Archive for February 2009

The Called

February 26, 2009

Ye are … My servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He … (Isaiah 43:10).

God draws His chosen into personal relationship with Himself. He has chosen us for the purpose of knowing Him, believing Him, and understanding Him. This is our calling.

The religious are satisfied to learn about Him, the chosen are given the heart to actually know Him. Paul wrote,

That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death (Philippians 3:10).

The religious systems of man blind and bind men, sidetracking them by endless busy-work – meetings, group activities, projects and mass instruction – all resulting in a secondhand “knowledge” and “faith” concerning “God.”

Our particular culture’s religious masses are “Christian”; but if they lived in another culture they undoubtedly would have adapted the context of its religious persuasion (e.g. Islam, Buddhism, etc.).

God is now tutoring “The Called” for service in the “heavenly places.” We are a part of the Many-Membered Christ, the Firstborn.

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
Bible Student’s Notebook


Judge Nothing Before the Time

February 20, 2009

But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self. For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but He that judgeth me is the Lord. Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, Who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God … (I Corinthians 4:3-5).

Warning against Premature Judgment

We are premature in our judgments. We make passing judgments on ourselves and others before God has completed His work in us. We must realize that there is an appointed time for the inspection of God’s finished product; but it is not now.

Paul tells us plainly,

Therefore judge nothing before the time … (:5).

God Has Not Finished His Work

We must always be mindful that each one of us is God’s work.

Paul calls us “the work of God” in Romans 14:20. He calls us “His workmanship” in Ephesians 2:10. Day by day He is making out of us what He wants us to be. He is the master-workman, and we are His masterpieces. He has the ages in which to accomplish His work. And He will do so successfully.

Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6).

Do Not be Tempted to Play Judge

Judgment here belongs to the Lord Jesus Christ alone. He is the only One so qualified. The Father has committed to Him sole judgment.

For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son (John 5:22).

Because He hath appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by that Man Whom He hath ordained … (Acts 17:31).

… It is He which was ordained of God to be the Judge of the quick and dead (Acts 10:42).

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ … (II Corinthians 5:10).

… The Lord Jesus Christ, Who shall judge the quick and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom (II Timothy 4:1).

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

We Are Not to Judge Ourselves

I judge not mine own self (:3)

When we judge ourselves we are actually passing judgment upon God’s work and ability in us. In faith we need to rest, not in our abilities, but in His capacity to carry out His own work in us. This is why Paul would not pass judgment upon himself.

We Are to be Unaffected by the Judgment of Others

But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment … (:3).

Others may choose to judge us. However sincere their actions may be, or appear to be, we are not to be affected by this. When we, like Paul, walk before the Lord their verdicts will be a “very small thing” in our sight. In fact, if we are concerned about their opinions, it will have a hindering effect on God’s work in us.

For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ (Galatians 1:10).

Thus, we have Paul’s instruction,

Let no man therefore judge you … (Colossians 2:16)

We Are Not to Judge Others

We must walk in faith and see our brothers as who they really are. They are a new creation – the work and workmanship of God. We must not be party to the judgment of God’s work.

Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? … (Romans 14:4).

But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ (Romans 14:10).

Let us not therefore judge one another any more … (Romans 14:13).

We must always remember that God is busy at work in His own creation. We can rest completely in “the purpose of Him Who worketh all things after the counsel of His Own will” (Ephesians 1:11). We can rest in this for ourselves, as well as for others.

We are all like a building under construction, a painting yet wet and unfinished, a tapestry still being woven, a tree that has yet to reach maturity. We must with patience await the Master’s grand completion.

We would all do well to follow Paul’s instruction to,

… Judge nothing before the time… (:5).

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
Bible Student’s Notebook

Joy Helpers

February 16, 2009

Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand (II Corinthians 1:24).

Paul, the apostle to the nations, was a joy helper. His life was to assist others in their joy. This is a divine undertaking. We have the privilege of joining this Pauline ministry in our daily lives.

We can learn from Paul in this passage, from what is sandwiched within this verse, what it is that will bring real joy from God in their lives – but are helpers of your joy,”

No Human Dominion

Paul starts by saying, “Not for that we have dominion over your faith.” The beginning of divine joy is found in freedom from domination in the area of faith. We are the helpers of others’ joy by assisting them in their freedom from religious domination; for it is religious dominance that produces spiritual kill-joys. Help set others free.

