Friday, March 27, 2009

Dial Daily Bread: What Are "Guardian Angels"?

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

What are "guardian angels"? Does everybody have one? Why do they protect some people and not others? It's good for us to ask questions. We need to know how to get those angels detailed to serve us. They are more efficient than armed bodyguards or the President's Secret Service aides. Please note:

(1) We live in Enemy-controlled territory, his majesty the devil being "the prince of this world" (John 14:30).

(2) It is coming increasingly under his control, "defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth," not merely in a physical sense but also morally (Isa. 24:5, 6). When "the princes of this world" expelled Christ from the world (1 Cor. 2:8) they chose a criminal in His place, and crucified Him (Acts 3:14, 15). Jesus is therefore persona non grata in this wicked world (cf. 1 John 5:19).

(3) But although He is in exile from this earth, He has sent His vicar, the Holy Spirit, to be with those who believe in Him (John 14:16, 17; 16:7-13). His presence with God's people is equivalent to Jesus personally being with them (14:18). For centuries, the Holy Spirit has not only "comforted" Christ's loyal believers, He has also exercised a restraining power on the evil in the world (Rev 7:1-4).

(4) Guardian angels are detailed to be "ministering spirits, sent forth [detailed] to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation"--Heaven's Secret Service agents sent to protect "royalty," who by faith have become members of the "family of God" (Heb. 1:14; Eph. 3:15; 1 Peter 2:9).

(5) Common sense sees that those thus protected must be people whose lives are dedicated to "the King's business," to Jesus.

(6) We cannot hazard a guess about others, why they apparently didn't have angels' protection; good sense would tell us that when we pray "in the name of Jesus" we must sincerely be living for Him.

(7) Ask for an angel guard; that is, "pray without ceasing," as families. Then - let us not fear but believe that "the angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear [reverence] Him, and delivereth them" (Psalm 34:7). If you can read this, that means you have their protection thus far!

Be sure to check your e-mail for "Dial Daily Bread" again tomorrow.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Dial Daily Bread: His Much More Abounding Grace

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

If this is in any sense repetition, let me say that the Good News in Romans Five is so very GOOD that it deserves repetition a thousand times:

"God's act of grace is all out of proportion to Adam's wrongdoing. For if the wrongdoing of that one man brought death upon so many [everybody!], its effect is vastly exceeded by the grace of God and the gift that came to so many [that is, everybody!] by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ.

"And again, the gift of God is not to be compared in its effect with that one man's sin; for the judicial action, following upon the one offence, resulted in a verdict of condemnation [on everybody!], but the act of grace, following on so many misdeeds [all of ours!], resulted in a verdict of acquittal" (Rom. 5:15, 16, REB).

It takes your breath away when you begin to realize what it says! The Samaritans were right when they confessed that Jesus Christ is "the Saviour of the world" (John 4:42).

(a) That means that Jesus Christ already is YOUR Saviour!

(b) It means that you stand before the Father as though you were sinless.

(c) It means that the Father is free to treat every sinful human being as though he had never sinned!

(d) It means that Christ has opened the gates of the New Jerusalem so that "whosoever will" may enter (read Rev. 22:17): "Come!" say the Spirit and the bride.

(e) "'Come!" Let each hearer reply.

(f) "'Let the thirsty come; let whoever wishes accept the water of life as a gift'" (Rev. 22:17).

Not as a reward to be earned; not as something gained by living a good life; you must be humble enough to receive that eternal life as a free gift of His much more abounding grace.

(g) It does not mean that He will force anyone to live in the New Jerusalem against his personal will; everybody who will live there will be praising the Lamb of God all the time for they know that their salvation is totally due to His much more abounding grace.

Be sure to check your e-mail for "Dial Daily Bread" again tomorrow.

Dial Daily Bread: What Does the Cross of Christ Mean?

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

What does the cross of Christ mean? Is it important to understand what happened there? Or is it a theoretical puzzle that only scholars and theologians should wrangle about?

Consider Scenario A: Christ died so as to make it possible for "every man" to be saved IF HE DOES SOMETHING FIRST--believes and obeys. And if one does not believe and obey, then the death of Christ on His cross does him no good. The sinner will then have to die for his own sins. He will die the second death just as if Christ had not already died his second death. (Thought through logically, in this view, Christ didn't.)

This view is very reasonable and superficially logical, and is widely popular. The sinner's faith must be exercised prior to his being justified.

Consider Scenario B: When Christ died on His cross, He not only died for every man; He did more--He died the second death of "every man." Thus there is no reason under heaven why any one should ever have to die the second death; Christ already died it for him! The sinner who dies the second death at last is not dying to pay for his sins because his sins were already paid for by the sacrifice of Christ. "The Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all." The sinner dies at last only because of his unbelief, because he despised what Christ actually and already accomplished for him (John 3:16-19). Many do!

Further, in the view of Scenario B, the sacrifice of Christ has enabled the Father to treat "every man" as though he had never sinned, because Christ's death has given "every man" a "[judicial] verdict of acquittal" (Rom 5:15-18, NEB). What Christ has already done for "all men" has preceded any man's personal faith. It's something called "grace."

Does it make any difference to your heart which view you believe?

