Several Bible Thoughts

by Henry Bultema

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The manna, which had all the vitamins, even the very latest, in it, was occasioned by Israel’s sin. This was true of all the three objects stored away in the ark, which all pointed to Christ. Sin is the most God-defying thing in the universe, yet God has always overruled it by the greatest display of His virtues. Even the cross itself was the greatest crime of the ages, but God has used it as the manifestation of His virtues, the means of salvation, the motive for service, the mark of separation, and the melody of heaven.

When we scrutinize the human wonders and achievements, we always find flaws and defects, but when we analyze the Biblical wonders, we find hidden beauties and perfections, wheels within the wheels, as it were. Take the frogs of the Egyptian plague: they were revered by the Egyptians as gods, but here the gods became a pest. As a rule frogs do not climb, but here they climbed. Frogs do not come into the houses, but here they did enter the dwellings. The morass dwellers avoid the fiery regions, but here they came into the ovens. So also the miracle of Elijah’s feeding under the juniper tree was really a combination of seven miracles. Study the other miracles.

Pharaoh was a procrastinator, for, although he believed that God could instantly command and remand the frogs, he said: “tomorrow”, in regard to the departure of the frogs. He was like the sinners in our day: content to sleep with the frogs of sin, creeping and crawling in their lives, croaking frogs of lust and loquacity and many others.

Where Evolution leads mankind, can be seen in our day. If man is not made in the image of God, but is only a developed brute, why should he not, as a brute, be killed? Lust and thrill murders are the result of Friedrich Nietsche, who wanted all the weak to be crushed and the superman, the blond beast to be adored, was only a consistent Evolutionist. The struggle for life was with him simply a dutiful struggle for power. According to this theory Christianity must be destroyed; for numerically and financially, that is the weaker party. According to this cruel theory euthanasia is perfectly justifiable, because there is no wrong in softly ending the miseries of a highly developed animal. Again, Nudism is just the right thing, for nakedness goes with the beasts of the jungle. And, according to this theory, Italy is in her right to pounce upon a weaker nation and take its land. Do you not see, my dear reader, how Evolution has leavened the nations in our day?

Paul was afraid that he might be a castaway, i.e. set aside, not from salvation, but as a worker from his work and the worker’s reward. He was a castaway from men. Study his life and you will see that he was a castaway everywhere. When Ananias, Peter, James, John and the others were not persecuted, there he was rejected.

  • He was rejected at Damascus. Acts 9:23 to 25.
  • He was rejected at Jerusalem. Acts 9:26 to 29.
  • He was rejected at Antioch at Pisidia. Acts 13:45 to 50.
  • He was rejected at Iconium. Acts 14:5.
  • He was rejected at Philippi. Acts 16:12 to 39.
  • He was rejected at Thessalonica. Acts 17:5.
  • He was rejected at Berea. Acts 17:13.
  • He was rejected at Athens. Acts 17:18 to 32.
  • He was rejected at Ephesus. Acts 19:9 to 23.
  • He was rejected by all Asia. II Timothy 1:15.
  • He was rejected in Rome. Acts 28:24 to 29; II Timothy 4:10 to 16.
  • He was rejected by Galatia, Galatians, chapters 3 to 5.

We must sharply discriminate between man’s casting away and God’s casting away. Paul never feared the former, he did fear the latter. Saints today reverse this order. Why did Paul want to go to Jerusalem even in the face of the pleadings of his fellow-believers? It was not mere love for Israel since he could love Israel outside of Jerusalem; nor was it mere love for the Jewish poor, for he could have sent the gifts by others. No, he went to Jerusalem in order to become conformed to Christ in every thing. They shouted, “away with him!” as they had done with Christ, The legalists persecuted him as they had done with the Lord. They bound him and delivered him into the hands of the Gentiles. They hated him without a cause and lied about him, just as they had done with his master. He wanted to be conformable to His death.

