testament; John 1:41 and John 4:25 as Messia
“The word Christ is a Greek word, Χριστός (Christos), also signifying anointed. Hence, Jesus is called either the Messiah, or the Christ, meaning the same thing. The Jews speak of the Messiah; Christians speak of him as the Christ. In ancient times, when kings and priests were set apart to their office, they were anointed with oil (see Leviticus 4:3, 6:20.Also see 1Samuel 9:16, 15:1),to anoint, therefore, means often the same as to consecrate, or to set apart to an office. Hence, those thus set apart are said to be anointed, or to be the anointed of God. It is for this reason that the name is given to the Lord Jesus. He was set apart by God to be the King, and High Priest, and Prophet of his people. Anointing with oil was, moreover, supposed to be emblematic of the influences of the Holy Spirit; and since God gave him the Spirit without measure (John 3:34), so he is especially called the Anointed of God” (Albert Barnes commenting on Matthew 1:1; some emphasis mine cw).
CHRIST IS THE MESSIAH
The Septuagint, the ancient Greek translation (300-200 BC), of the Old Testament uses Christos for Messiah in the verses in Daniel. As I said, Messiah and Christ are one and the same. The woman at the well said “I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he” (John 4:25, 26)). When Simon Peter says in Matthew 16:16, “Thou art the Christ, the son of the living God” (by the way, almost all English versions agree with that wording), he was in essence saying “You are the Messiah, God’s anointed that should come”. John 1:41 says that Peter’s brother, Andrew, had told him “We have found the Messias, which is being interpreted , the Christ.”
The Jews were looking for the Messiah to come, and expected Him to be a warrior that would overthrow their enemies. Of course He did not come on the scene in that manner. They expected the Lion of Judah and instead He came as the Lamb of God. John the Baptist saw Him as the Lamb of God when he first saw Him. Later, as John the Baptist was in prison, he sent followers to ask “Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?”(Matthew 11:3) Many think John had let human doubt discourage him. Remember, John was Jesus’ cousin, also a Jew, and perhaps he also thought that the Messiah was going to be more “lion-like” after he became well known. When He returns, He will come as the Lion, in all His fury toward His enemies in the lost world.
Although the word Messiah is only used twice in the OT, there are many more references that pointed to the coming of Messiah; some veiled and some not. Isaiah 7:14 is very striking “Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel”. Then the verse is repeated in Matthew 1:23 with the interpretation “Which being interpreted is, God with us”. Messiah is God with us. Messiah the Prince is the Prince of Peace found in Isaiah 9:6. The “Jehovah who became our salvation” (y’shuah), in Isaiah 12:2 is the Messiah. The names Joshua, Jehoshua and Yeshua all mean salvation. Jesus means salvation. Joseph was told by the angel “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS, for he shall save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).
MESSIAH IS THE LORD
Simeon understood exactly who He was as he waited for His birth “And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ” (Luke 2:25, 26). The Lord’s Christ or anointed mean the same thing: Messiah, the One whom all Israel was expecting. Simeon and all devout Jews were looking for Him (as devout Christians are to be looking for Him in our day). He came then, born in Bethlehem, and many Jews at first received Him. Later, the Jews mostly rejected Christ, and it was mostly Gentiles who received Him. “He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:” (John 1:11, 12).
Paul states in 1 Timothy 3:16 “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” No doubt he speaks of Messiah. Thomas, when He was confronted with the resurrected Christ exclaimed “My Lord and my God” (John 20:28). He knew this One was Messiah!
John the beloved said: “And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death” (John 1:17.18. He absolutely knew this is Messiah! Now alive forevermore!
Nathanael understood exactly who HE was when he “answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel” (John 1:49. The point is, this is the One Israel later rejected, as many reject Him today. He was, and is, the Messiah of Israel, the Christ of God, God manifested in the flesh. There will be no other. He says “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else” (Isaiah 45:22).
Friend, you must look to Jesus the Messiah, or be eternally lost. That is not my word, but God’s.