Be sure to check your e-mail for "Dial Daily Bread" again tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Dial Daily Bread: The Great Reality of All Time

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

The Bible declares that Christ is "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" (Rev.13:8).

(a) That means the cross is far more than the Event which happened at Golgotha.

(b) What we have seen took place at the cross is the revelation of the cross--which is an eternal Reality.

(c) The arms of the cross reach from Paradise Lost to Paradise Regained.

(d) The cross is the great Reality of all time.

(e) Because of that sacrifice for "all men," the Father is free to treat "every man" as though he has never sinned!

(f) That is the same as saying that Jesus Christ has achieved for "every man" a "[judicial] verdict of acquittal," which is what the Bible says Christ has GIVEN, not merely OFFERED, "every man" (see Rom. 5:15-18, New English Bible).

(g) The Apostle Paul dedicated his brilliant mind to the control of the Holy Spirit; and Romans Five is what he wrote as a result!

(h) When Adam sinned, the entire planet earth sinned at the same time; and by virtue of His sacrifice of Himself on the cross, the Son of God has GIVEN, not "offered," "every man" a "judicial verdict of acquittal."

(i) Some may think that means He has taken "every man" into eternal salvation; no, even though the Lord Jesus has accomplished this great gift, for "every man," "every man" remains free to exercise his own choice of what to do with this great truth.

(j) But the Bible is clear, "God so loved the world that He gave ..." all He had, not merely "offered."

(k) Our job is to LET Him have His way with us; to "let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus" (see Phil. 2:5-8).

Be sure to check your e-mail for "Dial Daily Bread" again tomorrow.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Dial Daily Bread: "Righteousness" and "Holiness"

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

"Our beloved brother Paul" (cf .2 Peter 3:15), yielded his brilliant mind to the control of the Holy Spirit.

(a) One result that we thank the Lord for is Paul's Romans chapter five.

(b) He discerned the real significance of Christ's sacrifice on His cross: not only did Jesus clear us from guilt so that we stand before the Father neutral now with the guilt of sin gone; Jesus did far more.

(c) He "justified" us.

(d) That means He imputed to us judicially the full benefits of the amazing righteousness of Christ; it means that now we stand before the Father with the "mind of Christ" (cf. Phil. 2:5).

(e) "Righteousness" is far more than mere "holiness." "Holiness" is what the sinless angels possess but at best it is a term with neutral meaning; in the Bible it is applied to the sinless angels (and of course, to the Father); but now that it has captivated the human race, "holiness" is not good enough.

(f) "Righteousness" is holiness that has met the problem of sin in fallen human flesh or nature and has triumphed over the sin.

(g) That's why the unfallen angels are not spoken of in the Bible as being "righteous," but are merely "holy."

(h) No one in the Bible is spoken of as being "righteous," but only Jesus Christ.

(i) That means that in His incarnation among us, the flesh or nature which Christ "took" upon Himself has to be our fallen, sinful flesh, or nature. If that were not true, it would be impossible to speak of Christ as being "righteous;" In that case He would be only "holy." (That's how important is this truth of the nature of Christ in His incarnation--that He "took upon His sinless nature our sinful nature"!)

(j) He will be rewarded at His coming with a host of redeemed former sinners who have overcome sin by the grace of Christ; although they all have inherited our fallen, sinful nature, they will have triumphed over sin in that fallen, sinful nature!

(k) That triumph is yours by the "faith of Jesus" through His "much more bounding grace," grace that abounds far greater than our sin!

The Lord willing, tomorrow more about that wonderful Romans chapter five.

Be sure to check your e-mail for "Dial Daily Bread" again tomorrow.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Dial Daily Bread: Inspiration for Mothers

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

I have a granddaughter who has a new baby, and several of us were visiting the two this afternoon.

I saw mother love exemplified; she couldn't keep her eyes off that baby!

No matter who was holding her, every moment, mother's eyes were on that baby; she is now my granddaughter's life!

There is no human love that we know as faithful and enduring as the love of a mother for her son. (I said "son" for a reason--it's sons who get into so much trouble that they break mother' hearts--more than daughters seem to do!)

The best Son in all eternity broke His mother's heart when she was forced to watch Him writhing on a Roman cross, crucified as though He were a criminal.

Can you imagine the pain that slashed Mary's heart! Old Simeon, when he found Joseph and Mary and the holy Child in the Temple, said to her, "A sword shall pierce through thy own soul ..." (Luke 2:25-35).

The Greek word old Simeon used for "sword" was ramphaia, the word for Goliath's sword, that huge weapon that young David pulled out of its scabbard as he jumped up onto the felled and stunned giant after he had hit him in the forehead with his pebble slung with marvelous accuracy inspired by the Holy Spirit; but what a prophecy old Simeon declared under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit!

Poor Mary, as she watched her holy Son grow up and wondered at His holy character! What joy He must have brought to her; but she could never forget that inspired prophecy of the old prophet; no mother has suffered the pain that Mary must have suffered when she watched Jesus being crucified!

Someone will object, "But many mothers in the old Roman Empire had to watch their sons crucified!"

