"For the word of the Lord is truth, and whatsoever is truth is light..."
September 20, 2006

The Bitter Cup

Pastor/teacher John MacArthur, in writing of the “bitter cup” Jesus was called upon to imbibe, observed: “Never was so much sorrow emanating from the soul of one individual. We could never comprehend the depth of Christ’s agony because, frankly, we cannot perceive the wickedness of sin as He could. Nor can we appreciate the terrors of divine wrath the way He did.” Further, he asked: “What is the cup? It is not merely death. It is not the physical pain of the cross. It was not the scourging or the humiliation. It was not the horrible thirst, the torture of having nails driven through His body, or the disgrace of being spat upon or beaten, It was not even all of those things combined.” Rather, MacArthur adds, “what Christ dreaded most about the cross — the cup from which He asked to be delivered if possible — was the outpouring of divine wrath He would have to endure from His holy Father….In some mysterious way that our human minds could never fathom, God the Father would turn His face from Christ the Son, and Christ the Son, and Christ would bear the full brunt of the divine fury against sin….In other words, on the cross, God imputed our sin to Christ and then punished Him for it.” (Joyn MacArthur, The Murder of Jesus, h. 63-71) — Robert L. Millet, A Different Jesus?, p. 91

August 26, 2006

Inside Out

The Lord works from the inside out. The world works from the outside in. The world would take people out of the slums. Christ takes the slums out of people, and then they take themselves out of the slums. The world would mold men by changing their environment. Christ changes men, who then change their environment. The world would shape human behavior, but Christ can change human behavior. — President Ezra Taft Benson, Conference Report, October 1985, p. 5

April 4, 2006

Pillars

Exodus 6:2

And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the Lord; 3 And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them. 4 And I have ESTABLISHED MY COVENANT with them, to give them the land of Canaan….” 5 And I have heard the groaning of the children of Israel, whom the Egyptians keep in BONDAGE; and I have remembered my COVENANT. 6 Wherefore, say unto the Children of Israel, I AM THE LORD, and I will BRING YOU OUT from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their BONDAGE and I will REDEEM you with a STRETCHED OUT ARM, and with great judgment. 7 AND I WILL TAKE YOU TO ME FOR A PEOPLE, AND I WILL BE TO YOU A GOD, AND YE SHALL KNOW THAT I AM THE LORD YOUR GOD, WHICH BRINGETH YOU OUT from under the burdens of the Egyptians. 8 And I will bring you in unto the LAND concerning the which I did swear to give it to ABRAHAM, to ISAAC, and to JACOB; and I will give it you for an HERITAGE; I AM THE LORD.

“Remember, this God, Jehovah establishes covenant, brings out from bondage, and REDEEMS. You are MY PEOPLE. From this time forth you are either in Israel with the covenant people, and referred to as “a PEOPLE” or “MY PEOPLE”, or you are considered by God as “NOT A PEOPLE.”

“REMEMBER, THERE ARE ONLY TWO PEOPLE ON THE EARTH IN COVENANT LANGUAGE. EITHER THE COVENANT PEOPLE WHO REPRESENT CHRIST, AND HIS NAME, OR SATAN, AND NOT A PEOPLE. That is harsh, but that is the covenant language that God gives. THIS IS THE COVENANT. I AM GOD, YOU ARE MY PEOPLE; I WILL ESTABLISH YOU, REDEEM YOU AND DELIVER YOU.

“The word “established” becomes a key word, all the way through the scriptures. When He has the temple built, with Solomon, he has two standing pillars just before you entered. One was called JACHIN, and the other, BOAZ. One meant, THE LORD WILL ESTABLISH, and the other, IN THE STRENGTH OF JEHOVAH. So that when you pick up the New Testament and you are reading the blessings the Lord gives, notice Jesus says that he will “make them a pillar in the temple of God.” Rev. 3:12. That means that if you overcome, you will be established in the covenant and in the strength of Jehovah. You become those pillars.

“In establishing the covenant, notice when Alma wants to create a church in the Book of Mormon.  Notice that the wording that is used comes right out of Exodus.  The Lord shows Alma that the covenant in the church that he is forming will be the same one that is found in the law of Moses.

Put yourself in Alma’s shoes.  He is establishing a church, just having “delivered” a group of people from bondage.  You might wonder if you have done the right thing in organizing the church.  Mosiah 26:17-20

  17  Blessed art thou because thou hast ESTABLISHED a church among THIS PEOPLE; and they shall BE ESTABLISHED, and they shall be MY PEOPLE.

The Lord only establishes in one thing, and that is in the covenant, in the promised land, with posterity as numerous as the sands upon the seashore.

18  Yea, blessed is THIS PEOPLE who are willing to bear MY NAME; for in MY NAME shall THEY BE CALLED, and they are mine. 19  And because thou hast inquired of me concerning the transgressor, thou art blessed.  20 Thou art MY SERVANT; and I COVENANT with thee that thou shalt have ETERNAL LIFE; and thou shalt SERVE ME and GO FORTH IN MY NAME [out of Egypt?] and shalt gather together MY SHEEP.

“So this covenant will get them, and you, how far?  All the way into Eternal Life.  Established, their God, His People, …this is covenant language, and it is carried throughout the scriptures.  Land, People, God, Redeem, Establish.” — Robert J. Norman