Monday, December 20, 2010

When Silence is Sin

by Patte Smith on Sunday, December 12, 2010 at 4:12pm

Timely, bold, kind, and wisely-directed rebuke is often used by the God of all grace as the means of awakening souls from spiritual death; this is an all-sufficient reason for our being ready to deliver it when occasion demands it. Can souls be won to God by any means? then we will use that means, and look to God the Holy Ghost to bless our efforts. It is frequently a hard and self-denying duty to administer admonition personally either to saints or sinners; but, if we love the souls of men, and would be clear of our brother’s blood, we must school ourselves to it, and make as much a conscience of it as of our prayers...

If men were not corrupt in heart, they would turn from sin of themselves...but, alas! their nature is so depraved that one sin is a prelude to another...Men’s consciences should be sufficient monitors; but...the watchers sleep, and the foes advance. Hence it becomes essential that, by agency from without, warning should be given. Brands must be plucked from the burning, for of themselves they will never leave the fire. Sin makes men—such madmen—that they are quite beside themselves, and sharp methods must be used to restrain them from self-destruction. An ox or an ass in a pit, will struggle to get out; but men are such silly creatures that they will not move hand or foot to escape, but rather delight in their own ruin; we must, therefore, as Jude puts it, “pull them out.”

The Word of God is very plain as to the duty of rebuking sin, although, from the neglect into which the work has fallen, one might have imagined that it was left optional, or allowed, rather than commanded. It is a most weighty observation that, according to God’s Law, silence concerning sin is consent to it.

“And if a soul sin, and hear the voice of swearing, and is a witness, whether he hath seen or known of it; if he do not utter it, then he shall bear his iniquity” (Leviticus 5:1).

“By ill silence to leave men in sin is as bad as by ill speech to draw them to sin. Not to do good, saith our Savior, is to do evil, and not to save is to destroy” ~ Trapp

“And He saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill?” (Mark 3:4).

To leave others in their sins unreproved is to be “partakers of other men’s sins.” Paul teaches us this when he writes, “Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them”—as much as to say, if you do not reprove them, you have fellowship with them. If I see a thief breaking into a house, and give no alarm, am I not, by my silence, an accessory to the act? Without the aid of my silence the burglar could not perpetrate the robbery; if I lend him that assistance, am I not, morally, his accomplice? The same holds good in all cases; but we are not left merely to infer the fact, for the Lord has told us by the mouth of His prophet Ezekiel, “If thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.” The ruin and sin of others we shall surely partake in if they perish through want of our admonition.

Eli must break his neck for very grief when his sons are cut off in their sin; it was not meet that he should outlive those whom he had not endeavored to preserve from ruin by timely rebuke: had he made their ears to tingle with his upbraidings, his ears might never have tingled with the news of the terrible judgments of God.

How few Christians will be able to say with Paul, “I am pure from the blood of all men”?—none of us can be in that happy case if we neglect the duty of warning our neighbors for their good.

The law and the gospel with one voice call us to the duty we are now endeavoring to enforce. The law: “Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbor, and not suffer sin upon him” (Leviticus 19:17)..Those who forget this duty cannot plead that they are not sufficiently reminded of it, for the Word is very full and clear upon the point; and yet the most of us are so negligent in it that one might imagine we respected the foolish and cruel law... that none should tell his neighbor of any calamity which had befallen him, but every one should be left, by process of time, to find out his own troubles for himself. Alas! that sinners should hardly hear of hell until they come there!

 Scriptural testimony will have the most force with us; and what saith it?—”The rod and reproof give wisdom” (Proverbs 29:15). “Reprove one that hath understanding, and he will understand knowledge” (Proverbs 19:25). “Let the righteous smite me,” saith David, “it shall be a kindness.” He calls it “an excellent oil, which shall not break my head” (Psalm 141:4). Christ styles it “a pearl and a holy thing” (Matthew 7:6). Solomon prefers it before silver, gold; and rubies; it is the merchandise of wisdom which is better than precious treasures (Proverbs 3:14, 15). He describes it “As an earring of gold, and an ornament of fine gold” (Proverbs 25:12). Our Savior encourages us to this much-forgotten service by the prospect of success, “Thou hast gained thy brother” (Matthew 18:15). To gain a soul is better than to win the world, as he has assured us who knew the worth of souls better than any of us..You cannot do your friend a greater kindness than to admonish him in the Lord, nor can you wish your enemy a greater injury than to go unrebuked.

Exhort one another daily,” says the apostle,  “while it is called to-day, lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.”

How many a Naaman might have been washed from his leprosy if his Christian servants had been earnest enough to speak with him on soul matters! But, alas! Blood-guiltiness is hardly felt to be a sin in these days! Soul-murder is scarcely ever wept over! A poor wretch dies of starvation, and men cry out because bread was not given him; but when souls sink into damnation for lack of knowledge, they who withhold the bread of heaven will not allow their consciences to trouble them. May the Lord give us tenderness of heart to repent the neglect of the past, and holy resolution to labor more heartily in the future.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon


by Patte Smith on Wednesday, December 8, 2010 at 1:25pm

"As we begin to move closer to Christmas, to the timeless narrative of the Nativity, and the story of Herod’s evil, we should bear in mind that we are all called to do something about the slaughter of innocents {by abortion} in our day." ~ Gerard Nadal

What would I have done? Would I have had the courage to stand against the tyrannical King who ordered the slaughter of innocents? Would I have helped Mary and Joseph, or any other mother and child escape the murderous wrath of a jealous King? I’d like to think that the answer is YES.

...Herod has been eclipsed by an army of bloody tyrants who walk the corridors of power today...the agreement is that the price of power is BABIES MUST DIE.

Yes, I used the imperative.

No, it’s not melodramatic.

We have long since passed some academic right to choose abortion. The field of Obstetrics brings unrelenting pressure to bear on women who might be carrying a less than perfect child. Trisomic conditions are cause for summary execution. Women and men are brow-beaten, called selfish (and worse) for wanting to bring their special needs children into the world. If the baby is anencephalic, parents are called monsters for bringing the child to term.

No, it seems that there is a mandate now for abortion. And the list of those marked as unworthy of life continues to grow.

...modern day Herods.

... children... ground us, make us face maturity by calling us to focus on their utter helplessness. They teach us the meaning of love. They teach us redemptive suffering. They save us from eternal adolescent narcissism, and draw us closer to God.

So as we begin to move closer to Christmas, to the timeless narrative of the Nativity, and the story of Herod’s evil, we should bear in mind that we are all called to do something about the slaughter of innocents in our day.

