The Right Foundation

In 1993, construction began on the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Destined to become the world’s tallest buildings, a solid foundation for these twin towers was absolutely critical. So when test-drilling revealed bedrock beneath the proposed site for one of the towers, but not for the other, the site was moved 150 feet. One engineer said: “With each building containing two million square feet of office space, a poor foundation would have resulted in `The Leaning Tower of Kuala Lumpur!'”

While a solid foundation is crucial for buildings, it is far more important that your spiritual life be founded upon a firm foundation. The Lord Jesus Christ proposed a site for your life’s foundation in Luke 6:47,48:

“Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like;

“He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock; and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it; for it was founded upon a rock.”

The particular flood that our Lord had in mind is the Antichrist (Isa. 59:19), the coming world leader that will plunge the earth into seven years of what the Bible calls “great tribulation” (Matt. 24:21). While you may not live to see the Antichrist come, there is still much we can learn from our Lord’s words here.

You see, a flood is a deceptive kind of danger. In rain-starved desert areas such as the one in which our Lord lived, a flood starts out looking like a blessing! The rain falls, the river begins to rise, and everyone rejoices. And so it will be when the Antichrist appears. He will begin his career looking like a blessing to the people of Israel. He will rebuild their temple and re-instate the ancient sacrificial system of their religion. But when he turns on them halfway through the week of seven years (Dan. 9:27; Matt. 24:15,16), Israel will learn too late that the man they thought to be a blessing was actually a terrible curse.

Most of the perils that young people face these days are similarly deceptive. Drugs and alcohol start out looking like an enjoyable blessing, but untold millions have learned the hard way that the Bible is true when it says of alcohol, “at the last, it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder” (Prov. 23:29-35). Likewise, pre-marital sex allures young people with seductive promises of excitement and pleasure, but in the end lives are ruined and regrets are too numerous to number.

Young person, you can avoid these and all the other dangerous pitfalls of life by building your life on the Lord Jesus Christ.

Perhaps you are thinking that you already have a firm foundation in life. Your music, the education you are receiving, your friends; maybe you’ve built your life on your relationship with a boyfriend or a girlfriend. These things might seem to offer a solid foundation for your life, but I can assure you on the authority of God’s Word that they are not solid enough! When the hard times come, and the bottom drops out of your life, you will need the Lord Jesus Christ.

Just for a moment, I’d like you to compare the reliability of your foundation to the foundation of Christ enjoyed by the Apostle Paul. In Acts 16, Paul and his friend Silas were falsely accused (v. 20,21), beaten (v. 22,23) and imprisoned (v. 24). A severe test for anyone’s spiritual foundation! Let’s see how Paul held up:

“And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them” (v. 25).

Could your spiritual foundation withstand harsh treatment such as this? Maybe. But would your foundation also enable you to sing praises to God after receiving such brutal injustice? If not, maybe it’s time to consider a new foundation. Let’s read on:

“And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed” (v. 26).

We’ve been talking about the need to build your life on the right foundation. How symbolic then to read here that “the foundations of the prison were shaken.” Over time, the prisoners incarcerated there had come to trust in those prison walls. Sure, the bars and locks meant that they weren’t able to come and go as they pleased, but incarceration also meant they had food, clothing, and shelter. And those walls also represented the massive power of the Roman empire protecting them from the outside world and worse cut-throats than themselves! Their foundation in life seemed sure and stedfast, and they didn’t think anything could shake it—until now! Now as the walls shook violently, they knew that even the awesome power of Rome couldn’t protect them from everything! And so, while it was Paul and Silas who had been beaten and bloodied unjustly, when the earthquake came it was the prisoners who were shaken to their very foundation! So shaken that even though “every one’s bands were loosed,” not an inmate dared run away (v. 28).

Young person, as sure as you may be of your foundation, there are earthquakes that lie ahead in life that will rock your world. Are you, like the prisoners, trusting some earthly foundation? If so, the time to establish your life firmly on the Lord Jesus Christ is now.

But before the story ends, we find that the prisoners weren’t the only ones shaken to the foundation by this earthquake:

“And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled” (v. 27).

Now our focus shifts to the jailor. Only an hour ago, his world was rock-solid and secure. But a Roman prison-keeper was responsible for his inmates with his life. Thinking that all his prisoners were escaped, this jailor was about to choose a quick death over the slow, torturous, excruciating execution to which Rome was sure to condemn him.