Yes, but don't forget the more than sublime hope and joy that Jesus' identity had brought to her from His birth to the awful event of Calvary; she could not understand what was going on! Sometimes in my faulty human thinking I have wondered if it had not been more merciful of the Lord to let Mary join her husband Joseph in sleep before Calvary had to happen; but I cannot second guess the Father's holy will.

The Father permitted this terribly awful Event to be witnessed by the human mother of our Lord and Savior; if any mother will read the awful Story in the Gospels, as it is, she will be inspired and strengthened to endure the trials that God in His providence permits mothers everywhere to endure.

Be sure to check your e-mail for "Dial Daily Bread" again tomorrow.

Dial Daily Bread: Great Is Thy Faithfulness

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

It's a tiny little book packed away in the Old Testament with a title that itself is forbidding--"The Lamentations of Jeremiah." Few ever read it.

But it's very good bedtime reading, full of encouragement and comfort.

Israel had just suffered the most awful devastation--and the Lord Himself had permitted it to come!

(a) The Lord knew that you and I would need this book.

(b) The sufferings of Israel and Jerusalem would have significance for the church down to the end of time: we today are not genetically better people than those Israelites of Jeremiah's time; and we need to realize our need of repentance.

(c) They were sorely tempted to think of the Lord as their "enemy," and when everything seems to go against us today we are so tempted, likewise; but He pities and He loves us, ... still.

(d) Chapter three is in poetry:

(e) "It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is Thy faithfulness" (vss. 22, 23).

(f) "Our beloved brother Paul" (cf. 2 Peter 3:15) tells us that our "carnal mind is enmity against God" (Rom. 8:7). Don't run out the door in discouragement: the truth never hurts when it's "in Christ." Yes, all the evil apostasy that ancient Israel exemplified in Jeremiah's day could be ours today--but for the grace of Christ, our Savior. If He were to relax His hold on us, we could repeat their apostasy of Jeremiah's day.

(g) Therefore in great thanksgiving of heart let us say with him, "It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed: great is Thy faithfulness," O Lord!

Be sure to check your e-mail for "Dial Daily Bread" again tomorrow.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Dial Daily Bread: What Is Faith?

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

We talk much about "faith" and many have written books and preached sermons about it.

But what is faith?

The best definition I have found for "faith" is this: it is a heart-appreciation of the love [agape] of Christ.

(1) We know that whatever faith is, it is something that the heart performs because we read, "With the heart man believeth unto righteousness" (Rom. 10:10).

(2) But just what is it that "the heart" does?

(3) The heart "chooses" to "behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1:29).

(4) It is not a WORK that the heart performs--which "work" could be readily understood as having some merit (and for sure, our "carnal minds" would naturally seek for something to take credit for! Compare Rom. 8:7).

(5) Faith is simply a response of the sinful human heart to the revealing, the pouring-out, of the love [agape] of Christ.

(6) It's a positive response, not careless or negative in any way; the sinner immediately receives the gift of repentance for his hard-heartedness.

(7) Isaac Watts long ago said it well:

"When I survey the wondrous cross

On which the Prince of glory died,

My richest gain I count but loss,

And pour contempt on all my pride."

(8) To "survey"--the exact, right word; but how do you "survey"?

(9) Quietly, alone, on your knees, every earthly voice hushed, radio, TV, cell phones, all our apparatus; you invite the Holy Spirit to enter into your thinking, your comprehension, to be your Teacher while you "wait" patiently "in school" before Him.

(10) Psalm 27 gives the secret now that we want: "When Thou saidst, Seek ye My face; my heart said unto Thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek [!]. I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living [that is, while I am still alive]. ... Wait on the Lord: ... wait, I say, on the Lord" (vss. 8, 13, 14).

Be sure to check your e-mail for "Dial Daily Bread" again t

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Dial Daily Bread: Enduring Hardships the Lord Permits

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

When I was 12 years old, I did some serious thinking (it's a critical time for anyone, as it was for Jesus at that age).

My father was Lutheran, but there being no Lutheran church in our little town, we became Presbyterians. There in Sunday School the teacher asked us kids to memorize the 10 commandments; I was dutiful, so I did; I was struck that they say "the seventh day" but I could see on the calendar how Sunday is the first day of the week. I asked her, but she said it must be okay, for everyone is keeping Sunday.

Then someone informed me: it's because of the Roman Catholic Church!

I remember, I made my decision immediately: we must keep the Bible Sabbath! (I have never regretted that decision, nor turned back on it.)

In our public high school, the principal asked me to study up on English and English Literature and enter the State-wide Academic Contests. I was the only Sabbath-keeping boy in my public high school. After several conflicts over Sabbath-keeping (which I won), I finally was given first place in the State; which gave me access to two scholarships to universities--Stetson and Gainesville.

But I wanted to learn to be a missionary!

So I turned down flat the scholarships and went to a little junior college in he hills of Tennessee, so I could learn to be a missionary. That entailed my working at as many as 24 jobs altogether, in order to work my way through Christian college to final graduation.

From the beginning of my Sabbath-keeping experience, I have met opposition that made my path more difficult as a teenage boy; but I am thankful that the Lord permitted me to endure the hardships and set-backs that came my way.

To anyone I say, Don't hesitate to endure whatever hardships the Lord permits you to experience as you follow the Lord Jesus.