I don’t know what I would have done then.
I do know what we are called to do now.
~ Gerard Nadal
Excerpted from:

Friends, I urge you to prayerfully seek the help & strength of Jesus Christ to do something to intervene to save imperiled infants in your city. Google your city & 'abortion' & then go & take a visible AND audible stand for life & eternity. Lift up your voice for the voiceless. In the Name of Jesus;

Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter. Proverbs 24:11

For advice on how to begin reaching out to the perishing orphans at the abortuary near you:

Together for Life & Eternity,
Patte Smith
Sanctuary Ministries
Schoolmaster Ministries

Street Preaching: Is it in the Bible?

by Patte Smith on Sunday, November 21, 2010 at 7:14pm

"Street preaching. . . is it Biblical?"

Not because it is always fruitful, or comfortable or for that matters safe. But because it is the Word of God, and the gospel which is the power of God unto salvation and we are commanded to.

Matthew 5 Jesus sermon on the mount taught them openly

Jesus went out by the sea and taught them, Mark 2

Again Jesus teaches them open air by the sea, Mark 4 And calls them in Mark 4, preaching calling the to repent

Again out by the Jordan Jesus taught them openly Mark 10

And then when sending out the 12 to the villages tells them to preach Matt 10

Matt 11 He goes to the villages to preach

Jesus said, "Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled." Luke 14:23

Acts 8:25 they went preaching the gospel in many villages

Day of Pentecost was open air preaching Acts 2 Acts 10:42 the disciples declare Jesus told them to preach to the people.

Pauls says Acts 20:20 ". . . I taught you publicly. . ."

Romans 10:15 says that people must be sent preaching that the lost would hear.

Titus 1:3 manifested His Word through preaching

2 Timothy 4:2 is a call and command to preach the Word

Dozens of dozens of verses could be considered, and there is no escape that true believers in Jesus Christ are called to share the gospel at all times and in every place, and preach the gospel. The only way to avoid the clear call to go and make disciples, to share the gospel and to preach the Word, is to never pick up the Bible and read the New Testament for oneself, for after this, one is either exhorted and encouraged, or convicted of sins of omission.

Rich Monson

Jesus, the Water of Life

by Patte Smith on Sunday, November 21, 2010 at 6:04pm

The Drop which Grew into a Torrent: A personal experience
~ Charles Spurgeon

All my soul was dry and dead
Till I learned that Jesus bled;
Bled and suffer’d in my place,
Bearing sin in matchless grace.

Then a drop of Heavenly love
Fell upon me from above,
And by secret, mystic art
Reached the centre of my heart.

Glad the story I recount,
How that drop became a fount,
Bubbled up a living well,
Made my heart begin to swell.

All within my soul was praise,
Praise increasing all my days;
Praise which could not silent be:
Floods were struggling to be free.

More and more the waters grew,
Open wide the flood-gates flew,
Leaping forth in streams of song
Flowed my happy life along.

Lo! the river clear and sweet
Laved my glad, obedient feet!
Soon it rose up to my knees,
And I praised and prayed with ease.

Now my soul in praises swims,
Bathes in songs, and psalms and hymns;
Plunges down into the deeps,
All her powers in worship steeps.

Hallelujah! O my Lord,
Torrents from my soul are poured!
I am carried clean away,
Praising, praising all the day.

In an ocean of delight,
Praising God with all my might,
Self is drowned. So let it be:
Only Christ remains to me.


There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, 
 the holy habitation of the Most High.
Psalm 46:4

Jesus said "... whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again.
The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
John 4:14

Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters;
and you who have no money, come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.
...The LORD will guide you always;
He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.
Isaiah 55:1;58:11

For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their Shepherd;
He will lead them to springs of living water.
And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.
Revelation 7:17

Dead Wrong

by Patte Smith on Sunday, November 21, 2010 at 10:21am

You flatter them; and what happens?
...they dance upon their own graves.
~ Spurgeon

The wicked dance upon their own graves. And the churchmen's tunes play on. The pastors fiddle while babies die and their neighbors burn. 

"There is a way that seems right to a man,
but its end is the way to death."
~ Proverbs 14:12

"How can I help weeping when you will not weep for yourselves,
though your immortal souls are on the verge of destruction!"
 ~ George Whitefield

"The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.
Who can understand it?”
Jeremiah 17:9

For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery,
sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.
These are what make a man unclean.
Matthew 15:19

"The day when God shall judge the secrets of men
by Jesus Christ according to my gospel."
Romans 2:16

Brethren, we must preach the coming of the Lord, and preach it somewhat more than we have done; because it is the driving power of the gospel. Too many have kept back these truths, and thus the bone has been taken out of the arm of the gospel. Its point has been broken; its edge has been blunted. The doctrine of judgment to come is the power by which men are to be aroused. There is another life; the Lord will come a second time; judgment will arrive; the wrath of God will be revealed. Where this is not preached, I am bold to say the gospel is not preached. It is absolutely necessary to the preaching of the gospel of Christ that men be warned as to what will happen if they continue in their sins.

Ho, ho, sir surgeon, you are too delicate to tell the man that he is ill! You hope to heal the sick without their knowing it. You therefore flatter them; and what happens? They laugh at you; they dance upon their own graves. At last they die! Your delicacy is cruelty; your flatteries are poisons; you are a murderer. Shall we keep men in a fool's paradise? Shall we lull them into soft slumbers from which they will awake in hell? Are we to become helpers of their damnation by our smooth speeches? In the Name of God we will not. It becomes every true minister of Christ to cry aloud and spare not, for God hath set a day in which he will "judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel."
 ~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon

excerpted from the sermon: 'Coming Judgment of the Secrets of Men'

The 9th commandment warns: Do not bear false witness against your neighbor!

by Patte Smith on Monday, November 15, 2010 at 4:00pm

Excerpted from:

The Ten Commandments
The Ninth Commandment
By Thomas Watson

      "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.' Exodus 20:16

The tongue which at first was made to be an organ of God's praise, is now become an instrument of unrighteousness. This commandment binds the tongue to its good behaviour. God has set two natural fences to keep in the tongue, the teeth and lips; and this commandment is a third fence set about it, that it should not break forth into evil. It has a prohibitory and a mandatory part: the first is set down in plain words, the other is clearly implied.

      I. The prohibitory part of the commandment, or, what it forbids in general. It forbids anything which may tend to the disparagement or prejudice of our neighbour. More particularly, two things are forbidden in this commandment.

      [1] Slandering our neighbour. This is a sin against the ninth commandment...Slandering is to report things of others unjustly.' They laid to my charge things that I knew not.' Psalm 35: 11. ..They raised for a slander of Paul, that he preached men might do evil that good might come of it.' We be slanderously reported; and some affirm that we say, "Let us do evil, that good may come".' Rom 3: 8. ...Holiness itself is no shield from slander. The lamb's innocence will not preserve it from the wolf. Christ, the most innocent upon earth, was reported to be a friend of sinners. John the Baptist was a man of a holy and austere life, and yet they said of him, 'He has a devil.' Matt 11: 18. The Scripture calls slandering, smiting with the tongue. 'Come, and let us smite him with the tongue.' Jer 18: 18. ...As it is a sin against this commandment to raise a false report of another, so it is to receive a false report before we have examined it. 'Lord, who shall dwell in thy holy hill?' Psa 15: 1... We must not only not raise a false report, but not take it up. He that raises a slander, carries the devil in his tongue; and he that receives it, carries the devil in his car.