How about you? Does a recent earthquake in your life have you thinking that a quick death is preferable to the long, slow, torturous existence that can only lie ahead for someone like you? Suicide is very common among young people, but suicide is no answer! If you, like the jailor, are thinking of taking your life because of your many troubles, you need a new foundation! Fortunately for the jailor, Paul was there to offer him one:

“But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm; for we are all here.

“Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas” (v. 28,29).

After Paul assured the jailor that none of his captives had escaped, and thus talked him out of his deadly decision, this shaken man had a question for the apostles:

“Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” (v. 30).

The songs of praise that Paul and Silas had been singing that night had obviously praised God for the wonderful security of being saved, and now the jailor wants to switch his foundation in life to the Lord Jesus Christ! How about you? Are you ready for a new foundation? If so, it’s as simple as can be. The apostles answered the jailor’s question in the very next verse:

“And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved…” (v. 31).

Now don’t be afraid of that word “saved.” The Bible uses this word over and over again. Hymn writer John Newton used it when he wrote that most beloved of all Christian hymns, “Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.” Perhaps you’ve even sung that hymn yourself. But are you saved? You can be!

If you are wondering how to be saved, notice that Paul didn’t tell the jailor: “Believe on the Lord and try to be good.” Nor did he tell him, “Believe on the Lord and learn to be religious.” He simply said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ—and thou shalt be saved.” That’s it? That’s it! That’s all? That’s all! The jailor found that it was just that easy to switch to Paul’s foundation on that fateful day so long ago, and it is just as easy to switch to Paul’s foundation today. All you have to do is believe.

If you are not sure what it is about Christ that you must believe to be saved, Acts 16 doesn’t give us any details. Verse 32 says only:

“And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.”

So what was this “word of the Lord” that Paul spoke unto them? Well, in his letter to the Corinthians, Paul explains more fully what it is that we must believe about Christ when he tells us “that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures” (I Cor. 15:3). On the day they crucified the Lord Jesus Christ, God the Father placed all the sins of all mankind on our Savior as He hung on Calvary’s Cross. But that doesn’t mean that all mankind is saved! II Corinthians 5:21 says:

“For [God] hath made [Christ] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.”

2,000 years ago, God placed all your sins on the Lord Jesus Christ. But it’s only 2,000 years later, when you believe on Him, that God takes Christ’s righteousness and places it on you, completing the transaction that must be completed for the purchase of your salvation.

So the only question that remains is, Do you believe God when He says that all of your sins are paid for? Do you trust Him when He says that? If you don’t, you’ll just have to go on trying to save yourself. By being good, or by not being bad. But this is something the Bible says you can never do:

“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost” (Titus 3:5).

You must decide right now to trust Christ as your Savior. To not trust Him right now is to reject Him right now. And to reject Him means to spend eternity in the lake of fire:

“But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death” (Rev. 21:8).

I promise you this. Ten thousand years from this moment, you will remember this moment. And whether you remember it with joy or with eternal regret depends upon the decision you make right now, to receive or reject the Lord Jesus Christ.

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

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Holding Forth the Faith with a Clear Conscience

“Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck” (I Tim. 1:19).

The Civil War was a dark chapter in the history of America. Thankfully, we have lived to see the abolition of slavery with its various forms of cruelty. But few realize that the underlying issue of the conflict was states’ rights, which has never fully been resolved to this day.

Several years ago, our family visited Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Needless to say, it was a memorable experience. The Battle of Gettysburg was one of the defining moments of the Civil War. As we stood on Cemetery Ridge, it wasn’t difficult to envision the battle that took place there on July 3, 1863. General Lee’s strategy was to attack the Union Army head-on and split it into two parts. It was called “Pickett’s Charge.” The idea, of course, was to divide and conquer.

Envision for a moment over 12,000 Confederate soldiers, with guns in hand, yelling at the top of their lungs, charging toward you. The initial wave of soldiers covered an area nearly one mile wide. It would be enough to make a strong man tremble. As we know, the North was triumphant that fateful day, but scores of good men lost their lives in the cause. Lieutenant General John B. Gordon of the South stated after the war that he believed, “It was the providence of God that the North won for had the South been victorious, the nation would have been fragmented.”


Perhaps the most touching moment of the visit came when we visited the National Cemetery where President Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysbury Address. There were 15,000 present the day he spoke these memorable words:

“Now we are engaged in a great Civil War, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract.”