Today the industrious Japanese people are known for making electronics and automobiles, and being a close ally of the USA. Only 72 years ago this week very few in the USA had ever heard of Sony, or Toyota, but on December 7, 1941, we sure learned they could make airplanes and bombs! President Franklin D. Roosevelt referred to it as “A day that will live in infamy”, and it has. Long before 9/11/01 became a focus of national unity (for a short time); Pearl Harbor became a focus of national unity for four years of America’s involvement in World War II. Many of our fathers and grandfathers fought in that war, many at the cost of their lives. There are few survivors still alive now. (See link- find good pictures on this site) http://worldwar2database.com/html/pearl.htm
I was not born yet, but I am a “war baby”, born November 1942. I remember the war, and Pearl Harbor, more from history than living it. But, remarkably, I remember seeing back then on our recently bought Admiral television, with the small round screen, and in black and white; the signing, aboard the battleship USS Missouri, in Tokyo Bay, of the peace treaty between the USA.and Japan. I do remember it, although in September 1945, I was just under three years old! So it is possible what I saw was a replay a few years later, but I remember my father pointing out what was happening on the television at that moment. So it made an impression on me at a very young age. (See link) http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/events/wwii-pac/japansur/js-8.htm
I was glad that this year all the major networks seemed to honor the few still living, and those heroes who died there in Hawaii on that Sunday morning; those sailors, marines, soldiers, airmen and coast guardsmen who scrambled to bring some order out of the chaos that was at Pearl Harbor that day. The nation came together, and it was good that God in His Providence brought us through, or you and I ( if alive at all), might not only be driving Nissans and Toyotas, watching Panasonic and Sony TVs, listening to Onyko and Yamaha stereo systems; using Nikon and Olympus cameras—–but we would likely be speaking Japanese, or German!
While we commend the courage of “The Greatest Generation”, and all our military today, as well, who put their lives on the line for this country, our military might will not save us. We cannot trust in our might and armaments “Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help ; and stay on horses, and trust in chariots, because they are many; and in horsemen, because they are very strong; but they look notunto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the Lord!” (Isaiah 31:1)Apply this verse spiritually, and see the urgency of it! Their armaments were horses and spears; today it is tanks and planes. It will take the sovereign mercy of God to turn around a nation that has come so far down the slippery slope since the days of World War II. We have enemies that have sworn to destroy us, and America’s leaders do not know how to handle them. They are bad, but if God becomes your enemy, you know it’s all over! When I see that God is a God of justice, I tremble for my grandchildren, and yours, should the Lord tarry. I for one, pray– “God, please, in Your Sovereignty, send a revival or— better yet, come soon, Lord Jesus!” (See Habakkuk 3:2 and Revelation 22:20).
Of course, war is not a new problem for the Christian to consider. Look at theLondon Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689, Chapter 24
Of the Civil Magistrate
1 God, the supreme Lord and King of all the world, hath ordained civil magistrates to be under him, over the people, for his own glory and the public good; and to this end hath armed them with the power of the sword, for defence and encouragement of them that do good, and for the punishment of evil doers. (Rom. 13:1-4)
2 It is lawful for Christians to accept and execute the office of a magistrate when called there unto; in the management whereof, as they ought especially to maintain justice and peace, according to the wholesome laws of each kingdom and commonwealth, so for that end they may lawfully now, under the New Testament wage war upon just and necessary occasions. (2 Sam. 23:3; Ps. 82:3,4; Luke 3:14) (1)
Franklin D. Roosevelt died in office during his fourth term as president. Succeeding him was Vice-president Harry S. Truman (A Baptist from Missouri). I’ll leave it to your own study to decide if you think President Truman was a good Baptist. He was called “give ’um hell Harry”, and didn’t mind cussing once in a while. One thing for sure, he had inherited his job from a good war time president. There are a lot of things I do not like about my Grandfather Smith’s favorite president, Mr. Roosevelt, but he knew how to hold the country together in a very necessary war.
President Truman wanted to carry on the legacy. After the Germans surrendered, he had to make an awful decision for a professed Christian. The fanatical Japs were not going to surrender, and perhaps would carry the war on for many more years. Normandy had cost may lives, but was the beginning of the end for the Nazis. To do the same thing in Japan, invade them, would cost many more allied lives, as well as Japanese. The atomic bomb had been secretly developed in New Mexico. So with much apprehension and after warning the Japanese to surrender, ‘or else’, Truman ordered two of them dropped; one on Hiroshima and one on Nagasaki in August, 1945. These cities were devastated, many Japanese lives were lost, many maimed for life. Yet the war ended swiftly after that. The Imperial government of Japan surrendered quickly, to be formally signed as stated earlier, on the USS Missouri in September, 1945.