Be sure to check your e-mail for "Dial Daily Bread" again tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Dial Daily Bread: Your Cross Belongs to Me

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

Martin Hengel has written a gruesome book of history about crucifixions in the days of the Roman Empire.

Besides describing crucifixion in all its horrible details, Hengel says it was the accepted mode of punishment of runaway slaves.

Now my whole soul revolts against the horribly unjust cruelty of slavery; he says that the Romans learned crucifixion from the Persians and it was just the general idea that a runaway slave deserved crucifixion; if I had been living in that sad era of earth's history, I am sure that if I had been taken as a captive in some war or skirmish and made a slave, I would certainly have wanted to escape and regain my freedom somehow.

Thus I myself am sure I would easily have become a victim of the Roman law of crucifying runaway slaves. In other words, crucifixion would have been my appropriate fate.

Oh Lord Jesus, Your cross belongs to me rightly! You have taken my cross.

I thank You; but more than saying "Thank You" is my duty; Lord, You have purchased me; I belong to You. "My life I give, henceforth to live, O Christ, for Thee alone!"

Be sure to check your e-mail for "Dial Daily Bread" again tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Dial Daily Bread: The Lord Jesus Is on Our Side

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

The cross today is the most highly honored religious symbol in the world. But in the first century A.D. it was the most terrible and dreaded. Runaway slaves especially were sentenced to crucifixion, and violent robbers. The sign of the cross and public crucifixions were considered necessary for the preservation of law and order in society. Violent robbers were crucified on the main roads, the awful sight intended to instill fear in the hearts of the public. The cruelty and shame were unspeakable.

And yet, ... think of it! When the divine Son of God became one of us incarnate, the people of God of His day (the Jewish believers in the Old Testament in Jerusalem) could think of nothing else to do with Him, except to scream about Him in Pilate's Judgment Hall in Jerusalem ... "crucify Him!" (Luke 23:21).

We can pat ourselves on the back in smug self-satisfaction, saying, "It wasn't I! I'm not to blame! I wasn't there!"

But "our beloved brother Paul" tells us that "the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be" (Romans 8:7). And in 1 John 3:15, the apostle reminds us that "whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer," already. In other words, if our carnal mind is "enmity against God," that means that if we had been there that Friday morning as a faithful Jew in Pilate's Hall, we would have joined in the cry, "Crucify Him!"

The murder of the Son of God is the corporate sin of the human race; unknown to "us," indeed; but nonetheless there in those unknown, unrealized, labyrinthine depths of our souls.

We have not been "tested" yet; the "test" is stlll future. A wise and inspired author says that the books of heaven record the sins that we would commit if we had the opportunity; that is not bad news, it's simple fact. They also record the good that we would do if we had the opportunity.

The Lord Jesus has been appointed to be our Judge in the final judgment; chosen for the job because He has been one of us and can sympathize with us.

Let's be profoundly thankful that we have this, another day, for repentance. The Lord Jesus wants ALL of us to be saved, says 1 Timothy 2:3, 4. He is on our side; Thank Him today, that He is your Friend.

Be sure to check your e-mail for "Dial Daily Bread" again tomorrow.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Dial Daily Bread: Chosen to Be Saved

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

"Our beloved brother Paul" (that's what Peter calls him!,2 Peter 3:15) tells us to "let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 2:5).

(a) The surrender of our "mind" to the Holy Spirit is our highest privilege in this life here and now.

(b) "Mind" means purpose for living; the choices we make that constitute our character what it is.

(c) And our character is our choices we make in living.

(d) Therefore DOING good is primarily CHOOSING to do good.

(e) You may think that your feet are locked into the path that leads to ruin; that you are a victim of pre-choices that have inevitably been made for you already; that you are in a huge rut formed of iron, out of which escape seems impossible for you; that you are pre-programmed to evil; that you have lost the God-given power of choice.

(f) But if you still possess the choice to take a breath and you don't have the choice NOT to take a breath, that means you still have the power of choice to think and to do what is right, by the grace of Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ, the divine Son of God, IS your Savior, and all of Satan's evil angels are powerless to take Him from you.

(g) That means that even if the wrong choices you have made in the past seem locked in for you that if you can still choose to take a breath you still have retained that precious freedom of choice that the Lord has given you as your eternal possession. (Have you noticed how impossible it is to choose to stop breathing? There's a lesson in the goodness of the Lord Jesus!)

(h) He has chosen for you to have eternal salvation--that's a pre-choice He has already made for you.

(i) We know this is true for we read in 1 Timothy 2:3, 4 that He "will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth."

(j) Therefore it is sure that He has made a choice already for you to be saved!

(k) And it follows that the only way that you can be lost is for you to negate His will, to deny it, to interpose your own perverse will with the purpose of canceling His good will for you.

(l) You don't want to do that! As surely as it is your own natural will to keep on breathing, so sure is it that the Lord's purpose for you is to inherit eternal life in Christ's salvation. Yes, the Samaritans were right! He IS the "Saviour of the world" (John 4:42).

(m) Now, don't crucify Him all over again! That's how serious are the choices before us today! I don't need to remind you that in the final day of judgment (which all of us must face), finding ourselves in that position is the most awful thing possible for any human being!

