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Pastor Scott Markle

Member Since 27 Dec 2012
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 03:49 PM
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Topics I've Started

A Response To Brother "prophet1"

Yesterday, 02:49 PM

First, to the moderators I must acknowledge that I had no real clue were best to place this thread.  If it is in the wrong place, I am more than willing for a correction to be made.

 

Second, to all I give an explanation for this thread.  In the thread on Matthew 24, I employed the phrase "holy of holies" in one of my postings.  In response to this, Brother "Prophet1" presented the following reproof --

 

Holy is an adjective.

There can be no such thing as "Holies".

Try using the Scripture, instead of parroting men.

The Scripture calls it the "Most Holy Place".

The Scripture doesn't use the word "rapture", which in English is an abstract and not a concrete noun, so it couldn't possibly be the name of an event.
In fact, by definition, rapture is imagined.

Satan has more than one trick up his bejewelled sleeve, and extra-Biblical terms is one of them.

You've dashed your foot against a stumbling stone, and fallen into Rome's mire, Brother. 

Of course, I'll be ridiculed and chided for this post, but, no matter.

The children of Light are watching,
His sheep hear His voice. 

 

It is my intention to provide a response to this reproof against me by Brother "Prophet1."  However, I did not wish to hijack the other thread and thereby to turn it aside from its primary focus upon Matthew 24.  Thus I am presenting my response in a new thread posting.

 

Third, to Brother "Prophet1" I would first present my intention with this posting -- (1) to acknowledge a fault, (2) to present a defense, and (3) to return a reproof.

 

1.  My acknowledgement of fault -- I must acknowledge that in the King James translation the phrase "holy of holies" is never employed.  Furthermore, I must acknowledge that the King James translation does indeed employ the phrase "the most holy place" for the innermost holy place of tabernacle/temple.  Therefore, I will acknowledge that for the sake of Biblical precision and Biblical understanding, it would have been better that I employed the phrase "the most holy place;" and I shall pursue such a change in the future.  (However, I do also recognize the truth of Brother "Beameup's" posting #45 concerning the Hebrew as God the Holy Spirit originally moved the Old Testament writers to communicate.  As such, I recognize that in Hebrew an adjective can be used as a substantive (in the place of a noun), and that the doubling Hebrew adjective for "holy" would present such a meaning as "the holy place of holy places."  With this understanding in mind, I am unwilling to acknowledge any doctrinal error on me part; and thus I am unwilling to acknowledge any sin as having been committed.)

 

2.  My presentation of defense -- You declared that there is no such thing in the English language as the noun "holies."  This is not strictly accurate.  In the Webster's New World College Dictionary 4th edition, the word "holy" includes that following within its definition presentation -- "n., pl. --lies a holy thing or place."

 

3.  My return of reproof -- In your reproof against me, you made the following statement, "Satan has more than one trick up his bejewelled sleeve, and extra-Biblical terms is [are] one of them."  Now, the doctrinal truth concerning Satan certainly is a matter of Biblical doctrine.  Yet in God's Holy Word there is no indication whatsoever that Satan has a "bejeweled sleeve."  In fact, the word "bejeweled" is not found any whatsoever throughout the entirety of the King James translation.  Furthermore, in God's Holy Word there is no indication whatsoever that Satan even has sleeves.  In fact, the word "sleeve" is not found any whatsoever throughout the entirety of the King James translation.  Therefore, as my return of reproof, I shall "parrot" a reproof that I recently encountered, "Try using Scripture.  Satan has more than one trick . . . , and extra-Biblical terms is [are] one of them."  Indeed, the thrust for this return of reproof is not that I myself actually believe it is an inherent sin to employ doctrinal terms that are not strictly found in the King James translation.  Rather, the thrust for this return of reproof is that if you intend to reprove others on the ground of this position, I would counsel you to remain strictly consistent in your own communication, lest your contradiction to yourself create damage to your credibility.

Shepherding The Flock - A New Verse Card & Magnet For Thanksgiving

21 November 2014 - 12:55 PM

The following presents the front and back of the verse card. 
The magnet would then be of the front of the verse card.
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Shepherding The Flock - Pure Religion And Undefiled Before God – James 1:27

18 November 2014 - 03:56 PM

Weekly Sermon

James 1:27 reads, “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” 

As we have previously noted, James 1:26-27 presents a clear contrast between a faulty religious life that is lacking in spiritual substance and a faithful religious life that is rooted in spiritual substance.  This contrast is seen in that verse 26 closes with the statement, “This man’s religious is vain;” whereas verse 27 opens with the statement, “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this.”  Even so, verse 26 presents the case of a religious life that is vain, being spiritually profitless; whereas verse 27 presents the case of a religious life that is valuable, being spiritually pure.  Therefore, as we focus our attention upon verse 27, we observe more closely the case of a religious life that is valuable, being spiritually pure – “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this.”