Did Truman do right? He thought he did. In spite of many naysayers, In spite of the awfulness of what was done, history has proven that Harry S. Truman evidently did the right thing. A horrible thing to end a horrible war that began for the USA on December 7, 1941 at Pearl Harbor. (See link-Look carefully however, some of the photos are a bit heart wrenching).
Will it ever come to that in the Middle East? Would any American president in this day of weak kneed political correctness ever do such a thing to save thousands, even millions, of American lives? It is a terrible decision, but this is the challenge our current president or one to come later, may well have to face if things proceed on their present course. May God help us, for only He can. It’s always been that way, but perhaps we see it clearer now. Oh, let us trust him!
Why do we have wars? Why do people and nations want to kill each other? Here are some words to help us to grasp it better from the late minister, Dr. David Martyn Lloyd-Jones, who pastored in London during WWII.
So our first reply to the question “Why does God allow war?” is to ask another question— “Has God ever promised to prevent or to prohibit war?”
(2) Our second answer may also be put in the form of a question: “Why do we expect God to prohibit war?” or “Why should God prevent war?” Apart from the theoretical reason that God should prevent war because it is sinful, with which we shall deal in the next section, there can be no doubt that the real reason why people expect God to prevent war, is that they desire a state of peace, and feel that they have the right to live in a state of peace. But that immediately raises another question, which, in a sense, is the fundamental question with respect to this whole matter. “What right have we to peace?”
“Why do we desire peace?” How often, I wonder, have we faced this question? Has not the tendency been to take it for granted that we have a right to a state and condition of peace? (2)
And again Dr. Lloyd-Jones says
The question that needs to be asked is not “Why does God allow war?” but rather, “Why does God not allow the world to destroy itself entirely in its iniquity and its sin? Why does He in His restraining grace set a limit to evil and to sin, and a bound beyond which they cannot pass?” Oh, the amazing patience of God with this sinful world! How wondrous is His love! (3)
“And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows” (Matthew 24:6-8).
(1)London Baptist Confession of 1689, Chapel Library edition, Pensacola, FL, no date. Free copies: 2603 W. Wright St, Pensacola, FL 32505, or see
http://www.chapellibrary.org/ phone: (850) 438-6666
(2) Why Does God Allow War? D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones; Originally published 1939, Hodder and Stoughton; 1986 edition, Evangelical Press of Wales, page 91
(3) ibid; page 101
A CHRISTIAN NATION
How shall we think of our own nation? Our nation has never been a pure Christian nation, any more than Israel was ever entirely godly. But our nation certainly had strong Christian roots, and God, truth, the Bible, and morality were revered even if not consistently obeyed or practiced in those early days. The Puritans, who were an unusually strong force in our nation’s founding, looked upon America as a new Israel and regarded their venture as an “errand into the wilderness,” much like the Jews’ desert journey toward the Promised Land. Isn’t it right to say that America was blessed in its early history because in a large measure its God was the Lord? I think that is obvious. Large numbers of our people sought God fervently, and God heard them and blessed them with peace and prosperity.
But now? Now we have a remnant of believing people and have no doubt been spared many great tragedies because of them. But our country is not Christian anymore. It is militantly secular. God is not sought out, nor is his word honored. I fear to think what is coming for the United States of America, whose god no longer is the Lord. America’s real god is money. And yet, the blessings of God surround his people, even in a godless or fiercely secular environment, and it is right to remember them.
James Montgomery Boice
Compiled by Charles Woodruff- Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
What shall we study and meditate on? There are many books in the world — some are good, some are bad. This is true of sermons you can hear and read — some are good, some are bad. We could suggest as some have that you read nothing other than the Bible. Yet being men and women in a modern world, we are not likely to limit ourselves to that,especially if we are good readers. God gave us a desire for knowledge in many areas, and we fulfill it by reading, sometimes.
Many years ago, in another state, I was asked to preach in a particular church on several different occasions. I suppose I was 39 or 40 then, and the pastor there was considerably younger than myself. I got to know him pretty well, and stayed with him and his young family each time I was in the area. He told me that he read at least one of Charles Spurgeon’s sermons every day. I said, “Very commendable. Spurgeon was a great preacher and left us a great body of work.” The pastor also put a Spurgeon sermon in his church paper each week.
The last time I was there, I met another young couple from his church that was staying in the pastor’s home until their house got repaired. They seemed like a nice couple. A short time later I got word that this pastor fell into sin with the other woman, and left his wife and two children for her. Two homes were broken up! A ministry was destroyed! What brought about this awful situation? This minister was surely not following the teachings of Spurgeon when he did this. You can’t blame Spurgeon for this, for he was a godly man. It does show that no matter how much a person is claiming to follow sound doctrine, he can err if he is not obeying God’s word. Spurgeon preached the word.
