Bulletin Edition September 2018

Mistaken or Satanic?
Is doctrine contrary to the Gospel of grace mistaken or Satanic? Is it
misinformed or the Devil’s deception? Is it not full light, or is it
darkness? Paul spoke of Satan’s ministers as angels of light and
ministers of righteousness (II Cor. 11:13-15). The Lord spoke of the
teaching of Jezebel as the depths of Satan (Rev. 2:24). He spoke of
those in the church at Philadelphia who are “them of the synagogue of
Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not” (Rev. 3:9). Clearly, that
which is contrary to the Gospel is Satanic. As I think of men and women
all over the world, using the name of Christ in their “worship
services”, I feel both sad and angry – sad that they are so deceived;
angry at the wickedness of the deception. But not only do I feel sad and
angry, I feel determined by the grace of God to preach the Gospel in
such a way that the Gospel is seen for what it is, and that which is
contrary is seen for what it is, and men will call upon the name of the
Lord. — Todd Nibert

The Mystery
“Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations,
but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known
what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles;
which is Christ in you, the hope of glory”, Colossians 1:26-27.

The Mystery. The Mystery. Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages
and generations, which is now made manifest to the saints.

What do you know of this mystery?

We read of mysteries in several places in the New Testament. Several
verses speak of ‘the mystery’, and a mystery is something which is
hidden, something which is hard to be understood, hard to comprehend,
something wonderful, something glorious, something that must be revealed
and made known. A mystery.

Here in Colossians 1 we read of that mystery which was hid from ages and
from generations. Despite all the prophets, despite the scriptures,
despite all those wise men who had looked into the scriptures over
hundreds and thousands of years, we read nevertheless, that the mystery
had been hid from ages, and from generations.

Essentially, the world was in darkness. Yes, light had been shone in.
Yes, God had dealings with man from time to time in sundry places. He
had spoken through the prophets. Yes, He had given the scriptures. But
despite this, who saw? Who understood? Who understood the mystery?

“The light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not”,
John 1:5.

The world remained in darkness. This mystery was hid. Hid from ages and
from generations. It was hid.

Do you know what something is like when it is hid? You can spend a lot
of time looking, you can look here and you can look there, but when
something is hid it is not easily found. It is not easy to find that
which is hidden. You may never find that which is hidden. You may look
all you like and never find it. It is hid.

A bit like, as we read of in Matthew 13, that treasure which was hid in
the field. Jesus spoke a parable there of the kingdom of God being
likened unto treasure hid in a field. And he who found it rejoiced, and
sold all that he had to buy the field to have the treasure. To most that
treasure was hid.

Likewise, to the majority that treasure, and that mystery, which Paul
speaks of here in Colossians, has been hid – hid from ages and from
generations. And yet God did show it unto a few. There were those who,
before the time at which Paul spake, had seen, in measure. There were
those to whom God revealed something of this mystery spoken of here, but
it was revealed but in measure. It was seen in but type and in figure,
in shadows, in prophecies. There were those who did see, but they saw
but faintly. There were those to whom God gave faith, and with that
faith they looked ahead, they looked to the promises, they looked to the
coming and the fulfillment of those promises. They looked for the coming
of the Messiah who was promised to them. But their understanding of who
He was and what He do was but in measure. And they died in faith, not
having received the promises, but embracing them, as Hebrews 11 tell us.

There were promises that were yet to be fulfilled. But until the
fulfillment the mystery was hid, and was never fully known. Yet God did
have a people throughout these ages, a people like Job, whose eyes were
opened to see. They were opened just enough that they could see what God
had promised. That they could look down through the ages and through the
generations to Him who would come. And Job was able to cry out that he
knew that his “Redeemer liveth”. Though he lived thousands of years
before the coming of Christ, God gave him that faith to look down
through the ages by faith, to that One who would come, to that One who
would die in his place, to that One who would be his Redeemer.

Yet these things were hid for so long a time. For ages and for
generations. Thousands of years. From millions of people. The great, the
wise, the strong, the mighty. Those who were full of knowledge. Those
who were learned, who had looked into these things. And yet this mystery
was hid from them. It was hid from the ages and from the generations.
And it was only made known, and it is only made known, if God should
choose to open the eyes to see, and God should choose to take this
mystery which was hid, and make it known and reveal it.