Brethren, we too, are engaged in a great conflict—a conflict between good and evil, between righteousness and unrighteousness. The heavenly ground upon which we stand has been hallowed by the precious blood of Christ. Furthermore, it is consecrated by the sacrifices of those courageous soldiers of the Cross, both living and dead, “far above our poor power to add or detract.” Therefore, when the battle grows intense, let us not draw back as some have done. I personally believe this was the intent of Paul’s words to Timothy, “Holding faith, and a good conscience.” In other words, stand fast, don’t be discouraged, never give up the fight, always do what’s morally right!

“This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare; holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck” (I Tim. 1:18,19).

The use of the term “son” by the apostle is a clear indication of his affection for Timothy. Although Timothy’s heart had been cultivated by his mother and grandmother, it was Paul who led him to Christ and nurtured him in the faith. We might have ten thousand instructors, but we normally only have one spiritual father who will naturally care for our spiritual welfare. This was the case with Paul and Timothy. Paul had become a spiritual father to this young man.

As we examine the record, we learn that the battle was so intense at Ephesus that Timothy had apparently become discouraged. Probably every child of God at one time or another has suffered from discouragement. This is another one of those things that fall under the category of: it’s not a matter of “if,” but “when.”

You can be certain that any time we’re discouraged we’ve taken our eyes off of the Lord. We begin to dwell on the circumstances around us. Since that’s enough to depress anyone, we try to deal with things in our own way. It usually goes something like this, “Step aside, I’m taking charge!” Of course, the harder we try to control things, the more complicated they become until we come to the end of ourselves. Then the lamentation is heard throughout the realm, “Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen!”

This is where Timothy was; he was ready to throw in the towel, as it were. While the counsel of many today would be to visit a psychologist, Paul always sought a biblical solution when dealing with the Lord’s people. He encourages his young friend by reminding him of his spiritual roots. Timothy had been called of God. You see, he had lost sight of that. Paul effectively draws his attention back to the things of the Lord.

Son, remember those “prophecies which went before on thee.” Notice, “on thee,” that is, Timothy. Clearly the prophets of grace, most of whom were probably with the Lord by this late date, had confirmed his calling of God. They apparently foretold what great things would be accomplished through this young man’s ministry to the glory of God.

In essence, the apostle is saying to his young friend, “Timothy don’t dwell on the circumstances, evil as they may be. Get your eyes back on the goal, the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Why are you so astonished that ungodly men are opposing and threatening you, it’s part of the territory, my son? Beloved, you must never forget you are called of Him and entrusted with that precious deposit. If God be for you, who shall be against you?” Thankfully, we know Timothy recovered from this temporary setback because a year later he is still faithfully serving the Lord when Paul writes to him a second time (II Tim. 1:1,2).


With the apostle well along in years and facing a possible death sentence at Rome, Satan was turning up the heat on Paul’s companions. He knew the torch of grace would soon pass to them after the apostle’s death. One by one they departed from the apostle leaving the Church without field commanders, which eventually resulted in the religious confusion of the Dark Ages (II Tim. 1:15; 4:10,16).

But Timothy stood fast in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. It could well be that the prophets predicted he would be the lone voice after the apostle’s death to proclaim the message of grace in its purity. Church history bears out that after Timothy’s martyrdom, Paul’s gospel was compromised by the traditions and commandments of men. Sadly, it was diminished to a mere flicker of light until the Protestant Reformation.

For years Paul had been preparing Timothy for the inevitable—his departure to be with Christ. So when Timothy received word that the apostle would soon be executed in Rome, it came as little surprise. After Paul recovered from the initial shock that the ruling had gone against him, he writes to Timothy these touching words:

“For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith” (II Tim. 4:6,7).

Paul was a “ready” servant of the Lord. He was ready to visit Rome to minister the Word. Here, speaking of his impending death, he was ready to be offered, which is a subtle reference to the Old Testament libation. The libation, or drink offering, was poured over the sacrifice as an additional act of worship (Num. 28:10-14). The apostle wanted the end of his life to be looked upon as a testimony, one final act of worship, something over and above. In our case, we will probably face some sort of terminal illness, but may our desire be that of Paul’s, to glorify God with our last breath.

For “the time of my departure is at hand.” The word “departure” is a nautical term that has the idea to loose the ship from the mooring and set sail. As far as Paul was concerned, he was ready to set sail to be with Christ, which is far better. The apostle could also confidently say, “I have fought a good fight…I have kept the faith.” In addition to summarizing his lifelong ministry for the Lord, Paul meant this as a word of encouragement for Timothy that he should strive to do the same. It was his prayer that Timothy would be able to say this at the end of his life. Paul didn’t want his young friend to have any regrets.