Some others he read from like Arthur Pink also preached the word. He read his bible regularly. But it doesn’t matter. He could have been reading John Wesley every day. Or J.C. Philpot, J.C.Ryle, David Wilkerson, Billy Graham, or R.C. Sproul. There had to be something much deeper than which ministers were influencing him. This minister himself studied and preached the word. He seemed to have good Bible knowledge. Why did he put another black mark on the cause of Christ? “But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul” (Proverbs 6:32). We are all flesh and blood, and I have to say “but for the grace of God there go I”. There is an answer however. Many, as James says, are only hearers (or readers), of the word. “Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves” (James 1:22).
You see, it is not enough to just hear, or read, or be religious, the word must be in the heart to cause the manifestation of doing good works. James also said “…To him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin” (James 4:17). This person knew. All thought him to be a true brother — God alone knows. He surely does not appear to be God’s chosen, unless he repents. Beloved, as the verse I quoted at the beginning we must hide God’s word in our hearts. As our theme verse says, it is a lamp to guide our path. But we must be doers of the word. Remember in Ephesians, that great scripture mountaintop, it says: “For by grace are ye saved. Through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:8-10)
“Since for unbelieving men religion seems to stand by opinion alone, they, in order not to believe anything foolishly or lightly, both wish and demand rational proof that Moses and the prophets spoke divinely. But I reply: the testimony of the Spirit is more excellent than all reason. For as God alone is a fit witness of himself in his Word, so also the Word will not find acceptance in men’s hearts before it is sealed by the inward testimony of the Spirit. The same Spirit, therefore, who has spoken through the mouths of the prophets must penetrate into our hearts to persuade us that they faithfully proclaimed what had been divinely commanded …”–John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion 1.7.5. (emphasis mine C.W.)
What do we know ourselves of spiritual conversation with other Christians? Perhaps we read our Bibles, and pray in private, and use public means of grace. It is all well, very well. But if we stop short here we neglect a great privilege and have yet much to learn. We ought to ‘consider one another to provoke to love and good works.’ We ought to ‘exhort’ and ‘edify one another.’ (Heb. 10:24; 1 Thess. 5:11.) Have we no time for spiritual conversation? Let us think again. The quantity of time wasted on frivolous, trifling, and unprofitable talk, is fearfully great. Do we find nothing to say on spiritual subjects? Do we feel tongue-tied and speechless on the things of Christ? Surely if this is the case, there must be something wrong within. A heart right in the sight of God will generally find words. ‘Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.’” (Matt. 12:34). From Expository Thoughts on the Gospels on Luke 24 13-20.
Published by Charles Woodruff- email: email@example.com
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:16, 17)
I hope you are having a Happy Reformation Day. I am. Perhaps your reply to that is “Reformation Day? I thought it was Halloween.” You are correct, but only because some things are not out in the open, as they should be. You see, on October 31, 1517, a Catholic priest named Martin Luther nailed 95 theses to the door of his church at Wittenberg, Germany. These writings were items of
concern to him regarding the corrupt direction of the Roman Catholic Church at that time. Some of his main points had to do with a fantasy called indulgences. It was a scheme promoted in Europe in order to get money from the faithful. It was a pretense, for the scheme was based on giving money, or goods to buy someone out of guilt for their sins. The price was set by the priest visiting the town on behalf of the church to raise this money. There were a number of priests involved in this scheme, which was widespread.
In Martin Luther’s area of Germany there came a Dominican friar, Tetzel, who was the architect of the plot and was there to bleed the people dry. Tetzel stated that “As soon as the coin in the coffer rings the soul from purgatory into heaven springs.” Luther opposed him, and had confrontations with him. It later resulted in the writing of the 95 theses, which were nailed to the door. This was not a rare thing. Often the door of the church was an outlet for news and announcements. This batch of information was different, however. First, it was written in Latin. Most of the people could not read Latin. Second, it was strictly church matters, and would not likely interest many outsiders. But because Luther preached on these things, it was spread.