(n) Thank the Lord Jesus, He has pre-programmed you to eternal salvation; now don't contradict His choice for you!

Be sure to check your e-mail for "Dial Daily Bread" again tomorrow.

Dial Daily Bread: Vote for the Day of Atonement

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

Young people ask questions, like: "Is it realistic to expect that we can overcome all sin? Can ordinary people become truly Christlike? Aren't we expected to continue being tempted and falling until Christ comes again? Who wants to be a monk or a nun living in an isolated desert cave so as to be holy?"

Well, the "seventh angel" is right now blowing his trumpet, and "the mystery of God" is being finished now, in this grand cosmic Day of Atonement (Rev. 10:1-6; 11:15-19). What has never before happened is to happen--a corporate "body" of God's people will indeed "follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth, ... without fault before the throne of God" (Rev. 14:4, 5). And to accomplish this previously unheard-of feat comes "the third angel's message in verity"--a grasping of "the everlasting gospel" as Good News better than any previous generation have ever seen it to be (18:1-4).

Don't let yourself fall to the temptation to despise what God will accomplish!

The motivating power in that "everlasting gospel" is "the grace of God," not a paralyzing fear motivation, but a heart-appreciation of how magnificent is that "grace" of "the Lamb," the crucified Son of God. As present-day High Priest, He ministers that grace 24 hours a day. He "teaches us to say No! to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled [ah, that's the rub!], upright and godly lives in this present age [with all its alluring fleshly and electronic temptations]" (Titus 2:11, 12, NIV). Does it really work?

"Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, 'This is the way, walk in it'" (Isa. 30:21). That "grace" won't let you fall into sin unless you "resist" Him. The ball is in your court. You will vote for the Day of Atonement, or you can vote to kill it. (The latter would embarrass you greatly in the final day.)

Be sure to check your e-mail for "Dial Daily Bread" again tomorrow.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Dial Daily Bread: It's Time to Believe Romans 4:17

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

"For he [Abraham] is the father of us all, as Scripture says: 'I have appointed you

to be father of many nations.' This promise, then, was valid before God,

the God in whom he put his faith, the God who makes the dead live and summons

things that are not yet in existence as if they already were" (NEB).

Recently we witnessed the sad wreckage of a broken home, the husband and wife alienated and the children suffering. And they were miserably unhappy, too.

So often it's like a broken egg; no one seems able to put it together again--happily. And the pain is deep; money and fine cars don't help. Even trips to Hawaii don't heal the wounds.

There are tons of books about what to do. But a list of rules makes one feel helpless. Is it possible that the Gospel can help?

No matter what mistakes the husband and wife have made, the Gospel presents Good News:

(1) God cares about your marriage, in fact, more than you do. If it breaks up, He is the One who gets the rap, because it embarrasses Him. He's the one who invented marriage; and if it doesn't work, the real pain is on Him. (And of course, He feels the deeper pain the children feel, that no one can express.)

(2) It was God who brought the two of you together. "When we're so unsuited to each other?!" you say? Well, He knows the two of you better than yourselves know. He knows what the problem is, and He knows that if you will believe that He brought you together, and if you can trust Him because He did so, springs of healing can be opened to flow again. You may think you can't trust each other; but a choice to trust Him sets you free from your dark bondage, into sunlight.

(3) "But suppose the love is dead?" It's time to believe Romans 4:17. If there is to be a resurrection when Jesus comes, then there must be a resurrection of "dead" love now. Yes! By the same One who presides at both resurrections.

Be sure to check your e-mail for "Dial Daily Bread" again tomorrow.

Dial Daily Bread: Question From Reader on Rom. 4:17

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

Someone has asked:

What did Paul meant in Romans 4:17 "(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were." This refers to the following point of your Dial Daily Bread on Ten Great Truths No. 10: "(d) The Lord can do something that we can't do--He 'calleth those things which be not as though they were' (Romans 4:17)."

Note: God did not say that "I WILL make you to be the father of many nations."

He said: "I have made thee a father of many nations" (present PERFECT tense), when as yet Abraham did not have even baby number one! The magnificent much more abounding grace of the Lord Jesus!

The wonderful future that the Lord has predicted He considers is already past or is present truth already. To the Lord, the past, present, and future are all one: the here and now.

The lesson we must learn is to believe as Abraham believed--when he and Sarah could have no child (she was unable to become pregnant), Abraham believed the Lord that He had already made him to become not merely a father of babies but of "many nations."

Great faith!

This is the kind of faith that the 144,000 in Revelation 14:1-5 have; we must remember that the 144,000 have a sinful nature just like all humans have had all through history; but they have CHOSEN to "follow the Lamb [the crucified Jesus] whithersoever He goes."

And what stirs our souls is to realize that NOW is the time for those 144,000 to make themselves manifest; and you and I are invited to join them!

Be sure to check your e-mail for "Dial Daily Bread" again tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Dial Daily Bread: Ten Great Truths No. 10

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

Ten Great Truths That Make God's Last Days Message Unique

NUMBER TEN: Two vital streams of sanctuary truth come together today to form a mighty river of sanctuary truth:

(a) For two millennia the teaching of justification by faith has thrilled the hearts of those who follow Jesus. To realize that the Father through the Holy Spirit cleanses the hearts of believers so that they are at perfect at-one-ment with the heart of Jesus is "most precious."

