Pare de Sufrir

El grupo “Pare de Sufrir” proviene de Brazil, y fue empezado en 1977 por Edir Macedo Bezerra (de Brazil y tiene 70 años de edad). Es un grupo que hace garantía que si tú le des dinero, bienes de valor, coche, casa, etc. a ellos, Dios va a bendecirte. Lo que no consta es como va las demandas en contra de ellos en tantos países que se hubican porque es un fraude, y no pasa la realidad como ellos la pintan para su presa (personas con problemas).

Este grupo es reconocido como “una maquina para recolectar dinero.” Mientras iglesias normales dan 5 a 10 minutos para tomar la ofrenda y media hora a una hora a tener un sermón de una pasaje de la Biblia, Pare de Sufrir da 5-10 minutos para una pláctica moral (no son muy pegados a la Biblia excepto cuando es a su ventaje en levantar dinero de la gente). Luego dan 1-2 horas en levantar la ofrenda.

Hoy en día esta iglesia ha expandido a muchos paises, aun que no hablan español, con mini-dictadores sobre cada uno que tienen la tarea de sacudir la gente de su dinero y regresar parte para Edir en Brazil.

Recomiendo altamente que ves mi artículo “Iglesia Pare de Sufrir (IURD)” aquí.

Sigue leyendo Pare de Sufrir

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Dios Jehová Creador del mundo parte 1

Dios Jehová Creador del mundo

creacion1La Biblia en muchos lugares simplemente declara que “Dios” hizo o creyó el mundo, o el universo. Esto establece que Dios es Dios Jehová Creador del mundo. Lo que tenemos que insistir es que como la Biblia trata estas pasajes es que no hay ningún elemento en el contexto de estos versículos que habla de un ángel, sino simplemente “Dios”.

Efe 3:9 y de aclarar a todos cuál sea la dispensación del misterio escondido desde los siglos en Dios, que creó todas las cosas;

Dios hizo todas las cosas, y esto incluirá a los ángeles. Sigue leyendo Dios Jehová Creador del mundo parte 1

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Bellett, J.G. – Pensamientos en 2 Corintios