[2] The second thing forbidden in this commandment is false witness.

Here three sins are condemned:
(1) Speaking.
(2) Witnessing.
(3) Swearing that which is false... [against your neighbour].

(1) Speaking that which is false. 'Lying lips are abomination to the Lord.' Prov 12: 22. To lie is to speak that which one knows to be an untruth. There is nothing more contrary to God than a lie. The Holy Ghost is called 'the Spirit of Truth.' 1 John 4: 6. ... This sin highly provokes God. Ananias and Sapphire were struck dead for telling a lie. Acts 5: 5. The furnace of hell is heated for liars. 'Without are sorcerers, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.' Rev 22: 15. O abhor this sin! ...When thou speakest, let thy word be as authentic as thy oath. Imitate God, who is the pattern of truth...'The character of a man that shall go to heaven, is that He speaketh the truth in his heart.' Psa 15: 2.

(2) That which is condemned in the commandment is, witnessing that which is false. Thou shalt not bear false witness.' There is a twofold bearing false witness:
1. There is bearing false witness for another.
2. Bearing false witness against another.

      Bearing false witness for another; as when we give our testimony for a person who is criminal and guilty, and we justify him as if he were innocent. 'Which justify the wicked for reward.' Isa 5: 23. He that seeks to make a wicked man just, makes himself unjust.

      It is bearing false witness against another, when we accuse him in open court falsely. This is to imitate the devil, who is 'the accuser of the brethren.' Though the devil is no adulterer, yet he is a false witness. Solomon says, 'A man that beareth false witness against his neighbour, is a maul and a sword.' Prov 25: 18. ...A false witness perverts the place of judicature; he corrupts the judge by making him pronounce a wrong sentence, and causes the innocent to suffer. Vengeance will find out the false witness. 'A false witness shall not be unpunished.' Prov 19: 5. If the witness be a false witness, and has testified falsely against his brother; then shall ye do unto him, as he had thought to have done unto his brother;'if, for instance, he had thought to have taken away his life, his own life shall go for it.' Deut 19: 18, 19.

      (2) They are reproved who make no conscience of slandering others...The slanderer wounds three at once: he wounds him that is slandered; he wounds him to whom he reports the slander, by causing uncharitable thoughts to arise up in his mind against the party slandered; and he wounds his own soul, by reporting of another what is false. This is a great sin; and I wish I could say it is not common. You may kill a man in his name as well as in his person. Some are loath to take away their neighbour's goods -- conscience would fly in their face; but better take away their corn out of their field, their wares out of their shop, than take away their good name. This is a sin for which no reparation can be made; a blot in a man's name, being like a blot on white paper, which will never be got out. Surely God will visit for this sin. If idle words shall be accounted for, shall not unjust slanders? The Lord will make inquisition one day, as well for names as for blood. Oh therefore take heed of this sin!... Is it not a greater sin to defame a saint, who is a member of Christ? The heathen, by the light of nature, abhorred the sin of slandering.

      (3) They are reproved who are so wicked as to bear false witness against others. These are monsters in nature, unfit to live in a civil society...Jezebel, who suborned two false witnesses against Naboth, was'thrown down from a window and the dogs licked her blood.' 2 Kings 9: 33. Oh, tremble at this sin! A perjured person is the devil's excrement. He is cursed in his name, and seared in his conscience. Hell gapes for such a windfall.
For exhortation... Let all take heed of breaking this commandment, by lying, slandering, and bearing false witness. To avoid these sins get the fear of God. Why does David say, 'The fear of the Lord is clean'? Psa 19: 9. Because it cleanses the heart from malice, and the tongue from slander. 'The fear of the Lord is clean:' it is to the soul as lightning to the air, which cleanses it. Get love to your neighbour. Lev 19: 18. If we love a friend, we shall not speak or attest anything to his prejudice. Men's minds are cankered with envy and hatred; hence come slandering and false witnessing. Love is a lovely grace; 'love thinketh no evil.' 1 Cor 13: 5. It puts the best interpretation upon another's words. Love is a well-wisher, and it is rare to speak ill of him we wish well to. Love is that which cements Christians together; it is the healer of division, and the hinderer of slander.
Let those whose lot it is to meet with slanderers and false accusers:
[1] Labour to make a sanctified use of it... If you are slandered, or falsely accused, make a good use of it. See if you have no sin unrepented of, for which God may suffer you to be calumniated and reproached. See if you have not at any time wronged others in their name, and said that of them which you cannot prove; then lay your hand on your mouth, and confess the Lord is righteous to let you fall under the scourge of the tongue.

[2] If you are slandered, or falsely accused, but know your own innocence, be not too much troubled; let your rejoicing be the witness of your conscience... [Let this be a bulwark, to know oneself guiltless]. A good conscience is a wall of brass, that will be able to stand against a false witness. As no flattery can heal a bad conscience, so no slander can hurt a good one. God will clear up the names of His people. 'He shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light.' Psa 37: 6. As He will wipe away tears from the eyes, so will He wipe off reproaches from the name. Believers shall come forth out of all their slanders and reproaches, as the wings of a dove, covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow gold.'

(3) Be very thankful to God, if He has preserved you from slander and false witness... We ought to acknowledge this to be a great mercy before God.

 II. The mandatory part of the commandment implied is that we stand up for others and vindicate them when they are injured by lying lips. This is the sense of the commandment, not only that we should not slander falsely or accuse others; but that we should witness for them, and stand up in their defence, when we know them to be traducedA man may wrong another as well by silence as by slander, when he knows him to be wrongfully accused, yet does not speak in his behalf. If others cast false aspersions on any, we should wipe them off. When the apostles were filled with the wine of the Spirit, and were charged with drunkenness, Peter openly maintained their innocence. 'These are not drunken, as ye suppose.'Acts 2: 15. Jonathan knowing David to be a worthy man, and all those things Saul said of him to be slanders, vindicated him. 'David has not sinned against thee; his works have been to thee-ward very good. Wherefore then wilt thou sin against innocent blood, to slay David without a cause?' 1 Sam 19: 4, 5. When the primitive Christians were falsely accused for incest, and killing their children, Tertullian wrote a famous apology in their vindication. This is to act the part both of a friend and of a Christian, to be an advocate for another, when he is wronged in his good name.