(b) Just to be saved at last in God's kingdom is not good enough; the amazing truth is that the Holy Spirit justifies the believer so that his heart is in perfect harmony with Jesus.

(c) But that blessed result is still a "not yet" future Reality; therefore it is "justification BY FAITH."

(d) The Lord can do something that we can't do--He "calleth those things which be not as though they were" (Romans 4:17).

(e) And so the existence of those things that "be not" is taken by faith.

(f) We believing sinners are not perfect, and we know it far too well; when the Lord looks upon us, we are full of self, full of sin; but thank God, we have begun to believe in Jesus; now, according to our text in Romans 4:17, the Father "sees" us in His faith as though we had already overcome--calling "what is not" as though it were already true. The most "amazing fact" you can imagine!

(g) So--when the Father asks us to exercise faith, He Himself is already exercising His own faith! He sees what we know is only future but He considers that it is already present truth in reality.

(h) We have a Savior (who is present tense) who will save us to the glorious heights of the Father's will for us, if we don't resist Him and delay Him in His work for us.

Be sure to check your e-mail for "Dial Daily Bread" again tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Dial Daily Bread: Ten Great Truths No. 9 (supplement)

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

Supplement to Ten Great Truths No. 9: We talk a lot about "faith." But what is it?

We can beat around the bush and say it's "believing" what the Lord says; but what does it mean to "believe"?

(a) It's something that the heart does: "With the heart man believes unto righteousness" (Rom. 10:10).

(b) Therefore it's a choice that the heart makes.

(c) You may not feel like believing; you may be deeply tempted to despair.

(d) It may seem impossible for you to believe--but you can CHOOSE to believe.

(e) You can join that distraught father with the devil-tormented son; Jesus had said to him, "If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth" (Mark 9:23).

(f) That was like dangling a wonderful prize before the poor man, but something out of reach; just teasing him, as it were.

(g) But the dear Lord doesn't tease anyone; He was serious with the poor man: if he will simply BELIEVE, all things will be possible.

(h) That is, his poor child can be healed of being tormented by the devil. A miracle is possible!

(i) But how can you believe when it seems impossible?

(j) Answer: You can CHOOSE to believe!

(k) That puts the Lord on the spot: He has promised to respond to your cry; hold Him to it! He loves for you to remind Him of His promise and to hang on by faith.

(l) Yes, there is waiting involved: "I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living" [that is, while you are still alive]. So ...

(m) "Wait on the Lord: BE of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD" (Psalm 27:13, 14).

(n) Very well, but how long must you wait?

(o) Not a moment longer than is necessary for the growth and strengthening of your faith in the Lord, wherein is your salvation.

(p) Remember, the Lord is infinite: to Him you are as the only person in the world, and He gives you the full richness of His loving attention.

Be sure to check your e-mail for "Dial Daily Bread" again tomorrow.

Dial Daily Bread: Ten Great Truths No. 9 (con'd)

Ten Great Truths That Make God's Last Days Message Unique

NUMBER NINE (con'd): The element that God's people need in order to be ready for the second coming of Jesus is true Biblical "faith."

It will take great faith to be translated "without tasting death"--can we say, "the greatest faith of all the ages"?

But such faith is not egocentric in nature; it is not concerned with my getting a reward; it's not "holy acquisitiveness."

In a happy marriage, the bride is super-concerned that the bridegroom be happy; and he is super-concerned that she be happy.

"The third angel's message in verity" leads His last-days church corporately to a super-concern for the honor and the vindication of Christ in His "great controversy with Satan."

We grow to the place where we think in terms of Christ receiving His reward; and individually that becomes our purpose in living.

When we "say" our good-night prayers before falling into bed, our concern is not " if I should die before I wake I pray the Lord MY soul to take," but if I should die before I wake I pray the Lord's name to be honored by victory in His "great controversy" with Satan!

And, P. S., Lord, from your "much more abounding grace" grant me, I pray to see how I may honor Him appropriately in my life, and how I can help bring to a speedy close this "great controversy between Christ and Satan."

Be sure to check your e-mail for "Dial Daily Bread" again tomorrow.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Dial Daily Bread: Ten Great Truths No. 9

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

Ten Great Truths That Make God's Last Days Message Unique

NUMBER NINE: "The only element that God's people need in order to prepare for translation at the second coming of Jesus is FAITH."

But that faith is a heart appreciation of the length, and depth, and breadth, and height of the agape of Christ as revealed in His sacrifice on the cross. It is a heart appreciation that the death of Christ was not merely a sleep for a weekend (which would be wonderful if you have endured the physical horror of crucifixion--remember? they broke the legs of the two thieves crucified with Jesus, so as to hasten their death or at lest prevent their escape). No, the death that Jesus died was our "second death," the tunnel that has no light at the end of it.

Those who believe in the pagan-papal doctrine of natural immortality cannot believe that Jesus died on that cross; automatically they are up against a blank wall that prevents them from appreciating what the Lord Jesus accomplished for our salvation by His dying our second death.