STEM Publishing: J. G. Bellett: Thoughts on 2 Corinthians.
Thoughts on 2 Corinthians.
from Miscellaneous Papers
J. G. Bellett.
(R. L. Allan)
In the midst of the fears and warnings of the Spirit concerning the churches, we may observe that He is alarmed for them on several and different grounds, as expressed in different epistles and by different apostles.
1. He specially warns them respecting Judaizing, i. e., religiousness, or the observance of rites and ordinances. This fear is expressed in the letters to Galatia, Colosse, and Philippi.
2. He fears for them respecting the working of an infidel mind, the mind which, corrupted by reasoning, denies mysteries. This is seen in 1Jn. 4:1; 2Pe. 3:3-4.
3. He fears for them also on the ground of abusing grace, or licentiousness, the practical denial of godliness while boasting in grace and liberty. This is seen in 2 Peter 2 and in Jude.
4. He fears also worldliness.
It is this last feature of fear filling the mind of the Spirit about the saints or churches, and shaping apostolic ministry, which has just struck me in connection with 2 Corinthians.
This is a distinct character of fear. It is not an apprehension of religiousness, or infidelity, or licentiousness corrupting the churches; it is formally distinct from each of these. The Grecian style may have exposed the Corinthians specially to a simple worldly attraction, to the pretensions of a man of refinement and station and independence, — who had much in the flesh; that is, from nature and from circumstances, that was attractive and showy. This was worldliness.
The fear about Corinth was not respecting religious or Judaizing influence. Neither was it (at least in the second epistle) from the working of an infidel mind, or from the sports of an unclean and lustful nature, but “the god of this world ” was feared by the apostle.
A certain man appears to have gained attention, who had much more both from nature and from circumstances than the apostle; and the saints at Corinth were moved by this. He was, I believe, as modern language speaks, a gentleman. He had a fine person and an independent fortune. He had many advantages of that kind; and the Corinthians were under that evil influence — to some extent they had been beguiled. They were looking on things after the outward appearance. They were suffering a man vaunting of himself, and lording it over them, and taking occasion by some low and worldly advantages he possessed from nature and from circumstances to be somebody.
Such a bad condition the apostle has to contend with. Affection and confidence toward himself had been withdrawn in measure, because he had no such advantages to boast. And surely he was fully purposed not to affect such things at all. If is true, he would be independent as well as the other, but it should arise from his working with his own hand, not from advantages of fortune, as we say. And though he had certain things of which he might boast in the flesh, he would glory rather in his infirmities. He would be “weak in Christ,” i. e., in fellowship with Him who was “crucified in weakness,” that all his strength might be spiritual, or resurrection-strength.
The natural advantages which this man had he used, taking to himself the importance and value which attach to such things in the world. And some of the saints were corrupted. But against such association he protests in 2 Cor. 6, “Be ye not unequally yoked,” he says. And the manner of this man he exposes more fully, setting big own way forth as contrary to it, in 2 Cor. 10 – 12.
And in doing this, in offering himself as a practical witness of a way different from this man of the world, we may notice these particulars:
1. The apostle refuses to know himself, or to be known by the saints, save according to his measure in the Spirit, and not as he was by nature or in the flesh.
2. He glories only in either his infirmities or in such dignities as separated him from all worldly estimation, as his, rapture into paradise; for the world would not understand such honour.
Such an one does the apostle present himself in contradiction of the man who gloried in the flesh. We may know how hard it is to follow him in such a path, in a willingness to be weak — that we may be strong; in his decision to know Christ in the weakness of His cross, so that whatever strength he knew might be as of resurrection. (2Co. 13:4)
I dare say some were tempted to undervalue the office or apostleship of Paul, because he had not the advantage in the flesh of other apostles. He had not companied with the Lord in the days of His flesh; and in his own flesh he had a thorn. This may further have exposed him to observation by those who judged after the flesh. But the apostle was willing that his ministry or office should remain unrecommended by anything the world could appreciate. He valued only that power of God, that power in the Spirit which accompanied his ministry, and which was fitted to tell on hearts and consciences, power which linked him with the Lord in life or resurrection.*
*These features in Paul’s ministry show how the flesh is now excluded, and all its advantages, from the divine idea of ministry.
Every symptom of weakness in man’s account gathered round the blessed Lord in the day of His crucifixion: desertion and denial by those who should have stood with Him, the enmity of man in every form in which it could have expressed itself, the forsaking of God, all the malice and purpose of Satan. This was the full exhibition of all that was weak, miserable, and despised in the world’s account. None were for Jesus, all was against Him, and even nature seemed to join. But Paul was willing that his ministry should be in moral sympathy with His.
Generally, as to this epistle, I would say, it might distribute itself as follows:
2 Cor. 1 – 2:13. In this portion the apostle speaks of his trials in the gospel, and answers Objections made to him because of his not having visited Corinth a second time.
2Co. 2:14-7:4. This is a parenthesis. The apostle presents his ministry in several characteristics of it.
2Co. 7:5-16. Here the apostle resumes and pursues the point from which he had departed at chapter 2:13. He expresses his joy in the Corinthians, and in the grace that was in them.
2 Cor. 8, 9. This is quite incidental.
2 Cor. 10 – 13. The great and leading purpose of the epistle occupies these chapters. The apostle contemplates the way of a certain injurious teacher who had acquired influence at Corinth, and he intimates the fruit of that influence; largely, also, exhibiting his own way as a teacher in contradiction of him who was then corrupting the saints.
This may be read as a general analysis of the epistle, I believe.
I might observe, that the apostle’s commendation of the Corinthians in chapter 7, previous to his large and fervent rebuke of them in chapters 10 – 13, may remind us of the way of the Spirit in His addresses to the seven churches in the Revelation; for in each of them there is a beginning with a commendation, and then (when called for) an enlarging in the way of rebuke and condemnation.