“That thou by them mightest war a good warfare.” There are many good and noble battles being fought today; the battle over abortion, stem cell research, religious liberty, etc. While Christians should stand up and be numbered on these issues, the Church will never turn the tide of this world system. In fact, opposition against Christian values will grow worse and worse as we approach the Rapture. The answer is not reformation. We will never conform the world to our way of thinking. Rather those who oppose the truth need to be transformed by the gospel.

So then, the only fight that produces lasting results is the good fight of the faith. You see, until the lost are saved and come into a knowledge of the truth, there is no hope for change. In regard to the Church, until it submits itself to “the faith,” Paul’s special revelation, it will continue to flounder in a quagmire of confusion. This is why it’s essential that we stand in the defense and confirmation of Paul’s gospel. Those who understand Paul’s distinctive apostleship and message are the last bastions of hope for the members of the Body of Christ who are fighting the wrong battle.

What battle are we to be fighting? Clearly, it’s to make all men see what is the fellowship of the Mystery—the special revelation that was committed to Paul concerning Christ. Interestingly there are two major revelations of Jesus Christ.

“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and He sent and signified it by His angel unto His servant John” (Rev. 1:1).

The Greek word that stands behind the English term “revelation” in this passage is apokalupsis, which means the unveiling. In this context, it has to do with the revelation of Jesus Christ according to Prophecy. The Book of Revelation is merely an extension of the earthly ministry of Christ, which confirms that Christ will one day return in power and great glory to destroy the kingdoms of this world and establish His kingdom of righteousness for one thousand years (Matt. 24:14,29-31 cf. Rev. 11:15; 19:11-16; 20:5-7). The good fight of the faith in the coming day of the Lord will be to stand in defense of the kingdom gospel. This is the basis for the fulfillment of the Great Commission.

“But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ” (Gal. 1:11,12).

The Greek word that stands behind the English term “revelation” here in Galatians 1:12 is also apokalupsis. In this context, however, it has to do with the revelation of Jesus Christ according to the Mystery. Paul received the unveiling of Jesus Christ in grace. This is the heavenly ministry of Christ concerning the Body of Christ, which was kept secret from ages and generations past. The apostle says, “But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by His grace.” This special revelation came through Paul; he was God’s divinely chosen apostle to make known the manifold riches of His grace.

The good fight of the faith today then is to stand in defense of the gospel of the grace of God. This is the basis for the fulfillment of the commission of reconciliation. At the Judgment Seat of Christ, the Commander in Chief is not going to hand out honors to those who were defending the wrong commission. Which commission are you defending? Our marching orders are clear. God will not hold us blameless if we disobey the commands of Christ set forth in the manual of grace found in Paul’s epistles (Acts 20:24 cf. I Cor. 14:37).


“Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck” (I Tim. 1:19).

It is essential to minister the Word with a good conscience. Apparently there were those in Paul’s day that were careless in this regard, which greatly hampered their ministry. Conscience simply means “with knowledge.” When Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit, “they knew that they were naked” and sinned against God. The moment they partook of the forbidden fruit their consciences were activated, for we are told that they knew the difference between good and evil (Gen. 3:5-7).

Those who lived under the dispensation of conscience were to do all known good and abstain from all known evil. While we are no longer living under the regulations of that dispensation, God has never rescinded man’s conscience. It’s still alive and well in each of us. Luther once said, “It’s a dangerous thing to disobey your conscience.”

Our conscience is an early warning system that warns us against wrongdoing. We might liken it to a railroad crossing. When danger is approaching, in the form of a coming train, red lights begin flashing as the gates come down. But the railroad warning system is powerless to stop you from going around the gates and putting yourself in harm’s way. In a northwest suburb of Milwaukee, a car full of teenagers on their way to school one morning thought they could ignore the flashing lights and beat the oncoming train at the crossing. They were wrong, dead wrong! Objects approaching perpendicular to one another are always traveling faster than they appear to be. In other words, it’s much more difficult to judge distance accurately.

In like manner, the conscience has the ability to warn us of danger, but it, too, is powerless to keep us from sinning. If we fail to heed the warning and sin, we do so of our own volition. There are several consequences for disobeying the conscience, the primary one being guilt. The message Paul was sending to Timothy was this, always do that which is right in the Lord’s work. He was to abstain even from the appearance of evil for the sake of the gospel and his conscience.