Genuine faith is a heart-appreciation of the grand dimensions of the agape of Christ; genuine faith stretches our little hearts outsize; it is personal contact with the same divine Son of God who suffered on that cross.

Such faith is "the power of God unto salvation" (Rom. 1:16). It brings with it a heart-repentance that produces a hatred of sin itself; it is the beginning of a new, eternal life of righteousness, here and now.

Be sure to check your e-mail for "Dial Daily Bread" again tomorrow.

Dial Daily Bread: Ten Great Truths No. 8

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

Ten Great Truths That Make God's Last Days Message Unique

NUMBER EIGHT: "A higher motivation becomes realized as we come closer to the end: we become concerned more for the glory and honor of Christ that He be victorious in the ‘great controversy’ than we are concerned for our own security. This change in heart is a miracle!"

"Holy" acquisitiveness is not the goal of the pure true gospel of Christ. Yes, it's nice when we can graduate out of the selfish desire to acquire earthly real estate and can be concerned to acquire some heavenly real estate; this is generally considered real progress in spirituality.

But it's still "self" in a serious way, though we may not realize it. It's a step in our pilgrim journey but it's not our spiritual destination.

Acquisitiveness is the desire for reward; Jesus gave up that desire. He "emptied Himself" (Phil 2:5-8).

Someone may say that it's impossible for us mortal sinners to do that, to "empty" ourselves; but our beloved brother Paul says, "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus." So, it IS possible, or he would not say that we should stop hindering what the Holy Spirit wants to do within us.

The word "righteousness" applies only to the Lord Jesus Christ; but the time must come and by the grace of the Lord Jesus it WILL come--when His imputed righteousness becomes imparted righteousness, and becomes our character, too.

That work is the complement on earth of the cleansing of the sanctuary, which takes place in heaven.

By the grace of the Lord, more tomorrow!

Be sure to check your e-mail for "Dial Daily Bread" again tomorrow.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Dial Daily Bread: Ten Great Truths No. 7

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

Ten Great Truths That Make God's Last Days Message Unique

NUMBER SEVEN: "Our Savior 'condemned sin in the flesh,' conquering the problem for the human race. He forever outlawed sin in the vast universe of God by defeating it in its last lair--our fallen, sinful human flesh. Because of Him, there is now no reason for any human being to go on living under the frightful 'dominion' of sin. Sinful addictions lose their grip if one has 'the faith of Jesus.'"

Sin is a terrible evil in God's great creation because it produces death with all its horror. Here was a pure sinless universe that the fallen Lucifer invaded with his horrible idea of sin--which is hared of God complete with the desire and purpose to slay the Ruler of the universe.

The Father had to permit the fallen Lucifer to demonstrate his evil purpose so that not only all the world but all the universe might see what sin is: it slew the Son of God as He hung on His cross!

The unfallen angels were astonished and horrified to behold the horrible sight. They had all admired the unfallen Lucifer in his glory, "Thus saith the Lord God; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; ... the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created [the unfallen Lucifer could sing quartets by himself!]. ... Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee" (Ezek. 28:12-15).

The Spirit of the unfallen Son of God was the opposite of Lucifer's: He, "being in the form of God, counted not equality with God something to hold on to, but emptied Himself, made Himself of no reputation [we fallen humans will fight to the death to preserve our reputation!], and took upon Himself the form of a slave, and was made in the likeness of men."

But that's not all: "And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death [the only human being in 6000 years to do so!], even the death of the cross [the death which entailed the curse of God, the second death, the death of an endless hell]" (see Phil. 2:6-8).

You can't measure such love! The next breath you take is:

(a) The blessed result of that sacrifice made for you,

(b) Is intended to be the beginning of eternal life for you, if you do not resist and reject the gift that God has already given you in Christ.

Be sure to check your e-mail for "Dial Daily Bread" again tomorrow.

Dial Daily Bread: Ten Great Truths No. 6 (con'd)

Ten Great Truths That Make God's Last Days Message Unique

NUMBER SIX (con'd): The New Covenant is a marvelously simple teaching of Good News.

It is the promise of the Lord Jesus to save you all the way, one hundred percent. That means that your own promises are "like ropes of sand," promises that depend only on you for their fulfillment; and both you and I are notorious for our "broken promises and forfeited pledges" (see Steps to Christ, p. 47).

We have a popular hymn in our book entitled, "O Jesus, I Have Promised to Serve Thee to the End." A sincere clergyman wrote the hymn for his teenage daughters who were to be confirmed in church the next Sunday. He was eminently sincere and did the best he could with the limited knowledge that he had of the gospel of Jesus.

But the dear Lord is too wise to ask us to make promises to Him; for He knows that we cannot keep them. No, He asks us to believe His promises to us!

When we make our vain promises to Him, we may think we are doing something meritorious; to make the promises makes us feel good; we feel like we are doing what the Lord Jesus wants us to do.

But a wise author says that "the knowledge of [our] broken promises and forfeited pledges weakens [our] confidence in [our] own sincerity, and causes [us] feel that God cannot accept [us]" (see same reference above).

To believe the promises that the Lord Jesus makes to us enlightens us immediately to the futility of our own promises; in fact, we cannot truly trust the Lord's promises to us until we renounce all confidence in ourselves.