Somewhat earlier the Lord had been dealing with Martin Luther concerning the life of faith. When he was reading Romans, and came across Romans 1:17, it spoke to him in an urgent and special way. He was especially attracted by the last part of the verse “As it is written, the just shall live by faith.” It was obvious that God was already dealing with Luther to instruct Him in the truth. He
struggled with the truth of this verse. He sought advice from other priests. No one had a satisfactory answer. They all went with the Romanist traditions of interpretation. Luther was not satisfied with this. His struggles with the gospel were already causing interest from the pope. He had sent letters of censure to Luther already, so when he nailed these 95 theses to the door, it caused uproar in Rome. It was the culmination of an ongoing struggle between Martin Luther, and the Catholic Church over reform, especially so in practice of donations for indulgences. However, there were other deeper issues that revolved around both theological concerns. On a theological level, Luther had challenged the absolute authority of the Pope over the Church by maintaining that the doctrine of indulgences, as authorized and taught by the Pope, was wrong. Luther maintained that salvation was by faith alone (sola fide) without reference to good works, alms, penance, or the Church’s sacraments. He had also challenged the authority of the Church by maintaining that all doctrines and dogmata of the Church not found in Scripture should be discarded (sola scriptura).
The turmoil increased over several years, and finally in 1521, Pope Leo X issued the Papal bull Exsurge Domine (“Arise, O Lord”), outlining 41 purported errors found in Martin Luther’s 95 theses, and other writings related to or written by him. On April 17, 1521 Luther had to appear to answer charges at Worms, a city some 300 miles away from Wittenberg. It was at that time a journey of 15 days. Luther was guaranteed safety for his travel there and back. When Martin Luther appeared before the assembly, Johann Eck, an assistant of the Archbishop of Trier, acted as a spokesman for the emperor, Charles V. Luther was set to explain the meaning of the 95 theses, but Eck demanded that he either affirm or renounce the writings. Luther was very adamant, though polite, and asked for
24 hours to consider it, which was granted to him.
The next day when appearing before Eck, and the others at that hearing, Luther uttered these famous words: “Unless I am convinced by the testimony of the Scriptures, or by clear reason (for I do not trust either in the pope or in councils alone, since it is well known that they have often erred and contradicted themselves), I am bound by the Scriptures I have quoted, and my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot, and will not recant anything, since it is neither safe nor right to go against conscience.
May God help me. Amen.”
It is interesting that Luther is sometimes also quoted as saying: “Here I stand. I can do no other”. Recent scholars consider the evidence for these words to be unreliable, since they were inserted before “May God help me” only in later versions of the speech and not recorded in witness accounts of the proceedings.
The result of the Diet of Worms was that Luther was excommunicated and considered an outlaw. The emperor Charles V stated in the final draft of the Diet of Worms “We want him to apprehended and punished as a notorious heretic.” It also made it a crime for anyone in Germany to give Luther food or shelter. It permitted anyone to kill Luther without legal consequence. He had the guarantee of safe travel, but Luther did not trust in that. Others had been promised safety and were caught and killed.
In God’s providence someone was looking out for Martin Luther. Frederick III, the Elector of Saxony, had him intercepted on his way home by masked horsemen, and escorted to the security of Wartburg Castle at Eisenach. During his stay at Wartburg, which he called “my Patmos”; Luther translated the New Testament from Greek into German, and poured out doctrinal and polemical
writings. Luther was protected by God for the purpose God had ordained for him. He wasn’t a perfect man, but he was a vessel of honor, used by the Lord in a mighty way to set forth the Reformation. It was January 18, 1518 when the 95 theses were translated out of Latin into German. It was printed and widely copied, making the controversy the first in history to be aided by the printing press.
So we must remember Reformation Day. Why do you think the devil has been so enthusiastic about Halloween? Surely you must know. The date is so obvious. Satan does not want mankind awakened out of sleep and following Jesus Christ. At all costs he has wanted that door to remain closed. Luther didn’t have all the light, but he had a lot. Those who came after him were given more. We need to work while we still have some light, for night is coming when no man can work. We must preach Christ to the nations. Pray with us about this ministry. It is getting out all over the world. Pray that God will anoint it, and use it to reach sinners. I am amazed at where letters and emails come from. We have only scratched the surface. We can do so much more. You can help us to
spread the uncompromised word of God. Will you? Our Sermon Audio work is accomplishing much. I want it to do much more. Do you? God bless you!! Please keep praying for us.
Published by Charles Woodruff- email: firstname.lastname@example.org
November 1, 2011 A.D., revised October 31, 2013 -my blogs:
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Compiled by Charles Woodruff–Email: oursong2000@ya