We recently saw a news magazine that did an undercover camera investigation of a well-known national ministry. Apparently the tele-evangelist pledged he would pray over each and every letter he received from those who had sick loved ones—God was waiting to heal them!!! He encouraged the Lord’s people to send their requests, and handkerchiefs, along with a generous gift. The following week, what the undercover investigation recorded was the staff removing the checks from the envelopes and discarding the letters without even reading them, let alone praying for each request. The answer to the health, wealth and prosperity gospels of our day is Paul’s gospel.

Brethren, here at the Berean Bible Society every letter is read and every request honored. Whether it’s regarding a question, information, prayer request, or simply a book order. We also issue a receipt and acknowledgement for every donation. Of course, this doesn’t mean that things don’t occasionally fall through the cracks, but I think you’ll find our staff to be very conscientious. We are strong believers in accountability in the Lord’s work. Thus, it is our earnest desire to hold forth the faith with a clear conscience!

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Pauline Missions

“Those things which ye have both learned and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of Peace shall be with you” (Phil. 4:9).

“METHOD!” answers the question: “How?” How did Paul accomplish in 15 years what has not been duplicated in the last 2000 years? He was the one who took the gospel of Grace from Antioch (Acts 13) halfway across Europe to Rome, the capital of the world at that time. We have the same God, the same Message, the same Holy Spirit, and much better facilities. Certainly the opposition in the time of Paul was greater than today. Wasn’t he hindered at every turn and even imprisoned at the peak of his ministry? His persecution was “above measure.”

Roland Allen, in his book “Missionary Methods, St. Paul’s or Ours,” challenges us to reconsider missionary methods in the light of the early church and to contrast the outcome of the last 150 years with St. Paul’s decade of work in Greece and Asia Minor. Have we produced, with all our modern means and methods, in 150 years what Paul produced with his methods in 15 years? If the answer is “No,” then we should change over to Paul’s methods which are actually simple, and a few hours of study would start us on the right road.


1. Evangelism

For a moment, think about objectives because they are vitally related to methods. Paul’s first objective was evangelism (Acts 26:16-19). The one goal constantly before Paul was, “Evangelize the world.” If we are going to follow Paul, this same driving goal must constrain us, and nothing must deter us from the goal of evangelism.

2. Establishing the Local Church:

Paul was careful to gather new converts into a local assembly, “a church in a house” (Rom. 16:5). Paul did not tell his converts to attend the church of their choice. I believe Paul’s ultimate objective was to establish a local assembly. Evangelism wasn’t complete until a church was established and the converts were attending a local church established by Paul. I believe Paul sets a pattern for us in Acts 14:21-23.


1. Training Church Leaders and Church Planters—II Tim. 2:1-3:

Paul’s training of church leaders was done in the church. He never took pastors out of a church and trained them in a foreign place, but he selected those in the church who were already leaders and trained them, laying hands on them.

From each church he selected other men and women to leave the church and follow him in church planting. Acts 16 tells of the call of Timothy. Acts 20:4 lists a number of men from various churches who accompanied Paul.

He trained church leaders in the church and he trained field workers in the field. “On the job training” was used by Paul. Just now, men are beginning to realize the effectiveness of this method after all. We see more and more Grace churches starting Bible schools to train their own people for ministry.

2. Correction & Further Training:

When a local church fell into error, Paul did several things: (1) wrote letters (2) sent a fellow evangelist to the church (3) went himself (4) prayed constantly for the church. This is also how he gave further training to the leaders in the churches. Missions is a GOING business. We go to the lost, not asking or waiting for them to come to us. We go to the churches to teach and train, not asking the church to come to us. We go with the evangelists to train them, not sending them out to train themselves.

3. Message:

Paul, in every church, emphasized the truth that was revealed to him by the Lord Jesus Christ. I think Scofield summed up the importance of Paul’s message when he said: “In his writings alone we find the doctrine, position, walk and destiny of the Church.” The church is not only established for fellowship and worship, but also for teaching and training members in the message that Paul revealed to the Gentiles (Eph. 3:1-10; Rom. 11:13).

In 1958, Things to Come Mission began its ministry in the Republic of the Philippines. The first thing we did was to establish objectives for the ministry. We also felt the objectives we set for the Philippine ministry would be used later in other countries.