Grammatically, this verse can be divided into three parts.  First, there is the declaration of God’s classification for pure religion – “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this.”  Second, there is the description of loving compassion in pure religion – “To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction.”  Third, there is the description of separated character in pure religion – “And to keep himself unspotted from the world.”

The Substance of Acceptable Religion

In the opening four words, James 1:27 begins with a declaration concerning the spiritual substance of acceptable religion.  Thereby we learn that an acceptable religion is a spiritually “pure religion and undefiled.”  As we have noted, in this context the word “religion” refers specifically to a diligent observance and dedicated performance of religious activities, duties, and services.  Thus an acceptable religious life, an acceptable observance and performance of religious activities, duties, and services, must be rooted in a spiritually pure and undefiled substance of character.  These two descriptive words “pure” and “undefiled” are synonyms, the first giving the description from the positive perspective and the second giving the description from the negative perspective.  The combination of these two synonyms strongly emphasizes the necessity for a religious life that is rooted in the spiritual substance of a godly character.  To be acceptable, our religious life must be rooted in the Spirit-filled purity of a heart that is truly in righteous fellowship with the Lord.  To be acceptable, our religious life must be undefiled by any selfish motivations and hypocrisies of the flesh. 

The Standard for Acceptable Religion

As that opening line of James 1:27 continues, it presents a declaration concerning the spiritual standard for acceptable religion.  “Pure religion and undefiled” is that which is viewed as such “before God and the Father.”  It is not our own view concerning the spiritually pure and undefiled character of our religious life that matters.  It is the view of God our heavenly Father that truly matters.  If He does not approve of our religious life, then it really does not matter if we ourselves or anyone else approves thereof.  Indeed, our religious life may appear pure and undefiled outwardly before others.  Yet the Lord our God examines the true substance of our character and motivation.  His standard is THE standard.  Thus to be truly acceptable, our religious life must be rooted in a character and motivation of heart that pleases Him.  As our Creator God, He is the authoritative Judge of our heart character and of our religious life.  As our Heavenly Father, He is the gracious Savior who is ever worthy of our righteous priority in heart and of our pure religion in worship. 

The System in Acceptable Religion

The opening portion of James 1:27 declares, “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this.”  Herein the phrase “is this” introduces the system in acceptable religion.  Now, this verse does not present an exhaustive list of the activities, duties, and services in “pure religion and undefiled before God.”  Yet it does present two of the essential elements in “pure religion and undefiled before God.”  Indeed, these two elements are often neglected.  Yet these essential elements are so characteristic of “pure religion and undefiled before God” that without them there can be no genuine claim to such a pure and undefiled religious life. 

The first essential element of pure and undefiled religion presented in James 1:27 concerns the principle of loving compassion toward the needy.  “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction.”  Being the two categories of individuals who were the most likely to experience the greatest level of affliction and need in that day, the “fatherless [orphans] and widows” are presented herein as a representative for any and all who are needy and helpless in affliction.  In this context, the word “visit” means more than just making a social call to see such needy individuals and to speak a word of comfort unto them.  Rather, it means going forth to help such individuals “in their affliction.”  Indeed, it means going forth with a personally active and practically beneficial involvement to help relieve their need.  In addition, it means helping them although it is very likely that they shall never be in a position to return the favor.  As such, this element of pure and undefiled religion deals with our spirit of loving, sacrificial compassion toward others in their need.  Even so, in 1 John 3:16-18 the instruction is given, “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.  But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?  My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.”  Now, such loving compassion toward the needy is an essential element of “pure religion and undefiled before God,” and without it there can be no genuine claim to such a pure an undefiled religious life.