How are you to respond when you are harshly (& perhaps unjustly) judged?

by Patte Smith on Monday, November 15, 2010 at 1:00pm

Job with well-meaning (but flawed) religious friends

1. strong or vehement expression of disapproval

2. an official reprimand, as by a legislative body of one of its members.

–verb (used with object)
3. to criticize or reproach in a harsh or vehement manner

–verb (used without object)
4. to give censure, adverse criticism, disapproval, or blame.

1. acting or tending to act too hastily or without due consideration.

2. characterized by or showing too great haste or lack of consideration

Have you ever endured stinging, harsh criticism by others? Perhaps within the context of 'the church' or with another Christian? Maybe you have heard negative untruths or exaggerations about your pastor or your church.  It hurts, doesn't it? Sometimes you are so suprised by the censuring that you take the defensive. In his wonderful biblical treatise against censoriousness 'Cases And Directions Against Censoriousness And Unwarrantable Judging' Richard Baxter provides godly advice for those who suffer the humiliation and injustice of hasty censure. I have taken an excerpt from his article and posted it below. May you sense the help of the Holy Spirit when your pastor or church suffer maligning or when you walk through a painful experience or season of being the object of rash censure.

In His Grace,
Patte Smith

Cases And Directions Against Censoriousness And Unwarrantable Judging

Directions for those that are rashly censured
by Richard Baxter

Direct. 1

Remember when you are injured by censures, that God is now trying your humility, charity, and patience; and therefore be most studious to exercise and preserve these three.

1. Take heed lest pride make you disdainful to the censurer; a humble man can bear contempt; hard censures hurt men so far as they are proud.

2. Take heed lest imbecility add to your impatience, and concur with pride: cannot you bear greater things than these? Impatience will disclose that badness in yourselves, which will make you censured much more; and it will show you as weak in one respect as the censurers are in another.

3. Take heed lest their fault do not draw you to overlook or undervalue that serious godliness which is in many of the censorious; and that you do not presently judge them hypocrites or schismatics, and abate your charity to them, or incline to handle them more roughly than the tenderness of Christ alloweth you. Remember that in all ages it hath been thus: the church hath had peevish children within, as well as persecuting enemies without; insomuch as Paul, Rom. 14 giveth you the picture of these times, and giveth them this counsel, which from him I am giving you. The weak in knowledge were censorious, and judged the strong; the strong in knowledge were weak in charity, and contemned the weak: just as now one party saith, These are superstitious persons, and anti-Christian; the other saith, What giddy schismatics are these! but Paul chideth them both; one sort for censuring, and the other for despising them.

Direct. II. Take heed lest whilst you are impatient under their censures, you fall into the same sin yourselves. Do they censure you for differing ill some forms or ceremonies from them? Take heed lest you over-censure them for their censoriousness: if you censure them as hypocrites who censure you as superstitious, you condemn yourselves while you are condemning them. For why will not censuring too far, prove you hypocrites also, if it prove them such?

Direct. III. Remember that Christ beareth with their weakness, who is wronged by it more than you, and is more against it. He doth not quit his title to them for their frowardness, nor cease his love, nor turn every infant out of his family that will cry and wrangle, nor every patient out of his hospital that doth complain and groan; and we must imitate our Lord and love where he loveth, and pity where he pitieth, and be merciful as our heavenly Father is merciful.

Direct. IV. Remember how amiable a thing the least degree of grace is, even when it is clouded and blotted with infirmities. It is the divine nature, and the image of God, and the seed of glory; and therefore as an infant hath the noble nature of a man, and in all his weakness is much more honourable than the best of brutes (so that it is death to kill an infant, but not a beast): so is the most infirm and froward true Christian more honourable and amiable than the most splendid infidel. Bear with them in love and honor to the image and interest of Christ.

Direct. V. Remember that you were once weak in grace yourselves; and if happy education under peaceable guides did not prevent it, it is two to one but you were yourselves censorious. Bear therefore with others as you bear with crying children, because you were once a child yourself. Not that the sin is ever the better, but you should be the more compassionate.

Direct. VI. Remember that your own strength and judgment is so great a mercy, that you should the easilier bear with a censorious tongue. The rich and noble can bear with the envious, remembering that it is happy to have that worth or felicity which men do envy. You suffer fools gladly, seeing you yourselves are wise. If you are in the right let losers talk.

Direct. VII. Remember that we shall be shortly together in heaven, where they will recant their censures, and you will easily forgive them, and perfectly love them. And will not the foresight of such a meeting cause you to bear with them, and forgive and love them now?

Direct. VIII. Remember how inconsiderable a thing it is as to your own interest, to be judged of man; and that you stand or fall to the judgment of the Lord, 1 Cor. 4:3,4. What are you the better or the worse for the thoughts or words of a man; when your salvation or damnation lieth upon God's judgment. It is too much hypocrisy, to be too much desirous of man's esteem and approbation, and too much troubled at his disesteem and censure, and not to be satisfied with the approbation of God. Read what is written against man-pleasing, part i.

Direct. IX. Make some advantage of other men's censures, for your own proficiency. If good men censure you, be not too quick in concluding that you are innocent, and justifying yourselves; but be suspicious of yourselves, lest they should prove the right, and examine yourselves with double diligence. If you find that you are clear in the point that you are censured for, suspect and examine lest some other sin hath provoked God to try you by these censures; and if you find not any other notable fault, let it make you the more watchful by way of prevention, seeing the eyes of God and men are on you; and it may he God's warning, to bid you take heed for the time to come. If you are thus brought to repentance, or to the more careful life, by occasion of men's censures, they will prove so great a benefit to you, that you may bear them the more easily.

Read Richard Baxter's entire article here:

Charles Spurgeon on the 'celebration' of 'Christmas'

by Patte Smith on Saturday, November 13, 2010 at 2:00pm

"Blow up the trumpet in the new moon, in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day.'
Psalm 81:3

Obedience is to direct our worship, not whim and sentiment: God's appointments gives a solemnity to rites and times which no ceremonial pomp or hierarchical ordinance could confer... Those who plead this passage as an authority for their man-appointed feasts and fasts must be moon-struck. We will keep such feast as the Lord appoints, but not those which Rome or Canterbury may ordain.

...When it can be proved that the observance of Christmas...was ever instituted by a divine statute, we will also attend to them, but not till then. It is as much our duty to reject the traditions of men as to observe the ordinances of the Lord.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Christmas is coming! Quite so; but what is "Christmas?"

by Patte Smith on Saturday, November 13, 2010 at 1:41pm

 by A. W. Pink

"Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen...for the CUSTOMS of the people are vain."
Jeremiah 10:1-3

Christmas is coming! Quite so; but what is "Christmas?"