Try all you will. Search all you will. Live for thousands of years and
look into these things. Except God reveal, then this mystery will remain
hid from you too. It will remain in darkness, it will remain darkness to
you, until such a time as God should say, “Let there be light”. Ian Potts

Knowing The Secrets of God
…..and Joseph answered Pharaoh saying, It is not in me; God shall give
Pharaoh an answer of peace”. (Genesis 41:16)
God’s will and purpose shall be known by the sons and daughters of Adams
race, but how and by whom shall God reveal such wonders of his grace and
mercy? Joseph was the only one in the kingdom that understood and then
revealed the perfect will of God to this sinful man. Our blessed and
sovereign Redeemer is the only one that reveals and opens our hearts and
minds to the will and purpose of the God of all glory.
To know or be known of God is our basic and most urgent necessity and
only in the person and by the worth of Jesus of Nazareth can we know our
great God. We are totally without sight (spiritual) in the things of
God; we are totally without understanding in the truth of God; and we
are totally without grace apart from the workings of Christ revealing
and creating life within us.
God, through Joseph revealed his truth to the king and showed him those
things ‘which must shortly come to pass.’ God in like manner, through
that most blest Son of Righteousness, shows unto his chosen bride, those
things which we must have and possess whereby we are made ‘accepted in
the Beloved’. I often hear people talk about coming or learning of ‘god’
by their own efforts or by some other way than that way purposed and
prescribed by Jehovah and this I know can never be so.
God will not be known apart from His Son and those to whom he reveals
himself by the blood of Jesus Christ . . . that great Revealer of the
secrets of God.
Drew Dietz
Regeneration / Knowledge
“But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the
Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of
Christ, he is none of His” Romans 8:9
This is a plain and simple declaration of God that those, who, at this
present time, have God given faith in Christ for all their salvation
have the Spirit of Christ dwelling in them. Although men may,
intellectually, have learned some truth, it is not possible to have
spiritual life, to love and embrace the truth of God apart from the
regenerating work of God the Spirit which indwells the believer upon
conversion. This miraculous work of omnipotence is the effectual
impartation of the life (Spirit) of Christ to dead sinners, which is –
“Christ in you, the hope of glory” Colossians 1:27.
Not taking away from the importance, yea, the necessity of sound
doctrine, I believe there is far too much emphasis placed and pressed
upon poor sinners as to what we know rather than WHO we know. It is not
WHAT we know that is of life giving efficacy, it is vital union with the
Son of God, who is our life – “I in them, and thou in me, that they may
be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent
me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me” John 17:23. I, for one,
by God’s grace, am determined to press upon men to come to Christ, to
look to him in whom all truth is revealed, received and embraced by the
almighty power of his blessed Spirit. There seems to be great
satisfaction by many when men seem to give mental accent to doctrinal
truth, however, in the scriptures and in the experience of grace, there
is life, hope, joy, peace, and rest only in knowing Christ by his
blessed Holy Spirit which he has given us.
What I am saying is this – If the Lord Jesus Christ dwells in me by his
Spirit, I have eternal life, which is his life. If Christ does not live
in me by his Spirit, I, as of yet, am still dead in trespasses and sin
and do not know Him, no matter how much I know. The most evident effect
of “Christ in you” is LOVE! – Love for him, love for His gospel, and
love for the brethren – “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is
of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He
that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” 1John 4:7 -8.
Tommy Robbins

Lord, Make Us To See Our Need
The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass,
and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field: the grass
withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the LORD bloweth
upon it: surely the people is grass (Isa. 40:6-7).

Unless the Lord is pleased to teach us and reveal to us what we are by
nature (Eph.2:1-3), we will never see our need for Christ and the gospel
of His free grace (Rom.3:24). We will never understand our need of Jesus
Christ and His great salvation, unless the Holy Spirit is pleased to
move upon our heart (John 6:44-45). Only when He reveals unto us our
sinful condition, will we seek His salvation in Christ Jesus the Lord (1
Tim.1:12). Only when He speaks to us about our righteousness as being
filthy rags, will we seek His righteousness that is performed and
provided freely by His grace (1 Cor. 1:30). Only when God reveals to us
our total ruin, will we seek redemption through the spotless blood of
the Lamb, Jesus Christ (Eph. 1:7). Only when God is pleased to show us
how unworthy we are, will we seek Him who is Worthy (Rev. 5:12). Lord,
make us to know and see what our need is, so by thy Spirit and grace we
can seek thy mercy where it can be found (Phil 3:9; 4:19). – Tom Harding

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