Bulletin Edition November 2023

Six Signs of Trouble 

Every true believer fears the removal of God’s presence and power. David prayed, “Take not thy Spirit from me.” Paul feared that, “while preaching to others, I might become a castaway.” My thoughts are that this condition is manifested in the following ways:

1. We begin to experience no blessing nor benefit from the reading or preaching of the Word. When the Word ceases to  convict, rebuke, burn in my heart, and cause me to rejoice in Christ, then God is not speaking to me; for God speaks through his Word.

2. We are in trouble when we feel satisfied with our spiritual progress and become puffed up with knowledge. We become authorities instead of learners; having arrived, our humble spirit is in creed alone, not experience.

3. We can be absent from the fellowship of believers and worship of the Lord without feeling a great loss and an empty heart. A man who can be warmed by his own fire is either dead or dying spiritually.

4. We begin to be critics and find fault with others. The Spirit of God leads a man to feel that he is “less than the least,” “chief of sinners.” When the Spirit of God is not present, we become judges and fault-finders.

5. When our souls are not vexed by the sin within us and the conversation of men about us, when we can feel comfortable in the presence of those who never knew our God, when we can conform to the ways of natural men and the trend of materialism, the light of God is dim or extinguished.

6. When our thoughts become self-centred and the general welfare, well-being, and joy of others is of no great concern to us, we are certainly not motivated by the Spirit of God. Selfishness, like self-righteousness, is not of God. 

The heart filled with God’s love and grace dwells on others; to make them happy is to be happy. 

Henry Mahan

How to Avoid Times of Depression

But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. – Jude 1:20-21

    Someone asked, “How can I avoid these times of depression, indifference, and bad attitude toward others?” First, there is no perfection in the flesh! While we do not approve of our infirmities, failures, evil thoughts, or backslidings, we are, nevertheless, aware of their source; the flesh. And, because of that, we are also aware of the fact that this conflict and warfare will be with us until death. However, the next time you are plagued with coldness of spirit, prolonged bad attitude, and a worldly spirit, check and see if you are not neglecting the means of grace and your fellowship with Christ.

    I find that when I am walking with Christ in sweet communion, frequently engaging in private prayer, participating in worship services and Bible study, and reading the Word of God, it is easier to forgive others, easier to overcome pride, envy, and jealousy, and I am less interested in material things and more interested in that which is of the Spirit. But if I neglect these means of grace I suddenly become more interested in those things which I really despise and begin acting in a way that is not glorifying to God.

    If we will learn the power of his precious blood, dwell in him, feed upon his Word, and seek to occupy our thoughts with his gracious presence, then we will see our tempers controlled, our hearts filled with love for him and others, and our feet and hands swift to do works of faith and laborus of love. 

Henry Mahan

Lord, save us and we will be saved. Call us and we will come. Speak to us and we will listen. Feed us and we will be fed. You have started the work; You must finish it. We are completely at Your mercy. We are the work of Your hands.           

~Gabe Stalnaker


What do I do when I am under severe trial, enduring pain  of body and mind, and am full of fear? 

What do I do when dying seems to be easier than living with the circumstances the Lord has 

given me? 

The answer for the believer is simple: do the same things you do when the Lord blesses you: worship publicly, pray, and read God’s Word. 

What do I do when I don’t understand what God is doing or how He could possibly bring good out of my 

painful situation? Go to the house of the Lord in the public worship service just like you do when the Lord blesses you. “When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me; until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end.” (Psalm 73:16-17) 

What do I do when I am so full of fear? 

Trust the Lord just like you do when the Lord blesses you. “What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.” (Psalm 56:3) 

What do I do when I feel hopeless and helpless? Look to Christ just like you do when the Lord blesses you. “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.” (Psalm 121:1) 

What do I do when I don’t think I have the strength to endure for one more minute? 

Trust the Lord to be your strength. “I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick.” (Ezek. 34:16) 

No matter what our circumstances may be at the moment, let us say with David, “I will bless the LORD at all 

times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.” (Psalm 34:1)                                                   

Pastor Frank Tate 


            He knows and rejoices that all of his sin and sins are pardoned, paid for, and put away by the sacrifice of Christ the Lord.  He condemns sin in himself!  While sin does not reign it does remain in the believer, but he does not excuse or justify it. He grieves over it and daily confesses his sins before God.  He hates a bad attitude as much as evil actions.  He judges his motives as well as his manner by the holiness of Christ; and, when he finds iniquity in himself, he despises it and judges himself.  “O wretched man that I am!”

            He forgives sin in others!  He does not forgive himself – only God can do that  –  but he is quick to pity, have mercy upon, and forgive others.  Not to be able to forgive is to forfeit the right to ask forgiveness.  He longs to be free from all sin and to be perfectly conformed to the image of Christ.  While he rejoices in Christ, is content with his lot, and finds joy in the fellowship of Christ’s Church, he will only be satisfied when he awakes in the likeness of Christ!                           

