The Banner Of Truth 2014
Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth. (Psalm 60:4 )

"Thou hast given a banner to them that fear Thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth" (Ps. 60:4).
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Three Landmarks from Ages Past By Al Stoner “Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set” (Prov. 22:28).

 

 The Landmarks of Reference. The landmarks to which we refer are found in a carefully worded summary by Jude of creatures that had transgressed, and each paid unspeakably grave consequences for what they did. Jude includes in his summary men who were in covenant relationship with God (Israel), men who were not in covenant relationship with God (Gentiles), and the angels that sinned. Some of these creatures were privileged, and some were not.  Some were in covenant relationship with Him, and some were not. Some were at one time privileged to live in His very Presence, and others were not. But men must learn from this that being privileged of God, or having privileges from God, never gives to men a privilege to sin, or to live in ignorement of Him. Similarly, not having such privileges from Him, as was the case with the Gentiles, does not afford to men an excuse for sinning, or continuing in sin, especially once sin is known to be sin.

 

The Particular Text in Jude’s Epistle. “I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people (Israel) out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not. And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, He hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire” (Jude 5-7).

 

 The most recent legalization of sodomite marriage in New York is but one of many instances which demonstrate that landmarks have been removed by wicked men and which underscore the pertinence of these words written by Jude in our day. What calls itself the church of our time is characterized, for the most part, by weakness and deadness, and is no longer “salt” and “light”. It is fit only for the dunghill (cf, Lk. 14:34-35). If the world could only see what indebted it owes to “pockets” of faithful saints and pilgrims throughout the earth, who have obeyed the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, and are continuing in their steadfast love and devotion to Him, as He leads them home to glory! From one perspective, at least, the wrath of God is being stayed from falling upon the world because of God’s longsuffering in accordance with the outworking of His eternal purpose in Christ Jesus (cf. Eph. 3:10-11), and also because of His mindfulness of His faithful ones (see Gen. 18:23-33).

 

Most avid religionists of our day would most likely regard these things contained in Jude’s epistle as nothing more than stories that were learned in Bible school with no moral consequence, if, in fact, they were even learned. But, quite to the contrary, what Jude is summoning to our remembrance here are very real occurrences from ages past, which, when duly considered by honest men, will have a decisive bearing upon their conscience and their manner of living in “this present evil world” (Gal. 1:4). These words of the Apostle Jude ought to be a wake-up call to all people who are living in ignorement of the God that made them for His own pleasure (Rev. 4:11)!

 

The multiplied delusions (i.e., misrepresentations of God, Christ, the Spirit, and salvation) which Satan has sown in the world have had an almost imperceptible effect of fostering carelessness among men and women in their relation Godward, and even persuading them that the God of Heaven really is not as severe as the representations of Him given here by Jude.  Some examples of these errors are the “once-saved-always-saved” and deterministic (or Calvinistic) doctrines, being two notable examples of them [which subtly imply that it doesn’t make any difference what men do].  Today the Devil is still spreading the same lie (now garbed in a variety of forms) that he spoke to Eve: “You shall not surely die!”, particularly if you ignore and disobey the One to whom you owe your very being.

 

Men and women must learn this lesson well (in spite of all the satanic deception in the world designed to neutralize, and even impeach, this sobering consideration from men’s thinking) that persistent willful sinning on the part of any of God’s creatures is an extremely dangerous practice, and it will not, and cannot, go unpunished. It matters not whether the creatures are a people in covenant relation to God (old or new covenant, it matters not, cf. Heb. 10:26), an uncovenanted people (the Gentiles), or angels. God’s response to deliberate persistent sinning is consistent! His own righteous Character demands that sin be punished severely, more severely than most men are willing to consider! These three unforgettable outpourings of Divine displeasure, recorded in the opening paragraph above, stand forever as monumental landmarks from time and memorial, ever witnessing faithfully, to whomsoever will hear, of God’s mind regarding rebellious creaturely behavior. --Editor

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"Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning;  and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately" (Lk. 12:35-36).