Says someone, 'Christmas is the time when we commemorate the Saviour's birth.' It is? And who authorized such commemoration? Certainly God did not. The Redeemer bade His disciples "remember" Him in His death, but there is not a word in Scripture, from Genesis to Revelation, which tells us to celebrate His birth. Moreover, who knows when, in what month, He was born? The Bible is silent thereon. Is it without reason that the only "birthday" commemorations mentioned in God's Word are Pharaoh's (Gen. 40:20) and Herod's (Matt. 14:6)? Is this recorded "for our learning?" If so, have we prayerfully taken it to heart?

And who is it that celebrates "Christmas?" The whole "civilized world." Millions who make no profession of faith in the blood of the Lamb, who "despise and reject Him," and millions more who while claiming to be His followers yet in works deny Him, join in merrymaking under the pretense of honoring the birth of the Lord Jesus. Putting it on its lowest ground, we would ask, Is it fitting that His friends should unite with His enemies in a worldly round of fleshly gratification? Does any truly born-again soul really think that He whom the world cast out is either pleased or glorified by such participation in the world's joys? Verily, the customs of the people are vain; and it is written, "Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil" (Ex. 23:2).

Some will argue for the "keeping of Christmas" on the ground of "giving the kiddies a good time." But why do this under cloak of honoring the Saviour's birth? Why is it necessary to drag in His holy Name in connection with what takes place at that season of carnal jollification? Is this taking the little ones with you out of Egypt (Ex. 10:9,10) a type of the world, or is it not plainly a mingling with the present-day Egyptians in their "pleasures of sin for a season?" (Heb. 11:25). Scripture says, "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." (Prov. 22:6). Scripture does command God's people to bring up their children "in the nurture and admonition of the Lord" (Eph. 6:4), but where does it stipulate that it is our duty to give the little ones a "good time?" Do we ever give the children "a good time" when we engage in anything upon which we cannot fittingly ask the Lord's blessing

There are those who do abstain from some of the grosser carnalities of the "festive season," yet are they nevertheless in cruel to the prevailing custom of "Christmas" namely that of exchanging "gifts." We say "exchanging" for that is what it really amounts to in many cases. A list is kept, either on paper or in memory, of those from whom gifts were received last year, and that for the purpose of returning the compliment this year. Nor is this all: great care has to be taken that the "gift" made to the friend is worth as much in dollars and cents as the one they expect to receive from him or her. Thus, with many who can ill afford it, a considerable sum has to be set aside each year with which to purchase things simply to send them out in return for others which are likely to be received. Thus a burden has been bound on them which not a few find hard to bear

But what are we to do? If we fail to send out "gifts" our friends will think hard of us, probably deem us stingy and miserly. The honest course is to go to the trouble of notifying them — by letter if at a distance — that from now on you do not propose to send out any more "Christmas gifts" as such. Give your reasons. State plainly that you have been brought to see that "Christmas merry-making" is entirely a thing of the world, devoid of any Scripture warrant...and that now you see this, you dare no longer have any fellowship with it (Eph. 5:11); that you are the Lord's "free man" (I Cor. 7:22), and therefore you refuse to be in to a costly custom imposed by the world.

What about sending out "Christmas cards" with a text of Scripture on them? That also is an abomination in the sight of God. Why? Because His Word expressly forbids all unholy mixtures; Deut. 22:10, 11 typified this. ...By all means send cards, preferably at some other time of the year, to your ungodly friends, and [at] Christmas too, with a verse of Scripture, but not with "Christmas" on it. What would you think of a printed program of a vaudeville having Isa. 53:5 at the foot of it? Why, that it was altogether out of place, highly incongruous. But in the sight of God the circus and the theatre are far less obnoxious than the "Christmas celebration" of Romish and Protestant "churches." Why? Because the latter are done under the cover of the Holy name of Christ; the former are not.

"But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day." (Prov. 4:18) Where there is a heart that really desires to please the Lord, He graciously grants increasing knowledge of His will. If He is pleased to use these lines in opening the eyes of some of His dear people to recognize what is growing evil, and to show them that they have been dishonoring Christ by linking the name of the Man of Sorrows (and such He was, when on earth) with a "Merry Christmas," then join with the writer in a repentant confessing of this sin to God, seeking His grace for complete deliverance from it, and praise Him for the light which He has granted you concerning it.

Beloved fellow-Christian, "The coming of the Lord draweth nigh." (Jas. 5:8) Do we really believe this? Believe ...because God says so — "for we walk by faith, not by sight." (2 Cor. 5:7) If so, what effects does such believing have on our walk? This may be your last Christmas on earth. During it the Lord may descend from heaven with a shout to gather His own to Himself. Would you like to be summoned from a "Christmas party" to meet Him in the air? The call for the moment is, "Go ye out to meet Him" (Matt. 25:6) out from a Godless Christendom, out from the Christ —deserted "churches," out from the horrible burlesque of "religion" which now masquerades under His name.

"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad." (2 Cor. 5:10) How solemn and searching! The Lord Jesus declared that "every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment." (Matt. 12:36) If every "idle word" is going to be taken note of, then most assuredly will be every wasted energy, every wasted dollar, every wasted hour! Should we still be on earth when the closing days of this year arrive, let writer and reader earnestly seek grace to live and act with the judgment-seat of Christ before us. His "well done" will be ample compensation for the sneers and taunts which we may now receive from countless souls.

Does any Christian reader imagine for a moment that when he or she shall stand before their holy Lord, that they will regret having lived "too strictly" on earth? Is there the slightest danger of His reproving any of His own because they were "too extreme" in "abstaining from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul." (1 Peter 2:11)? We may gain the good will and good word of worldly religionists today by our compromisings on "little (?) points," but shall we receive His smile of approval on that Day? Oh to be more concerned about what He thinks, and less concerned about what perishing mortals think.

"Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil." (Ex. 23:2) Ah, it is an easy thing to float with the tide of popular opinion; but it takes much grace, diligently sought from God, to swim against it. Yet that is what the heir of heaven is called on to do: to "Be not conformed to this world" (Rom. 12:2), to deny self, take up the cross, and follow a rejected Christ. How sorely does both writer and reader need to heed that word of the Saviour, "Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thou crown." (Rev. 3:11) Oh that each of us may be able to truthfully say, "I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep Thy Word." (Psa.. 119:10

Our final word is to the pastors. To you the Word of the Lord is, "Be thou an example of believers in word, in deportment, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity." (1 Tim. 4:12) Is it not true that the most corrupt "churches" you know of, where almost every fundamental of the faith is denied, will have their "Christmas celebrations?" Will you imitate them? Are you consistent to protest against unscriptural methods of "raising money," and then to sanction unscriptural "Christmas services?" Seek grace to firmly but lovingly set God's Truth on this subject before your people, and announce that you can have no part in following Pagan, Romish, and Worldly customs.