 Henry Mahan

The Display of Works

…all who know Christ, in the experience of grace, are justified by the display of good works before men (James 2:14-26). Yes, there is a sense in which we are justified by works, not before God, but before men. We justify our profession of faith in Christ by our works. Believers do not show their faith by creeds, confessions, and catechisms, but by their conduct. This is what the Holy Spirit teaches us in James 2:14-26.

James and Paul are not opposed to each other. In Romans Paul shows us the accomplishment of justification. James shows us the evidence of justification. If a person is a true believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, he will justify his faith and prove its reality by works of righteous obedience to God, even as Abraham did. Any faith that does not produce obedience to God is a false faith, a demonic delusion. It is not the faith of God’s elect. Free grace is not opposed to good works. Free grace promotes good works (Tit. 3:4-8, 14).

What are those works that justify our professed faith before men? What are those works that prove the reality of our profession? The Holy Spirit describes them in the Book of James in a fourfold manner.

1. Good works are works of patient submission to the will of God (James 1:2-3).

2. Good works are works of genuine love toward the people of God (James 2:15-16). If we love each other, we bear one another’s burdens, weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice. We provide for, care for, protect, and forgive those who are the objects of our love.

3. Good works are works of faithful obedience to the Word of God (James 2:21-23). Believers bow to the will of God in providence and obey the revealed will of God in Scripture.

4. Good works are works of self-denial and sacrifice for the glory of God (James 2:23-25).

Every believer is eternally justified in the purpose of God by the decree of God the Father. All of God’s elect were fully justified in time at Calvary by the death of God the Son. Every believer receives complete justification by faith in Christ, in the experience of grace, by the declaration of God the Holy Spirit in conversion. Every true believer is justified before men by the display of good works. Our justification is an eternal act of God, accomplished at Calvary, received by faith, and proved by works.

Don Fortner

The Gospel crucible!

(John MacDuff, “Ripples in the Twilight” 1885)

 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:18

It will never cease to be one of the marvels of Christianity, that her antidotes are the same in every climate, every age, and every bosom. Just as the chemist can infallibly pronounce on the action of the various elements he throws into his crucible — so in the Gospel crucible, cast the human heart in its every form and type, that of . . .

  the degraded African,

  the superstitious Hindu,

  the ferocious Arab,

  the reprobate European —

the Gospel of Christ, by a heavenly alchemy, melts that heart! It dissolves . . .

  the pride of reason,

  the power of superstition,

  the curse and misery of vice!

It is the only universal balm!

It was tried . . .

  on ignorant fishermen of Galilee,

  on poor wayside beggars of Judea,

  on hardened Roman soldiers and

  on crouching slaves of sin and Satan.

It was tried on the great persecutor of the church — and by him on the disciples of Plato on Mars Hill. It was tried amid the tears of Bethany — and amid the courtly splendour and uncongenial influences of Caesar’s household. And in not one of all these varied cases, has it failed!

The king clothed in ermine,

the pauper clothed in rags,

the statesman in his senate-house,

the merchant at his desk,

the artisan in his workshop,

the cottager at her wheel —

all feel the power of the same Gospel, all own the beauteous simplicity of the same healing words, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ — and you shall be saved!”

Faith, in its practical exercise

(John Newton’s Letters)

That faith which justifies:
  purifies the heart,
  works by love, and
  overcomes the world.

That faith which justifies the soul, does likewise
receive grace from Jesus, whereby the heart is
purified, and the life regulated as befits the
Gospel of Christ.

Faith is of great use and importance in the daily
concerns of life
. Faith gives evidence and reality
to things not seen, and realizes the great truths
of the Gospel—so that they become abiding and
living principles of support and direction while
we are passing through this wilderness.

It is a believer’s privilege to walk with God in the
exercise of faith, and, by the power of His Spirit,
to mortify the whole body of sin, to gain a growing
victory over the world and self, and to make daily
advances in conformity to the mind of Christ.

Faith, in its practical exercise, has for its object
the whole word of God; and forms its estimate of all
things with which the soul is at present concerned,
according to the standard of Scripture.

When our Lord was upon earth, and conversed with
His disciples, their eyes and hearts were fixed upon
Him. In danger He was their defender; their guide
when in perplexity; and to Him they looked for the
solution of all their doubts, and the supply of all their
needs. He is now withdrawn from our eyes; but faith
sets Him still before us, for the same purposes, and,
with the same effects, as if we actually saw Him!

His spiritual presence, apprehended by faith, is . . .
  a restraint from evil,
  an encouragement to every service, and
  affords a present refuge and help in every time of trouble.

A measure of trials is necessary

(John Newton’s Letters)

A measure of trials is necessary for the exercise
and manifestation of your graces; to give you a more
convincing proof of the truth and sweetness of the
promises made to a time of affliction; to mortify the
body of sin; and to wean you more effectually from
the world.

Faith upholds a Christian under all trials, by assuring him
that every painful dispensation is under the direction of
his Lord; that chastisements are a token of His love; that
the season, measure, and continuance of his sufferings,
are appointed by Infinite Wisdom, and designed to work
for his everlasting good; and that grace and strength
shall be afforded him, according to his need.

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