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Bellett, J.G. – Babilonia

STEM Publishing: J. G. Bellett: Babylon.
Rev. 17, 18.
from Musings on Scripture, Volume 1.
J. G. Bellett.
“Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is truth.” This is a saying much to be remembered. It teaches us that we are not to make ourselves the judges of what sanctification or holiness is; Gods’ word is to determine this, because holiness is that character or mind which is formed by God’s word or truth.
We are apt to think that our own moral sense of things is the rule of holiness. But the word of God claims to be such a rule: “Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is truth” (Joh. 17:17). An act may be unholy, though done with a good conscience, because “the truth,” and not the conscience, is the rule of holiness.
If that rule were applied to many a thing which the moral sense or the religious sense of man approves, how it would change its character! And the Lord cannot change His standard of holiness, though He may be infinitely gracious to the shortcomings of His saints.
Those other words, “For their sakes I sanctify my. self, that they also might be sanctified through the truth,” which stand in connection, have their own force and value also. Thus, in the whole of His utterance in John 17, the Lord strongly takes a place apart from the world, and puts His saints in the like place, praying that they may be kept there. In this sense, I believe, He speaks of sanctifying Himself. Through all this church-age He is apart from the world and the earth; and sanctification depends on our communion with Him in that separated place. “The truth,” testifying as it does of Him, links us with Him in that place; and sanctification is thus “through the truth,” leading us to fellowship with an unworldly Jesus.
We may see instances of such sanctification from the beginning.
When the ground was cursed for man’s sake, holiness was separation from it, as in the persons of the antediluvian saints; uncleanness was cleaving to it, as did the family of Cain.
When the earth again corrupted itself, and God judged it by the scattering of the nations, holiness was separation from it, as in Abraham; and apostasy was a clinging to it in spite of judgment; as Nimrod did.
When Canaan was judged, Achan’s sin savoured of the apostate mind; but Israel became a holy people by separating from it, and from all people of the earth, by the ordinances of God and the sword of Joshua.
But Israel revolts. The circumcision becomes uncircumcision, and with them all on the face of the earth or in the world becomes defiled, and holiness is separation from it in companionship with a rejected and heavenly Christ.
The whole system, the world, is the judged or cursed thing now. It is the Jericho. While the camp lingers in the wilderness, we may be at charges or in labours on a mission to draw out the Rahabs; but we cannot seek the improvement of Jericho, or display the resources and capabilities of the world. The world, as including other thoughts, is also any moral or religious system or undertaking which does not act in company with a rejected and heavenly Christ. Such doings would be unholy, not according to “the truth,” however morally conducted or benevolently intentioned.
To glory without going on to “perfection” in a crucified Christ will not, if alone, be the “perfection” in this age; there must be companionship with a rejected Christ also. Babylon, I believe, the mystic Babylon of the Revelation, may be brought to boast in a crucified Christ, and be Babylon still. For what is it as delineated by the Spirit? Is it not a thing worldly in character, as well as abominable and idolatrous in doctrine and practice? Revelation 18 gives us a sight of Babylon in its worldliness, as, Rev. 17 more in its idolatries. Babylon of old, as in the land of Chaldea, was full of idols, and guilty of the blood or of the sorrows of the righteous. But it had also this mark: it displayed greatness in the world in the time of Jerusalem’s depression. So with the mystic Babylon. She has her abominations in the midst of her, and the blood of the martyrs of Jesus stains her; but still more fully is she disclosed as great and splendid and joyous in the earth during the age of Christ’s rejection. She is important in the world in that day when the judgment of God is preparing for the world; she can glorify herself and live deliciously in a defiled place.
It is not that she outwardly ignores the cross of Christ. She is not heathen. She may publish Christ crucified, but she refuses to know Christ rejected. She does not continue with Him in His temptations, nor consider the poor and needy Jesus (Luke 22; Psalm 40). The kings of the earth and the merchants of the earth are her friends, and the inhabitants of the earth are her subjects.
Is not, then, the rejection of Christ the thing she practically scorns? Surely it is. And again, I say, the prevailing thought of the Spirit about her is this — she is that which is exalted in the world while God’s Witness is depressed, and in defiance of that depression, for she knows of it. Babylon of old well knew of the desolation of Jerusalem; Christendom externally knows and publishes the cross of Jesus.
Babylon of old was very bold in her defiance of the grief of Zion. She made the captives of Zion to contribute to her greatness and her enjoyments. Nebuchadnezzar had done this with the captive youths, and Belshazzar with the captive vessels.
This was Babylon, and in spirit this is Christendom. Christendom is the thing which glorifies herself and lives deliciously in the earth, trading in all that is desirable and costly in the world’s esteem, in the very face of the sorrow and rejection of that which is God’s. Christendom practically forgets Christ rejected on the earth.
The, Medo-Persian power is another creature. He removes Babylon, but exalts himself Dan. 6). And this is the action of “the beast” and his ten kings. The woman, mystically Babylon, is removed by the ten kings; but then they give their power to the beast, who exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshipped, as Darius the Mede did.
This is the closing crowning feature in the picture of the world’s apostasy. But we have not reached it yet. Our conflict is with Babylon and not with the Mede, with that which lives deliciously and in honour during the age of Jerusalem’s ruins (i. e., of the rejection of Christ).