Together for Life & Eternity,
Patte Smith
Sanctuary Ministries
Schoolmaster Ministries

Christmas: Is it Christian? What does the Bible say? Can this questionable 'holiday' be redeemed?

by Patte Smith on Saturday, November 13, 2010 at 1:03pm

Christmas is more than Santa Claus and Christmas trees

by James Montgomery Boice


If you are not a Christian, the best way to celebrate Christmas is by becoming a Christian, that is, by believing in Jesus, asking Him to come into your heart and determining to follow Him as His disciple. But perhaps you already are a Christian. Perhaps you already have believed in Jesus. How should you celebrate Christmas then?

The story of Mary and the shepherds and the angels gives us some clues.

First, the shepherds “spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child” (Luke 2:17 NIV). This means that they became witnesses to Jesus. That God used them to spread this heavenly message must have stunned them. Shepherds were a despised class in first-century Palestine. The nature of their calling kept them from observing the ceremonial law, which meant a lot to religious people. Shepherds were also considered unreliable and were not even allowed to give testimony in the law courts.

But the angels came to shepherds with the great message that Christ the Lord – the Savior of the world – had been born in the town of David. And despite what others thought of them, the shepherds knew that lost people needed to hear that great message. It is the same today. Jesus is the world’s Savior. And people are still lost without Him.

Second, the people who heard the message “were amazed at what the shepherds said to them” (verse 18). People today are hardly amazed at anything, but it is hard to see how anyone can understand what Christmas is about and not be amazed. Christmas is the story of God becoming man, like us, in order to save us from our sins. This truth was so astonishing that people believed even shepherds! But aren’t you amazed when you think about what God did for us? Yes, there is much about God becoming man that we cannot understand, but even if we could understand every bit of it, we still would be amazed.

Third, Mary “treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart” (verse 19 NIV). What Mary did went beyond mere amazement, though she marveled too. This wonderful woman also made an attempt to remember everything that was happening to her in those days and then to figure out what each of these things meant. That is, she took time to think about spiritual things, just as we should do. Christmas is a very busy time. But our time is badly spent if we allow the business of Christmas to keep us from reading the Christmas story again and again, thinking about it.

Fourth, the shepherds “returned glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen” (verse 20 NIV). This means that they spoke not just to others about the birth of Jesus. They also spoke to God, praising Him for it. They saw the birth of Jesus as something God had done, and they wanted to thank Him.

Here’s a suggestion. If you are willing to try to celebrate Christmas like Mary and the shepherds did, don’t begin with verse 17, which tells us to tell others about Jesus. Begin with verses 18-20, which tell us to wonder at the birth of Jesus, to ponder its meaning, and to praise God for it. Praise God for sending Jesus. Think about why Jesus came to earth on that cold night so long ago. And marvel that, because of His birth, life, death, and resurrection, you have not suffered God’s just punishment for your sins but rather have been saved from them.

From The Christ of Christmas, by James Montgomery Boice, Moody Bible Institute of Chicago, ©1983. Used with permission. James Montgomery Boice holds a B.A. from Harvard University, a B.D. from Princeton Theological Seminary, and a Th.D. from University of Basel, Switzerland. He is chairman of the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy.

Together for Life & Eternity,
Patte Smith
Sanctuary Ministries
Schoolmaster Ministries

For those who use Exodus 21 as a biblical defense FOR abortion

by Patte Smith on Thursday, November 11, 2010 at 10:27am

The Abortionist as “Bible Scholar”

When men strive together and hit a pregnant woman, so that her children come out, but there is no harm, the one who hit her shall surely be fined, as the woman’s husband shall impose on him, and he shall pay as the judges determine. But if there is harm, then you shall pay life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.”
 Exodus 21:22-25

It takes a lot of nerve for a murderer to quote the Bible to defend his or her crime. Abortionists do just that, using this passage. They think it gives them aid and comfort. They are wrong.

There are two ways to read the text. The first says that verse 22 concerns the miscarriage of a dead baby; the second says that the baby is born prematurely, but alive. Abortionists prefer the former, thinking that it devalues the contents of the womb. They reason that since the penalty is only a fine, not “life for life,” then the unborn must be less than fully human.

There are at least three things wrong with this argument:

(1) It takes matters out of context. This command is not a finished teaching of God for all time; rather, it is provisional instruction at an early stage in His progressive revelation. The same chapter names the death penalty for cursing parents (v. 17) and no penalty at all for the slow death of beaten slaves (v. 21). God had a lot more to teach man on these matters;

(2) The passage at least places value on the lost baby. The abortionist assigns him or her no value at all; he sees “it” as just so much dispensable tissue;

(3) It concerns involuntary manslaughter, not the intentional killing of a baby. Molech worshippers were the baby killers of the region, and God demanded that they be stoned (Lev. 20:2).

The second reading appeals to the common usage of key Hebrew words. The verb for what happens to the child is yatza, the same we see in the description of Jacob’s birth (Gen. 25:26). God could have usedshakol, the word for miscarriage (cf., Gen. 31:38; Exod. 23:26), but He did not. Furthermore, the verses could have been more precise about the victim, but the harm is not clearly assigned to the woman alone; it could mean the child as well. On this model, the one who accidentally hit the woman could be executed for the resulting death of the child.

Of course, abortionists, their clients, their apologists, and their enablers are not concerned with careful biblical interpretation for the sake of holiness. They grasp at any specious argument they might find to excuse their sin. When one ploy fails, they race to another, never thinking to reconsider or repent. Their problem is not so much the confusion of the mind as the hardening of the heart.

The redeemed know that abortion is wrong. But they may feel inadequate to parry the clever challenges of abortion advocates. If they have an anointed pastor, who has done his biblical homework, at their side, they can disarm the enemy and capture the hearts of impressionable onlookers.

~ Kairos Journal

Together for Life & Eternity,
Patte Smith
Sanctuary Ministries 

We shall reap what we have sown


by Patte Smith on Monday, November 8, 2010 at 10:16am

"...the one who sows to his own flesh
will from the flesh reap corruption,
but the one who sows to the Spirit
 will from the Spirit reap eternal life."
Galatians 6:8

As we minister to thousands of sexually immoral, aborting women (many who profess to be Christians, & who presume upon the mercy of Jesus Christ for the atonement of all their sins) we often wonder if anyone has taken time to explain to them the eternal principles of sowing and reaping to them. The same is true of those college students we meet, who have been assured by those who call themselves 'Christians' (even campus ministers!) that "God loves you just the way you are". How far this kind of message is from the Bible's revelation of the evil harvest of sin, in this life and in the life to come. There is no fear of God in their eyes and they believe themselves to be deserving of their best life now. So many have been given assurance (either explicitly or implicitly ) by churchmen, para-churchmen and laity, that they are not at fault for their 'mistakes' and that God will forgive and bless them while they remain in their sin. This is a perpetuation of the cruel, demonic lie of the murderer from the beginning, in the Garden of Eden.

"Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?...You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Genesis 3:1,4-5

The following are commentaries on the Galatians passage above. I would like to ask you to keep several of the 'pet' sins of today; sexual immorality, adultery, pornography, murdering of children and homosexuality, in mind as you read these biblical teachings on God's principle of sowing and reaping.

Together for Life & Eternity,
Patte Smith
Sanctuary Ministries
Schoolmaster Ministries

For he that soweth to his flesh - makes provision for the indulgence of fleshly appetites and passions. He who makes use of his property to give indulgence to licentiousness, intemperance, and vanity.

Shall of the flesh - From the flesh, or as that which indulgence in fleshly appetites properly produces. Punishment, under the divine government, is commonly in the line of offences. The punishment of licentiousness and intemperance in this life is commonly loathsome and offensive disease; and when long indulged, the sensualist becomes haggard, and bloated, and corrupted, and sinks into the grave. Such, also, is often the punishment of luxurious living, of a pampered appetite, of gluttony, as well as of intemperate drinking. But if the punishment does not follow in this life, it will be sure to overtake the sensualist in the world to come. There he shall reap ruin, final and everlasting.

Corruption -
(1) By disease.
(2) in the grave - the home to which the sensualist rapidly travels.
(3) in the world of woe.

There all shall be corrupt. His virtue - even the semblance of virtue, shall all be gone. His understanding, will, fancy - his whole soul shall be debased and corrupt. No virtue will linger and live on the plains of ruin, but all shall be depravity and woe. Everything in hell is debased and corrupt; and the whole harvest of sensuality in this world and the world to come, is degradation and defilement.

But he that soweth to the Spirit - He who follows the leadings and cultivates the affections which the Holy Spirit would produce...

Shall of the Spirit -... following the leadings of the Spirit.
Reap life everlasting
~ Barnes' Notes on the Bible

For he that soweth to his flesh, is to be called a carnal sower. He is such an one that pampers his flesh, gratifies and indulges the lusts of it, who minds the things of the flesh, lives after it, and does the works of it, who spends his substance in a luxurious way upon himself and family; or whose whole bent, and study, and employment, is to increase his worldly riches, to aggrandize himself and posterity, to the neglect of his own soul, the interest of religion, the poor of the church, and ministers of the Gospel.

Shall of the flesh reap corruption; shall by such carnal methods procure for himself, in this world, nothing but what is corruptible, as silver and gold be, and such treasure as moth and rust corrupt; such substance as will not endure, but is perishing, and may be by one providence or another taken from him. All his care in sowing comes to nothing, and is of no advantage to himself, nor to his posterity (see Haggai 1:4) He shall fall into the pit of corruption, and be punished with everlasting destruction, and die the second death in the world to come.

But he that soweth to the Spirit; not his own, but the Spirit of God; or that soweth spiritual things, that minds and savours the things of the Spirit, lives in the Spirit, and walks in the Spirit; that lays out his worldly substance in promoting spiritual things, in encouraging the spiritual ministers of the Word, in supporting the interest of spiritual religion, in relieving the poor of Christ's churches, in contributing to the spread of the Gospel, and the administration of the Word and ordinances in other places, as well as where he is more immediately concerned --

Shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting; in the use of such spiritual means, though not as meritorious, or as causes, he shall attain to, and enjoy eternal happiness in the other world; or of, and by the Spirit of God, by whose grace and strength he sows, and does all the good things he does, by and of him sanctifying him, and making him meet for it, and not of himself, or any works of righteousness done by him, shall he inherit eternal life; which is the pure gift of God through Jesus Christ, and bestowed as a reward of His own grace.
~ John Gill

He who thus sows will reap a crop of fleshly lusts and ills. His carnal indulgence will end in moral ruin.
But he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. He shall reap spiritually, and as a final harvest the spiritual life beyond, the life everlasting.
~ People's New Testmanent

For he that now soweth to the flesh - that follows the desires of corrupt nature. Shall hereafter of the flesh - out of this very seed. Reap corruption - Death everlasting. But he that soweth to the Spirit - That follows His guidance in all his tempers and conversation. Shall of the Spirit - By the free grace and power of God, reap life everlasting. ~ John Wesley

For in ourselves we are not spiritual, but carnal. The flesh is devoted to selfishness.
Corruption-that is, destruction (Philippians 3:19). Compare as to the deliverance of believers from "corruption" (Ro 8:21). The use of the term "corruption"... implies that destruction is not an arbitrary punishment of fleshly-mindedness, but is its natural fruit. The corrupt flesh producing corruption, which is another word for destruction: corruption is the fault, and corruption the punishment (see 1Co 3:17; 2Pe 2:12). Future life only expands the seed sown here. Men cannot mock God because they can deceive themselves. They who sow tares cannot reap wheat. They alone reap life eternal who sow to the Spirit.
(Ps 126:6; Pr 11:18; 22:8; Ho 8:7; 10:12; Lu 16:25; Ro 8:11; Jas 5:7).
~ Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

Many excuse themselves from the work of religion, though they may make a show, and profess it. They...deceive themselves if they think to impose upon God, who knows their hearts as well as actions; and as He cannot be deceived, so He will not be mocked.

Our present time is seed time; in the other world we shall reap as we sow now. As there are two sorts of sowing, one to the flesh, and the other to the Spirit, so will the reckoning be hereafter. Those who live a carnal, sensual life, must expect no other fruit from such a course than misery and ruin. But those who, under the guidance and influences of the Holy Spirit, live a life of faith in Christ, and abound in Christian graces, shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

We are all very apt to tire in duty, particularly in doing good. This we should carefully watch and guard against. Only to perseverance in well-doing is the reward promised. Here is an exhortation to all to do good in their places. We should take care to do good in our life-time, and make this the business of our lives. Especially when fresh occasions offer, and as far as our power reaches. ~ Matthew Henry

'As I have observed, those who plow evil and those who sow trouble reap it.' ~ Job 4:8

'The wicked man earns deceptive wages, but he who sows righteousness reaps a sure reward.' ~ Proverbs 11:18

"They sow the wind and reap the whirlwind. The stalk has no head; it will produce no flour. Were it to yield grain, foreigners would swallow it up.' ~ Hosea 8:7

'But you have planted wickedness, you have reaped evil, you have eaten the fruit of deception. Because you have depended on your own strength and on your many warriors' Hosea 10:13

 'Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.' Matthew 25:46

'What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death!' ~ Romans 6:21

'For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.' ~ Romans 6:23

'The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace' ~ Romans 8:6

'So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable' ~ 1 Corinthians 15:42

'Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.' ~ James 3:18


‘Cursed be anyone who takes a bribe to shed innocent blood.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen. ~ Deuteronomy 27:25

'Have nothing to do with a false charge and do not put an innocent or honest person to death, for I will not acquit the guilty.' ~ Exodus 23:7