And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free (John 8:32).

Standing by Faith

Paul ends this verse with, for by faith ye stand.” The cycle of joy begins with freedom from religion, and finds its completion standing by personal faith. We finish the cycle of being the helpers of others’ joy by supporting them in their own personal faith before God.

To be a joy helper, we must allow others the freedom to follow their own heart of faith before God. If their studies and convictions would lead them differently than it has us, we must encourage them in those things, as long as we see in them a genuine heart to honor the Lord with what they understand. This is because there are to be greater principles that have preeminence in our own hearts: the principles of pure grace, unconditional love, genuine acceptance, individual faith and personal liberty.

Paul taught that believers with opposite understandings and practices (even if one may be weak in the faith) could both live their lives in honor to the Lord. This does not mean that we could always walk with others in all things, but it does mean that we can support and encourage others to be faithful to the Lord based on the understanding of their own hearts; for whatsoever is not of faith is sin (Romans 14:23).

Hast thou faith? Have it to thyself before God (Romans 14:22).

Helping others in their freedom from religion, encouraging them in the freedom to follow their own hearts of faith wherever God may lead them, will enable us to be helpers of your joy.”

In our daily lives let us bring joy to those around us – real joy, Divine Joy.

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
Daily Goodies

Called Out of Egypt

February 11, 2009

“Out of Egypt have I called My Son” (Matthew 2:15).

God always calls His sons out of Egypt. Egypt is a type of the world system; the religious-political course of this world, a multi-facetted conglomerate system.

“They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world” (John 17:16).

God’s sons may be in the world, but not of the world. They are foreigners and strangers – citizens of another domain – having been translated “into the kingdom of His dear Son” (Colossians 1:13).

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
Bible Student’s Notebook

Let Us Check Our Motives

February 7, 2009

“For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (I Corinthians 3:11).

Do I attempt to draw men to myself and into my orbit so as to use them for “my church” or little kingdom, or do I seek always to thrust them upon Christ and what He desires for their life and ministry? …

Do I make others more dependent upon me and the spiritual food I can give them, or make them more dependent upon the Lord as their source? …

Can I rejoice when, after many years, I have nothing visible or monumental to which I can point to and glory in as the fruit of my labors? …

Do I insist upon the “letter-acceptance” of my private interpretation so as to bring lives into my orbit and into subjection to my ministry? …

Look down through the centuries, and note how every fragment or faction of people building upon their own private foundations have always emphasized their mark or sign of circumcision. Nor will they really accept or wholly fellowship with you until they have brought you into full submission to their particular mark of circumcision … How subtle and how divisive is the enemy in turning men to “other foundations” so as to keep them from enjoying Him and the common expression of His life and fellowship.

DeVern Fromke
No Other Foundation, pages 41-42

Not Being a Part of Any “Church”

February 7, 2009

It is my conviction and it is my experience that it is the divine privilege of the individual to lay hold of Christ in all that He can ever be to any man, and to enjoy all His rich blessings and fellowship wholly apart from any institution called a “church.” Such things as nearness to God, likeness to Christ, devotedness to His Word, and separation from the world can all be attained to and maintained by the individual believer in Jesus Christ without being any part of an organized company. He can be attached to Christ, to His name, to His Word, to His cause, yes, even to His people without being any part of any “church.”

Those words may come as a shock to many who hold the popular conception that the chief expression of a man’s relationship to Christ is to attend “church” on Sunday morning. Today as a rule men are classified under “those who go to church,” and “those who do not go to church.” All who go to church are considered to be good, honest, moral Christians. And even though this is not true, men persist in believing this lie. On the other hand all who do not go to “church” are considered to be heathen unbelievers whose morals are open to question. This is a greater falsehood than the first.

Otis Q. Sellers (1901-1992)
Christian Individualism (1961)

Shimmering Personalities

February 7, 2009

In this day when shimmering personalities carry on “the Lord’s work” after the methods of the entertainment world, it is refreshing to associate for a moment even in the pages of a book with a sincere and humble man …

With Bibles under their arms and bundles of tracts in their pockets, religious persons now meet to carry on “services” so carnal, so pagan, that they can hardly be distinguished from the old vaudeville shows of earlier days.

A.W. Tozer (1897-1963)
Of God and Men, Pages 16-18

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