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Bellett, J.G. – Aflicciones y Consolaciones

STEM Publishing: J. G. Bellett: Afflictions and Consolations.
Afflictions and Consolations.
Notes of an Address on the First Epistle of Peter
By J. G. B. Aug., 1851.
(extracted from The Northern Witness 1880)
There are three things in this epistle:1st, the apostle contemplates the saint in times of various troubles; 2ndly, the mind with which the trouble should be passed through; and 3rdly, the consolations which God provides for such a time. There is nothing very remarkable in the bearing of it; but so much the more needed by the soul very often; — it is homely, practical. Godly power marks the whole of the epistle.
Observe he addresses it to “strangers scattered throughout Pontus,” etc. (1Pe. 1:1.) Now the very salutation intimates that things are not right with them here — “scattered strangers!” as though they had no certain dwelling-place, like their Master. It is not said, “an embodied church,” with all its ceremonies and ordinances; but he addresses himself to “scattered strangers.” This alone puts the saint into a place of suffering — they had no rest for the sole of their foot — they are “strangers,” scattered to and fro.
Now the first trial that he contemplates in the first chapter, is the trial of faith (1Pe. 1:5-13). The form of trial here is that dealing of God’s hand with you, which has its direct business with your faith — whose office and property it is to exercise the soul in the principles of faith. He does not define what it may be — it may be a circumstance or disappointment; but something, the direct character of which is, to link the heart with the objects of faith. And it is very beautiful, in the wisdom of the Spirit, to leave it undefined, the only thing that marks it being this — it is the trial of faith. And we all know it. If you meet with a disappointment or loss, what is the support under it? Why, this “looking forward.” It may cause present heaviness; but the support which God provides for this trial of faith is, “the looking forward;” that in the day of the appearing of Christ, this faith, which has been burnished by the fire, shall be found unto praise, and honour, and glory.
Now just look at those three things — here is the trial of faith — the exercise of heart, fitted to link it with eternity and heaven — the Lord comforting the heart under such a trial by directing it onward to the appearing of Jesus, and the Lord counselling the heart how to behave itself under the trial — “Gird up the loins” — don’t be faint-hearted — don’t yield — “be ye sober,” and hope — hope still!
How simple is this! The character of the trial is undefined; and whatever cross or accident meets you in your path, you may put it down — happily put it down to the account of this — it is designed by your heavenly Father to try your faith. No matter how it may happen. The Spirit of God does not tell you to reason about it; but tells you to submit under it, and rejoice in the hope to which it is all leading.
In the 1 Peter 2, you find a very well defined trial. There is comfort provided, and duty prescribed in the midst of it. Now read with me from 1Pe. 1:18 to 1Pe. 1:21 — “Servants be subject,” etc. Now here there is a very well defined suffering or trial. It is not left unexpressed as in the previous chapter, but here is a suffering that is commonly known in human life, and the more we ought to value it. Here is a suffering brought from the ill usage and treatment of others — a servant suffering under the hand of a froward master. Well, it may be a neighbour suffering under the hand of an evil-minded neighbour or relative. You may put it in various forms — (the Spirit need not illustrate every case). But here we have a servant enduring the frowardness of an evil-minded master. Now here is a well-understood, and oft-experienced sorrow in this life. It is but the trial of faith — Oh, how one admires this! There is comfort in showing this, that the Spirit of God knows your little