'Do not do anything that endangers your neighbor's life. I am the LORD.' ~ Leviticus 19:16

'God did this in order that the crime against Jerub-Baal's seventy sons, the shedding of their blood, might be avenged on their brother Abimelech and on the citizens of Shechem, who had helped him murder his brothers.' ~ Judges 9:24

'He who walks blamelessly and does what is right and speaks truth in his heart;& ... does not accept a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things will never be shaken.' ~ Psalm 15:2 & 5

'There are men in you who slander to shed blood..In you they take bribes to shed blood... and have forgotten Me, said the Lord GOD.' ~ Ezekiel 22:9, 12

Ministers should apply to themselves the blessing and curse they preach to others, and by faith set their own 'Amen' to it. And they must not only allure people to their duty with the promises of a blessing, but awe them with the threatenings of a curse, by declaring that a curse would be upon those who do such things. To each of the curses the people were to say, 'Amen'. It professed their faith, that these, and the like curses, were real declarations of the wrath of God against the ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, not one jot of which shall fall to the ground. It was acknowledging the equity of these curses. Those who do such things deserve to fall, and lie under the curse. Lest those who were guilty of other sins, not here mentioned, should think themselves safe from the curse, the last reaches all. Not only those who do the evil which the Law forbids, but those also who omit the good which the Law requires.

Without the atoning blood of Christ, sinners can neither have communion with a holy God, nor do any thing acceptable to Him; His righteous Law condemns every one who, at any time, or in any thing, transgresses it. Under its awful curse we remain as transgressors, until the redemption of Christ is applied to our hearts. Wherever the grace of God brings salvation, it teaches the believer to deny ungodliness and wordly lusts, to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world, consenting to, and delighting in the Words of God's Law, after the inward man. In this holy walk, true peace and solid joy are to be found. ~ Matthew Henry

John Newton describes the wicked

by Patte Smith on Saturday, November 6, 2010 at 12:02pm
The heart of man is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked:
who can know it?
Jeremiah 17:9

The Heart of Man is Desperately Wicked

By frequent hearing they receive more light. They are compelled to know...that the wrath of God hangs over the children of disobedience. They carry a sting in their consciences, and at times feel themselves most miserable...Yet they harden themselves still more. They affect to be happy and at ease and force themselves to wear a smile when anguish preys upon their hearts. They blaspheme the way of truth, watch for the faults of professors, and with a malicious joy publish and aggravate them. They see perhaps how the wicked die, but are not alarmed; they see the righteous die, but are not moved. Neither Providences nor ordinances, mercies or judgments, can stop them, for they are determined to go on and perish with their eyes open, rather than submit to the Gospel.

But they do not always openly reject the Gospel-truths. Some who profess to approve and receive them, do thereby discover the evils of the heart of man, if possible, in a yet stronger light. They make Christ the minister of sin, and turn His grace into licentiousness. Like Judas they say, Hail, Master! and betray Him. This is the highest pitch of iniquity. They pervert all the doctrines of the Gospel. From election they draw an excuse for continuing in their evil ways; and contend for salvation without works, because they love not obedience. They extol the righteousness of Christ, but hold it in opposition to personal holiness. In a word, because they hear that God is good, they determine to persist in evil..Thus willful and impenitent sinners go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. The Word which they despise becomes to them a savour of death unto death. They take different courses, but all are travelling down to the pit; and unless sovereign mercy interpose, will soon sink to rise no more.

The final event is two-fold. Many, after they have been more or less shaken by the Word, settle in formality. If hearing would supply the place of faith, love, and obedience, they would do well; but by degrees they become sermon-proof. The truths which once struck then loses their power by being often heard; and thus multitudes live and die in darkness, though the light has been shone around them.

Others are more openly given up to reprobate minds. Contempt of the Gospel makes infidels, deists, and Atheists. They are filled with a spirit of delusion to believe a lie. These are scoffers, walking after their own lusts; for where the principles of religion are given up, the conduct will be vile and abominable. Such persons sport themselves with their own deceivings, and strongly prove the truth of the Gospel while they dispute against it. We often find that people of this cast have formerly been subjects of strong convictions; but when the evil spirit has seemed to depart for a son, and returns again, the last state of that person is worse than the first.

It is not improbable that some of my readers may meet with their own characters under one or other of the views I have given of the desperate wickedness of the heart, in its actings against the truth. May the Spirit of God constrain them to read with attention! Your case is dangerous, but I would hope not utterly desperate. Jesus is mighty to save. His grace can pardon the most aggravated offences, and subdue the most inveterate habits of sin. The Gospel you have hitherto slighted, resisted or opposed, is still the power of God unto salvation. The blood of Jesus, upon which you have hitherto trampled, speaks better things than the blood of Abel, and is of virtue to cleanse those whose sins are scarlet and crimson, and to make them white as snow. As yet you are spared; but it is high time to stop and throw down your arms of rebellion, and humble yourselves at His feet. If you do, you may yet escape; but if not, know assuredly that wrath is coming upon you to the uttermost; and you will shortly find, to your unspeakable dismay, that it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

~ John Newton, from his Letters

Together for Life & Eternity,
Patte Smith
Sanctuary Ministries 

Life is from God

by Patte Smith on Monday, September 27, 2010 at 7:51pm

This is a photo of Luke and Grace on day three. At this stage of their lives they were 8 cell embryos.

This is a photo of Luke and Grace today. They are 3 years old.

Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD:
and the fruit of the womb is His reward.
Psalm 127:3

Let me explain how it is that we have this remarkable photograph of Grace and Luke just three days after their conception. You see, Grace and Luke were frozen when they were 8 cell embryos. Their mommy and daddy gave this photo to me to share with you.

Grace and Luke were ‘created’ in 2003 when a couple in California went for help to conceive a child. God worked in and through the medical process uniting their biological father’s sperm with their biological mom’s egg to create these precious children. Grace and Luke were frozen when they were 8 cell embryos.

After the couple had successfully gestated and given birth to other of their embryos, Grace and Luke remained frozen ..... until Alex & Lori‘adopted’ them. Thanks be to God, Grace and Luke were implanted in their adoptive mother Lori’s womb on August 1, 2006. Alex and Lori are committed Christians. They received their son and daughter as gifts from the hand of their mighty God. These children are delightful answers to their prayers.

Little ones are unique persons from their amazing biological beginnings. They are created in the image and likeness of God and given to us out of His kindness. Let us always and everywhere give thanks to the Lord for the gift of children, loving and protecting them in life and through Law.

Children are to be reckoned among the divine favors bestowed on us,
 and for their lives, their health, their virtues,
and the happiness derived from them, we are, as in other things, 
dependent on Him.
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

For more information on adoption of children who are currently frozen in their embryonic stage of life, please go to: