HOW DEEP THE QUAGMIRE??


William Andrew Dillard

The quagmire of world problems deepens and thickens. Imbalance of international trade clamors for a world currency to prevent one country cheating on another through currency manipulation. Political unrest and distress of nations grows in a continuing web of complications. Religious embracement of humanism, and systematic rejection of true Christianity increases with tremendous speed. Sir Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of Great Britian during WWII spoke of world problems as he neared the end of his active career, “Our problems are beyond us.” It is reported that Dag Hammarskjold, former Secretary of the United Nations, said, “I see no hope for permanent world peace. We have tried so hard, and we have failed so miserably.” So where is it all to end? What is next? Someone must have the answer to those problems that are said to be beyond us. Truly, someone will, at least in appearance.
Often, the future is most accurately predicted by consulting the past. A good place to look at this point is the book of Daniel. As that ancient man of God was shown in symbols the unfolding of the empires of the world and the scope of the ages, he viewed great and terrible beasts arising out of the sea. He saw a lion, depicting Babylon, the first, great world empire; a bear, depicting the Medo-Persian empire; then he was shown a leopard with wings, depicting the Grecian empire. Next he saw a diverse type of beast that depicted the Roman empire. These were also verified in the image of a man with head of gold, chest of silver, thighs of brass, legs of iron, and feet of a mixture of iron and clay, depicting the weakness of latter day governments. The common denominator of the beasts (a prophetic term for government) is that they arose out of the sea (a prophetic term for the masses of humanity).
Satan, the god of this world influences the godless minds of men to manipulate governments, economics, and religion, the great powers that shape their history, to bring the world to a quagmire so deep, so thick, that his final move at global domination will produce the “promising” Antichrist. That son of perdition will be welcomed by the masses of humanity, and installed in power. What follows will be the darkest hour for men on earth. His solutions will be welcomed initially, then when well entrenched in power, all hell will break loose. Remember he is called Abaddon in Hebrew and Apollyon in Greek. In English those names mean “the destroyer, havoc maker.” Global destruction is his delight, and such is the apex of his career. 
If our problems were beyond us in the days of Churchill, how much farther are they beyond us now! Surely, the quagmire thickens. I would not want to be on this globe without being a Christian. But, all this does not bring disillusionment or fear to the knowledgeable Believer no, not al all. This simply means eternal joy is just ahead for those who know the Lord Jesus Christ. We can join the beloved apostle John, writer of Revelation, in saying, “Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus!”

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NOT BACKING DOWN


I’ve had numerous brethren tell me that the “by their fruits” standard of Matthew 7:20 is not to be applied today. That’s a classic example of a right divider degenerating into a WRONG divider. The “by their fruits” principle of Matthew 7:20 is not only true in Matthew AND in the church age; it’s true ALL THROUGH THE WORD OF GOD! Please observe . . .

Matthew 7:18-20: “A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore BY THEIR FRUITS YE SHALL KNOW THEM.”

Genesis 1:11: “And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding SEED, and the FRUIT tree yielding FRUIT after his kind, whose SEED is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.”

Proverbs 12:12: “The wicked desireth the net of evil men: but the ROOT of the righteous yieldeth FRUIT.”

Isaiah 27:6: “He shall cause them that come of Jacob to take ROOT: Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with FRUIT.”

Matthew 3:7-10: ““But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore FRUITS MEET FOR REPENTANCE: And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth GOOD FRUIT is hewn down, and cast into the fire.”

Mark 4:7-8: “And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded NO FRUIT. And other fell on GOOD GROUND, and DID YIELD FRUIT that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred.”

Luke 13:6-9: “He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and SOUGHT FRUIT thereon, and found none. Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come SEEKING FRUIT on this fig tree, and find none: CUT IT DOWN; why cumbereth it the ground? And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: And if it BEAR FRUIT, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt CUT IT DOWN.”

Acts 26:19-20: “Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision: But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and DO WORKS MEET FOR REPENTANCE.”

II Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a NEW CREATURE: old things are passed away; behold, ALL THINGS ARE BECOME NEW.”

Galatians 5:22-24: “But the FRUIT of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s HAVE crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.”

Ephesians 2:8-10: “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.”

Colossians 1:3-6: ““We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, Since we heard of your FAITH in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints, For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and BRINGETH FORTH FRUIT, as it doth ALSO IN YOU, SINCE THE DAY YE HEARD OF IT, and knew the grace of God in truth.”

I Thesalonians 1:2-3, 9: “We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers; Remembering without ceasing your WORK OF FAITH, and LABOUR OF LOVE, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father . . . ye turned to God FROM IDOLS TO SERVE the living and true God.”

Titus 1:16: “They PROFESS that they know God; but IN WORKS THEY DENY HIM, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work REPROBATE.”

It’s really not that hard, if you’ll just stick with the Book. SEED produces FRUIT. If you’ve been born of God’s SEED (I Pet. 1:23), you will produce God’s FRUIT. Simple. Leave it to the fundamental brethren to chop the principle to pieces and make the whole thing more confusing than a Chinese fire drill.

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The Unbroken Lineage


HEBREW HONEYCOMB

William Andrew Dillard
THE UNBROKEN LINEAGE

It is inconceivable that a river should stop its course to the sea then some miles later take up that course again. Its very nature necessitates continuity. That principle is also true with a number of other things. Think about it!
The lineage of Jesus is given from the sides of both Mary and Joseph in Matthew and Luke. It allows no such break in continuity. While Jesus was conceived in Mary by the Holy Spirit, it remains important that the continuity of faith lineage be unbroken. Additionally, could there be such a break in an electrical current? or, in light from its source? Yet, some people still wonder what came first, the chicken or the egg? It seems incredulous to them to believe that God created a chicken which laid the egg, and the existence of the fowl lineage remains unbroken since creation. Hang on, I am going somewhere with this.
Could such a break in continuity occur in everlasting life that it should be lost and later found? Not hardly! So it is with God’s covenantal work with man. Limited covenants were made with Adam and Noah, but the expansion of a covenant for the whole species began in Abraham, and the covenant made with him continues unbroken to this day, and it shall remain in continuity to the end of the age. The Law of Moses was a subset within the Abrahamic Covenant, meant to educate God’s people both then and now to the righteousness of God and the sinfulness of mankind. It’s ultimate purpose was to be a schoolmaster to bring people of faith to Christ (the God/man Who could, and did fulfill it). But the passage of the law did not in anywise negate the Abrahamic Covenant, on the contrary, it succeeded in delivering a remnant to Jesus who became the first New Testament church; hence, the standard bearer, ground, and pillar of the New Covenant. The continuity of faith continued from the nation of Israel to the first church. Inasmuch as the first church before, during, and after Pentecost was one hundred percent Jewish; it was the true Israel of God. The bulk of the Hebrew nation was left desolate having rejected heaven’s messenger. (It will remain desolate until they look upon Him Whom they pierced). The first church perpetuated itself in accord with God’s plan, and its presence in the world today has unbroken continuity as surely as the river, the chicken and the egg, the electrical current, etc.
Of course, there are those who deny church succession, but they may wrestle with the chicken and the egg, too. “Prove it,” they say! Look again at the river, at the light beam, consider again the electrical current. Some things cannot exist without continuity, and the church of the living God to Whom Jesus promised His presence to the end of the age is chief among them all with all other claims being counterfeit, pure and simple.

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Afternoon Ponderings~10.23.18~


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Lauding Mankind’s Most Valuable Document


 

William Andrew Dillard
Parson to Person

The Holy Bible, the cannon of sixty-six books common to the King James Version is the product of the “Textus Receptus” (received text), a collection of about thirty of the most ancient manuscripts that are copies of the original. It is the Word of the Creator God of heaven and earth to mankind. Between its covers one finds the origin of man, his cause of condemnation, his means of salvation, as well as his trials, history, achievement of spiritual maturity, security, and hope that is both sure and steadfast. It is the prime directive of the race, and its importance eclipses all other documents combined.
Despite criticisms to the contrary, The Holy Bible remains the basis of morals, laws, and faith which has sustained human life on the planet, and allowed governments and society at large to make meaningful progress. Where its teachings are observed, peace and progress abounds. Where its teachings are rejected misery, poverty, death and all manner of evil prevails. Truly, if only one collection of writings could be retained and all others destroyed, this writer would not hesitate to name his collection to keep as the Holy Bible.
The Bible is not a history book, but it accurately records all one really needs to know about the history of civilization. It is not a science book. That is also not its purpose, yet it is supportive of all systematized facts. Still others say, “Well one can take it or leave it.” Yes, one can take it or leave it, temporarily, but to quote Jesus, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth forth from the mouth of God.” Matt. 4:4. By the Word of God every person has the grace of life, and will by it ultimately be judged.
The Bible uniquely is both static and alive. It is sharper than a two-edged sword, and will survive the universal cataclysm that is coming right on schedule. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but the Word of God abideth forever. I Peter 1:23. Its purpose is to give one knowledge, understanding, and wisdom to escape the damnation of sin, and to elevate its disciples ultimately to eternal oneness with the Son of God.
You say that you have a Bible, but do not know its contents very well? That, my friend is the most awesome of responsibilities ignored with eternal, non-reversible consequences! Open that book! Read! Think! There is reason that far outstrips that of all others in your having a copy of the Bible.

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A MEASURE OF FOREVER


HEBREW HONEYCOMB

William Andrew Dillard
A MEASURE OF FOREVER

And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:” Gen. 1:14.
We keep calendars of times and seasons dictated by created bodies in the universe. Does that seem to take the control stick away from us? If so, good! Think about this with me!
“Time” picks the curiosity of arts and science. Men fancifully envision being time travelers, etc. yet no one has ever broken its barriers except the super natural beings of the universe. So what is this presence that moves the universe and all in it in one direction? It is a dimension in which all created entities are inexorably locked to the fulfillment of their determined destiny. Think of it as “measured forever” which is an oxymoron because forever cannot be measured. Still it is as close as we can come to understanding it. Moreover, a measure by its very definition must have a beginning and an end to qualify as a measure. Are you still with me?
Time had its beginning in Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning…” God created the universe with specific design, and predestined longevity. He created the means to calculate time, and He supplies the wisdom to know that everything in the universe is destined to end, concluding the “measure.” That is the big picture. There are thousands of subsets of all things and their relationship to time.
For men, the mean measure of time is threescore and ten years. For some reptiles and plants, it is much higher. For some life forms it is a matter of hours. But men are given the ability to reason, to calculate, to understand. Consequently, as we turn the calendar, we calculate that one more grain of sand (a year) has passed through the cosmic hourglass, and another is on its way through it. A thousand years may equal a thousand grains of sand, and how many grains have already passed through it? Logic implies that the hourglass is almost full. Is this making any sense at all to you? Ephemeron will live but a night, but it says, “It has just begun. It is such a long, long time till morning!” But, morning comes and with it the end of its time. For us, seventy years seems a very long way in the springtime of life, but it grows so short in November. What does all this mean?
Calendars mark completed measures of time. It comes, it endures for a while, and it ends. It is a measure! Your life started; it has endured; and it is surely coming to an end. It is a measure! But the bright prospect is that before it ends here, a new life may begin in Christ Jesus, the eternal Son of God. His life that He extends to you through repentance and faith is not a measure of forever. It is forever!

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Good Morning Quote ~10.13.18~


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Afternoon Ponderings~10.12.18~


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JUST A LITTLE MORE SLEEP


HEBREW HONEYCOMB

William Andrew Dillard
JUST A LITTLE MORE SLEEP

Sleep was created for earthly life as the means of necessary refreshment to the body. Blessed are those who are able to sleep six to eight hours each night, but cursed are those whose goal is to sleep life away during both day and night. Doubtless the sleep of a laboring man is sweet as said the wise man, Solomon, but those who sleep in the affairs of life can expect poverty and loss. Let’s think about it!
Just what is this sleep in the affairs of life? It may be identified as one’s personal comfort zone. It is the nature of the flesh to create a comfort zone, and to disdain any call to consider things that might endanger that insulation to it. That is sleep. Through such sleep, fortunes have been lost, businesses bankrupted, and lives shipwrecked. The Bible underscores this important principle. Consider that it was while they slept that the Midianites were suddenly put to flight by the small band of Gideon. It was while men slept that the Medes and Persians brought an end to Babylon, the first great, world empire. It was while men slept that an enemy sowed tares among the wheat in the parable of Jesus. Moreover, it will be while men sleep that the bridegroom (Jesus) comes and many will not be ready to meet Him.
Solomon said, “How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? Prov. 6:9. He went on to say, “Love not sleep, lest thou come to poverty; open thine eyes, and thou shalt be satisfied with bread.” 20:13. Modern times have underscored just how easy it is for individuals and churches to sleep when they should be swimming upstream in holy proclamations of salvation and the soon-coming King of Kings! One might name many reasons why this condition exists, but none of them are acceptable excuses for it.
So, what will we find in the New Testament regarding this specific subject? A quick survey shows much. Let us hear Paul as he admonished the Romans, “And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.” Rom. 13:11. Similarly, he taught the Thessalonians, “Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.” I Thess. 5:6. God’s people are not children of the night, but children of the day. They are to be awake, alert, watchful, and understanding of what and why things are happening. In so doing, the example of our Lord will be followed. One may be sure that He that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. Psalm 121.
Are you a “Ho-hum, you’re okay, I’m okay,” kind of person, or are you awake, discerning the signs of the time in accordance with the Word, and listening for the shout?

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Good Morning Quote ~10.11.18~


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