Jesus is our Savior one hundred percent, which means that we are not our Savior from sin even one percent.

"But aren't we to cooperate with Him in saving us?"

Yes; but we truly cooperate with Him only when we surrender all our confidence in self, and henceforth "rest" only in Him. "Rest in the Lord!" exclaims the Psalmist (37:7). There is life-giving, comforting, quickening truth in that call to us all to "rest in the Lord."

Give up your confidence in self, and place your confidence totally in Him!

Be sure to check your e-mail for "Dial Daily Bread" again tomorrow.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Dial Daily Bread: Ten Great Truths No. 6

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

Ten Great Truths That Make God's Last Days Message Unique

NUMBER SIX: The New Covenant is God's one-way promise to write His law in our hearts, and to give us everlasting salvation as a free gift "in Christ." The Old Covenant is the vain promise of the people to obey, and "gives birth to bondage." The spiritual failures of many sincere people are the result of being taught Old Covenant ideas, especially in childhood and youth. The New Covenant truth even today lifts a load of doubt and despair from many heavy hearts.

The New Covenant is easy to understand: it's the Lord's one-way promise to write His holy law in our sinful hearts, so that now we love to obey His law. It's a cataclysmic change of heart!

It's the same as receiving the at-one-ment. "The carnal mind [was at] enmity with God, for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be" (Rom 8:7), but now under the New Covenant the Lord writes that law deep into our hearts and it becomes our joy to be obedient.

But it's more than merely being "obedient." One can be "obedient" to the law while the inner heart is seething with rebellious thoughts. The most difficult task in the entire universe for God to accomplish is writing that law in our hearts; He can guide the unnumbered stars of the Milky Way more easily than He can change an unwilling human heart.

In fact, the only way that God has found that can change an unwilling human heart is a heart-appreciation for the sacrifice of Christ on His cross. When our little worldly minds can be "enlarged" to grasp and to appreciate that sacrifice of love, our grasping for reward melts away; we lose our acquisitive spirit; getting a mansion on Main street in the New Jerusalem ceases to be our goal; oneness with the Lord Jesus becomes our heart's joy.

God doesn't ask us to make promises to Him for He knows already that we can't keep them. Re-read the story of Abraham in the Book of Genesis--you will find that the Lord NEVER asked Abraham to make any promise to Him! All the Lord wanted was for Abraham to believe His promises--and of course that included dear Sarah, Abraham's wife. How could she become pregnant when she was now such an old woman? Sarah was Abraham's legally married wife, old as she was; it was never God's idea for Abraham to "take" Hagar! This entire story is the story of righteousness by faith--get your Book of Genesis; curl up in a cozy chair tonight, and read the story! It is faith-building.

But the Lord has made this magnificent promise to write that law in our hearts; it's a complete transformation of heart and character.

The accomplishment of this wonderful purpose is not effected through our making promises to God that we will from now on be obedient; our promises today are no better than were the promises of the children of Israel at Mt. Sinai when they assured the Lord through Moses, "All that the Lord hath spoken, we will do" (Ex. 19:8).

Be sure to check your e-mail for "Dial Daily Bread" again tomorrow.

Dial Daily Bread: Ten Great Truths No. 5 (con'd)

Ten Great Truths That Make God's Last Days Message Unique

NUMBER FIVE (con'd): The Lord Jesus Christ of the Holy Bible is the one true Christ; but He has warned us of the deceptions posed by "false Christs": "There shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect" [that is, you or me]" (Matt. 24:24).

The one true Christ is set forth vividly in Romans 8:3, 4, as follows:

God sent "His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh" (vs. 3).

The false "Christ" that has already deceived millions is the "Immaculate Conception" "Christ" who did not partake of our true nature; the false Christ was and is separate from us in nature and so was never "temped in all points like as we are" (cf. Heb. 4:15).

Our Savior came to us where we are; He could not have come closer! Taking our nature, tempted as we are tempted, yet He never sinned, He never said "yes" to temptation. Instead, "He condemned in the flesh."

In so doing, He saved the entire human race! Roman 5 describes what happened: "It was through one man that sin entered the world, and through sin death, and thus [in this way] death pervaded the whole human race, inasmuch as all have sinned [in other words, we have all fallen as Adam fell].

"... But God's act of grace is out of all proportion to Adam's wrongdoing. For if the wrongdoing of that one man [Adam] brought death upon so many [that is, all of us], its effect is vastly exceeded by the grace of God and the gift [note the word, "gift"--not merely "offer"] ... is not to be compared in its effect with that one man's sin; for the judicial action, following on the one offence, resulted in a verdict of condemnation [which came upon us all], but the act of grace following upon so many misdeeds, resulted in a verdict of acquittal [in other words, the Father forgave us all!]. ...

"It follows then, that as the result of one misdeed was condemnation for all people, so the result of one righteous act is acquittal and life for all" (vss. 12-18, NEB).

What it means is that the sacrifice of Christ enables the Father to judicially forgive every person, no matter how sinful; now, get on your knees and say "Thank You!" to the Father, and praise the Lord Jesus Christ for taking your nature and your sin upon Himself and for dying your second death. And live "henceforth" only for Him!

Be sure to check your e-mail for "Dial Daily Bread" again tomorrow.