The second essential element of pure and undefiled religion presented in James 1:27 concerns the principle of separated character from the world.  “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”  Herein the word “world” refers to the evil system of this world in its ungodly philosophies, priorities, practices, and pursuits.  It is a system of ungodliness that pervades every aspect of the human culture around us and that is governed by “the prince of this world,” the devil himself. (John 14:30)  As such, this present evil world is utterly selfish in its foundational essence and is completely contrary to the Lord our God and His way of righteousness.  Even so, 1 John 2:16 reveals the truth, “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.”  In addition, James 4:4 pronounces the rebuke, “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God?  Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.”  Certainly we believers dwell in this world physically.  Yet we are not to be of this world spiritually.  We are never to be conformed unto the ungodliness of this world’s evil system. (Romans 12:2)  Rather, we are faithfully and fervently to guard ourselves, in both our attitudes and our actions, against this world’s ungodly pollution.  We are to be holy “in all manner of conversation,” in every aspect of our character and our conduct. (1 Peter 1:15)  We are to be “denying ungodliness and worldly lusts” and to “live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.” (Titus 2:12)  Yea, keeping ourselves “unspotted” by any of this world’s ungodly pollution is our constant, continual responsibility before the Lord our God.  Indeed, it is the responsibility of each believer to keep his own self “unspotted from the world.”  Therefore, we must be constantly, consistently, continually, and carefully vigilant to guard ourselves spiritually; for this present evil world is constantly, consistently, continually, and characteristically seeking to corrupt us spiritually.  Furthermore, whenever we do become “spotted” with the selfish, sinful pollution of this world, we must quickly cleanse our hands and purify our hearts. (James 4:8)  Yea, we must be cleansed through the humble confession of broken-hearted repentance; for “if we confess our sins, he [God our heavenly Father] is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)  Now, such separated character from the world is an essential element of “pure religion and undefiled before God,” and without it there can be no genuine claim to such a pure and undefiled religious life.
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Shepherding The Flock - Audio Sermon - Wisdom Crieth Without (Part 2 Of 4)

17 November 2014 - 11:12 AM

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Shepherding The Flock - This Man’S Religion Is Vain – James 1:26

12 November 2014 - 02:00 PM

Weekly Sermon

James 1:26 reads, “If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.”

As we have previously noted, James 1:26-27 presents a clear contrast between a faulty religious life that is lacking in spiritual substance and a faithful religious life that is rooted in spiritual substance.  This contrast is seen in that verse 26 closes with the statement, “This man’s religious is vain;” whereas verse 27 opens with the statement, “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this.”  Even so, verse 26 presents the case of a religious life that is vain, being spiritually profitless; whereas verse 27 presents the case of a religious life that is valuable, being spiritually pure.  Therefore, as we focus our attention upon verse 26, we observe more closely the case of a religious life that is vain, being spiritually profitless – “This man’s religion is vain.” 

Grammatically, this verse can be divided into four parts.  First, there is the condition of spiritual appearance – “If any man among you seem to be religious.”  Second, there is the contrast of selfish communication – “And bridleth not his tongue.”  Third, there is the condemnation of self-deception – “But deceiveth his own heart.”  Finally, there is the confrontation of spiritual emptiness – “This man’s religion is vain.”

The Spiritual Appearance

The opening line of James 1:26 presents the condition of spiritual appearance, saying, “If any man among you seem to be religious.”  In this context, the word “if” indicates, not a rare possibility, but a common reality.  As such, the scenario of this statement is Biblically assumed to be an actual case and an existing problem among us as believers.  Yet the phrase “any man” (or, any individual) indicates that the warning of this verse is not specifically pointed to a specific category, but is generally proclaimed to us all.  Indeed, the spiritual fault that is revealed in this warning can overtake any one of us at any given point throughout our Christian walk.  Yea, we all must ever be spiritually vigilant lest we “seem to be religious,” but possess a religious life that is spiritually vain in our Lord’s sight.  As we have noted, in this context the words “religious” and “religion” refer specifically to a diligent observance and dedicated performance of religious activities, duties, and services.  Thus due to such a diligent observance and dedicated performance of religious activities, duties, and services, we may meet the condition of spiritual appearance.  In doing these things, we may “seem to be religious.” 

Now, the word “seem” can refer either to that which seems true before others or to that which seems true unto one’s self.  Since the later condemnation of the verse is that this individual “deceiveth his own heart,” we conclude that this statement is intended to indicate that which this individual thinks concerning himself.  In this context this statement speaks concerning this individual’s opinion of himself.  Through his diligent observance and dedicated performance of religious activities, duties, and services, he thinks himself to be godly in character and right with the Lord.  He supposes that such a diligent observance and dedicated performance of a religious life fulfills his spiritual responsibility as a doer of God’s Holy Word.  Yet it is not our own assessment of our Christian walk that matters.  Rather, it is our Lord’s assessment that matters.  Even so, the Lord our God pronounces His assessment of this individual’s religious life in the conclusion of the verse, saying, “This man’s religion is vain.”  Often we believers, in our estimation of our own spiritual condition, substitute the apparent value of diligent, dedicated religious activity for the actual value of a transformed, godly character.  Often we have an external “form of godliness,” while denying the inward “power thereof.” (2 Timothy 3:5)  Often we draw nigh unto the Lord with our mouths and honor Him with our lips, while our heart is not right with Him. (Matthew 15:8) 