The objective would be the same as the Apostle Paul’s—establish local churches. In order to accomplish this objective we also followed Paul in method. The first method was evangelism. The converts from evangelism would be brought together into a local church. In the Philippine ministry several methods were used to evangelize: radio broadcasts on local stations, liter-ature (gospel tracts, Bible Correspondence Courses, and books), and open-air evangelistic meetings.

The second method was training of the national leaders. Thus the Bible Schools were established, church-related training centers were established to train elders, the TEE program was set up, and special seminars are held annually throughout the Philippines for our churches.

As the ministry grew, we saw the need for establishing a youth department. This department is responsible to train and equip the youth in the local churches. The youth department has developed into a large ministry from which they regularly send out evangelistic teams to hold meetings.

The ministry in the Philippines has grown to over 500 Grace churches; all committed to teaching the special message revealed to and through Paul. There are now Filipino missionaries serving the Lord in Kenya, Indonesia, and Brazil. There are five resident-type Bible Schools in the Philippines, with many students preparing for the ministry. To further train our pastors, a two-week intensive postgraduate school is held every year or so.

The objectives that were established in the Philippines have also become the objectives for TCM’s ministries in Kenya, South Africa, Indonesia, and Brazil. In each country there are a number of churches established and ongoing training programs.

Paul’s objective and methods work in the 21st century. We must continue following Paul in doctrine, and practice.

“Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ” (I Cor. 11:1).

“Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me” (I Cor. 4:16).

Berean Searchlight – October 2001

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Jesus Loves Us So

There is much in the Holy Scriptures that the best and wisest among us do not yet understand. In fact, the best and wisest of us have only begun to grasp the truths contained in that blessed Book.

Among these, bless God! are those which we cannot understand because they are too wonderful for us mortals to comprehend.

It was concerning such truths that David exclaimed:

“Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain unto it” (Psa. 139:6).

Far more has been revealed to us than David ever dreamed of, and we have graciously been given divine help to understand truths then unknown. But still God has kept far ahead of us with His revelations of blessing, and there are precious passages, especially in the Pauline epistles, which we will never fully grasp in this life, simply because they are “too wonderful” and “high” for us to fully comprehend. We can believe them, however, and rejoice in them.

Thus we believe and rejoice in the glorious revelation of our position in Christ in the heavenlies, though we are only beginning to understand this precious “mystery.” Thus, too, we rejoice in “the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge” (Eph. 3:19) and “the peace of God, which passeth all understanding” (Phil. 4:7).

One such passage which has always gripped this writer, yet has left him ever again overcome with wonder, is II Corinthians 5:21:

“For He [God] hath made Him [Christ] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.”

Again and again, as the writer has pondered over this verse, he has responded: “Can it be! He made sin that I might be made, not merely righteous, but `the righteousness of God in Him’! Lord, I cannot take this in. It is too wonderful for this poor sinful heart to fully grasp. Yet I do believe it and rejoice over it `with joy unspeakable and full of glory.'”

But there is another kind of passage which in another way is equally hard, for this writer at least, to grasp in its fulness. One example of this kind of passage is Ephesians 4:30:

“And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.”

Again I ask: “Can it be! GOD grieved!” How it can be that eternal and almighty God can be grieved over anything that I, a poor speck of sinful dust, might do, is more than I can grasp. It overwhelms me that He is so deeply concerned about me.

Yet I know that it is so, for as far back as Genesis 6:5,6 I read a striking statement about our sovereign God:

“And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

“And it repented the Lord that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him at His heart.”

If, then, a sovereign God was grieved over the wickedness of the ante-deluvian race, how He must be grieved when I, His son in Christ, fail Him!

While as yet we are unable to comprehend all this, such passages as Ephesians 4:30 can bring us untold blessing if we simply believe them.

Surely this passage teaches us that God loves us deeply. Indeed, He has scarcely besought us not to grieve His Holy Spirit when, almost in the same breath, He assures us that the Holy Spirit has sealed and does seal us unto the day of redemption.

And is not this the reason for the exhortation? He says, as it were: “Do not grieve the Spirit, who loves you; who loves you so that regardless of your faithfulness or failure He continues to keep you safe in His care.”

It is well that so many children’s songs emphasize the fact that Jesus loves them, for it is this that is most apt to draw from them a response of faith and love while they are still young.

Perhaps the greatest hymn ever written was that wonderful children’s hymn:

“Jesus loves me, this I know,
For the Bible tells me so.”

We, their elders who have come to know the Lord Jesus Christ, should sing these words with greater joy and deeper gratitude than they. There it is again! Let us not grieve Him—for He loves us so.