To say that Paul made a blunder and compromised in going to Jerusalem is a great error. A temporizer could not say so often: “follow me” Let us furnish some proofs that Paul was right

  1. He was bound in the Spirit. This might refer to the human spirit, but in connection with the whole story, it evidently refers to the Holy Spirit or His power.
  2. If Paul had been out of the way, Christ would not have comforted him the way He did in Acts 23:11. He dealt harshly with Jonah when this prophet was out of the way.
  3. In Acts 20, Paul set himself as an example before the Ephesian elders, and his conscience would not have allowed him to do this, nor the Holy Spirit, if he had been a miserable compromise.
  4. He claimed to be “pure from the blood of all men.” which would not have been true if he had compromised, for, when Peter compromised in Antioch, he drew many others with him in hypocrisy.
  5. He would say: “I finish my course with joy.” The man who is out of the will of God cannot say that for he is wretched and miserable.
  6. At the end of life he said: “I have fought a good fight,” which again could not be true if he had so sadly been out of God’s will.
  7. The weakest negative “me”, in Greek, has been used in Acts 21:4, which expresses a relative, subjective and conditional “not”. It is not “our”.
  8. Finally, if Paul had been a manpleaser he would, according to his own statement, in, Galatians 1:10, not have been a servant of Christ and the Holy Spirit could not have put him as the great paragon saint and servant before the church of all ages. There is nothing God: hates more than compromise.

What was the purpose of God’s eternal choice? Not that we should be successful, sociable, prosperous, religious, brilliant, scholarly, cultured, churchy; but that we should be HOLY. Ephesians 1:4. Let us never forget the Divine purpose of His choice. His plan is not miscarried, but fully realized, for in Colossians 1:22, we read that He will present us HOLY in His sight. And to that end He Himself takes all the spots and wrinkles out of His Church, as we can see in Ephesians 5:27. All glory to His name

Traditionalism is a sworn foe to Bible study. If a pathologist puts the stethoscope on the heaving chest of his patient, looks at his bleary eyes, his pallid Cheeks, his coated tongue, then he will announce it to be a complicated and hopeless case of Bibliophobia, fear of the Bible; Paulophobia, fear of Paul; Creedophilia, love of creed; Myopia, shortsightedness; Atrophy, and Dispepsia in regard to the heavenly manna. We need Divine healing against this disease.

Ezekiel stood before deep waters, but we read three times: “He brought me through.” God always leads into and through the deep waters, except the Pharaohs, they stay in. Ezekiel found that there are different degrees of waters: ankle-deep, knee-deep, loin-deep, and swimming-deep, for finally he could not wade and had to let go.

Some one has rightly compared Christian workers to three kinds of ships: the canal barges, which must be dragged to work, representing the non-volunteers pressed into labor. The sailing ships, which come along fine, as long as the wind’s and the tides are with them, but they have an awful hard time with “contrary winds” The big ocean steamers, which plow through any sea and storm, and the Spirit-filled Christian worker is like the big liner, nothing detains him from working while it is for the Lord Jesus Christ.

It is of extreme importance for Fundamentalism to know the fundamental teaching of Scripture about the state of fallen man. Is man only a bit darkened in his mind by his fall from God? Then Christ, as prophet is enough to teach him. That is the modernistic way. God’s view about man is far different, God says, man is dead in trespasses and sins. Ephesians 2:1. Colossians 2:13. The apostates are twice dead. Jude 12. Christ came that men might have life. John 10:10. The implications of this fundamental are many. It shows that a Prophet is not enough for us, nor a good King nor a Governor. We need One that raises us from the dead. It includes that salvation is of the Lord. It denotes man’s total depravity and total inability. It also includes that man has no free will to accept Christ in his own strength. Man is a free agent, for he lives in sin and is responsible. Man is free from external coercion, but he is not free but a slave of sin. It is not of him that willeth. Romans 9:16. Man likes to carve out his own destiny, but he is like the Niagara: ever going down, free, and yet not free to go upward, backward, or sideward; according to its own nature, it must go down. Man is as free as a leopard, but he cannot change his spots. He is as free as an Ethiopian, but he cannot change his skin. He is as free as a cyclone, but he can only storm and destroy; as free as the billows, but can only foam and roar and roll on; as free as a landslide, but he can only slide down and destroy; as free as an earthquake, but he can only quake and shake and devastate; as free as the swine that ran down the steep hillside: no one pushed them, but they pushed themselves with their own weight. Self help and self rescue is an eternal impossibility with fallen and falling man. He needs, first of all, a resurrection and then he needs a God who worketh in him, both to will and to do. And thank God that we have this wonderful provision of God’s grace in the Lord Jesus Christ. In Him we stand complete and more holy than the very heavens, because these are not pure in His sight. In Him we stand more safe and secure than the angels in heaven, for they fell and became devils.