The Selfish Communication

Yet the opening line of James 1:26 does not reveal the entire scenario concerning this individual’s condition.  In fact, the conditional word “if” with which the statement begins encompasses a second description of his spiritual conduct.  As we have noted, the opening line of the verse presents the condition of spiritual appearance, saying, “If any man among you seem to be religious.”  Then the verse continues with the contrast of selfish communication, saying, “And bridleth not his tongue.”  Thereby a contrast is made between this individual’s perception of his spiritual condition and the revelation of his selfish communication.  Although he thinks himself to be godly in character and right with the Lord, yet his unbridled tongue reveals something different about his character and about his walk with the Lord.  Indeed, this individual is diligent and dedicated in religious activity.  Yet he possesses a glaring spiritual fault and failure.  This individual is characterized (as the present tense of the verb indicates) by an unbridled tongue.  Yea, the fault for this unbridled tongue is attributed directly to him; for he himself is presented as the one who “bridleth not his tongue.” 

Herein it is implied that our tongue is like a wild horse that must be strictly guided and guarded with a bridle lest it wildly run away with us.  Furthermore, it is implied herein that a characteristically unbridled tongue reveals an ungodly character.  This is founded upon the Biblical principle that “out of the abundance (or, character) of the heart the mouth speaketh.” (Matthew 12:34)  There is a direct spiritual connection between our mouths and our hearts, between our communication and our character.  Thus an unbridled tongue reveals that our character is not guided and governed by the Spirit of God, but by the selfishness of our flesh.  So then, what is the nature of an unbridled tongue?  James 1:26 does not provide a specific description thereof.  However, James 3:7-10 declares, “For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: but the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.  Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.  Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.” 

An unbridled tongue is one that runs wildly and destructively with selfish communication.  It may indeed speak blessing and honor toward and about the Lord God in religious services.  Yet biting and bitterness characterizes its communication toward and about others.  Such a tongue will be filled with the grievous communication of self-exaltation, carelessness, foolishness, harshness, complaining, backbiting, tale bearing, evil speaking, anger, malice, deception, etc.  It does not speak graciously, lovingly, or wisely.  It does not speak “that which is good to the use of edifying” and that which ministers God’s grace to the hearers. (Ephesians 4:29)  Yea, an unbridled tongue will be especially offensive when it is joined with a diligent, dedicated religious life.  In such a context, the unbridled tongue will often speak to undercut the religious conduct and spiritual character of others in order that its own conduct and character may look more favorable. 

The Self-Deception

Although the individual described in James 1:26 thinks himself to be godly in character and right with the Lord, the Lord our God through His Holy Word presents a condemnation of his self-deception, saying, “But deceiveth his own heart.”  Due to his diligent, dedicated religious activity, he may conclude that he is godly and righteous; yet his characteristic failure and fault of an unbridled tongue reveals that he has deceived “his own heart.”  He may or may not have deceived others through his diligent, dedicated religious life; but he certainly has deceived himself.  The evidence of his diligent, dedicated religious activity, upon which he has set his focus, is not in itself enough to prove a godly character.  In fact, the characteristic failure and fault of his unbridled tongue, having a direct connection to the character of his heart, proves an ungodly character.  Yea, the evidence of his unbridled tongue cancels out and overrules all the evidence of his diligent, dedicated religious activity.  Therefore, this individual deceives himself with a false estimation of his religious conduct.  By considering only his religious activity, he continually misleads and deludes himself thereby into a false view of spiritual reality.  Yea, he continually yields his heart to the spiritual delusion that a diligent observance and dedicated performance of religious activities, duties, and services is all that is required to define a godly character and to be right with the Lord.  Indeed, such an individual needs to quit congratulating himself concerning his religious activity, and needs to come unto conviction of his ungodly character. 

The Spiritual Emptiness

In the closing line, James 1:26 concludes the case with a confrontation of spiritual emptiness, saying, “This man’s religion is vain.”  The phrase “this man” refers specifically to the one whose case is described in the verse.  Yet having a direct connection to the phrase “any man” that is found in the opening line of the verse, the phrase “this man” refers to any one of us believers who fulfills the conditions of the verse.  For any of us who think ourselves to be religiously right with the Lord, but who do not bridle our tongues, our religious activity, no matter how diligent and dedicated it may be, is spiritually vain.  In such a case, our religious activity and service is spiritually unprofitable in our Lord’s estimation and shall not receive our Lord’s blessing.  In such a case, our religious activity and service is spiritually unprofitable for our walk with the Lord and for our ministry unto others.  In such a case, our religious activity and service is spiritually unprofitable because it is not rooted in a godly character, but is corrupted by an unbridled communication.  In such a case, our religious activity and service represents a faulty religious life because it is only a religious form without the spiritual reality.  In such a case, although we may esteem our religious activity and service highly, we actually need to come unto broken-hearted repentance of our ungodly character and our unbridled communication.
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