secret frettings, and that there are none of them, however small or ordinary, outside His sympathy. Well, how does He tell them to behave themselves? Beautifully. In the first place, for their great comfort, He says — “All this secret fretting foes on under the eye of God with deep acceptableness.” Oh, what a comfort this is! Suppose a poor, silent, suffering servant, meeting the ill nature of his master, why there he is in such a condition; but all day long the eye of God is resting on his behaviour with delight and complacency. That is the ingredient in the scene which faith apprehends. Nature will feel the suffering; but faith apprehends the unseen eye of God waiting upon the patient endurance of the servant with complacency.
A servant, suffering all the day long from the frowardness of an evil master, was the life of Jesus. He was reviled, and ill-treated by an apostate world, yet He threatened not, but committed Himself to Him who judgeth righteously. Now does not the apostle speak very sweetly to us there? He comes, and looks at them in the most common scene of human life, and he dignifies it; the most common material in human life he dignifies with the sympathies of Christ, and hen dignifies with the complacency of God Himself. Can anything be more precious than that? Again, I say, nothing more common-place, and that is what makes it so delightful.
Now look at the 3rd chapter. You get another suffering, but in a different form. In the 14th verse — “If ye suffer for righteousness sake, happy are ye,” etc. (1Pe. 3:14-22). Now here is a new kind of suffering — “for righteousness sake;” that is, you go on in a path of integrity — a path of uprightness — maintaining that at all cost; you are faithful to the Lord, and this brings you into suffering. Now this is another kind of trial. And how does the Spirit of God comfort us under that? Why He tells us, beloved, to “sanctify the Lord God in our hearts” — to remember Christ just in the same condition; and He points us to the days of Noah. Noah for a long period (120 years) — what was he doing then? He was preparing the ark. He looked to be the fool of his generation — the very object of scorn — that he should occupy morning and evening, day after day, and year after year preparing an ark — preparing a ship for dry ground! It was utter folly. Well, it was the path that God had laid out for him, and, whatever it might have cost him, he had God with him. He “sanctified the Lord God in his heart;” and not only that, beloved; not only had he communion, but he had this, the answer of a good conscience towards God; not only was he upright, but he was making that ark which was every moment to him the witness of his eternal safety. He knew it — he knew that the waters were coming — that a day of judgment was before him; but every stroke of his hammer went as a blessed witness to his soul, that he should be safe in that day of trial. Well, so the Spirit of God tells us, we are to pass through the trial, having “the answer of a good conscience towards God, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.”
There is a beautiful link between Noah preparing the ark, and what ought to be the condition of your soul. You should have a good conscience — not a good moral conscience, but a freed conscience. The resurrection of Jesus Christ gives you a good conscience towards God — it discharges your conscience from all guilt, and delivers it from all fear of a coming judgment. Just as Noah, every stroke of his hammer told him he would be safe in the day of judgment; so you ought to go on in the trials of righteousness which the maintenance of a good conscience may bring, in the support of a good conscience towards God. You must not give up a good moral conscience; let the exercise of righteousness in the world cost you what suffering it may, you must not give up righteousness; but your support in this path is this, that between you and God, all is settled for eternity — the resurrection of Jesus Christ has sealed upon your conscience eternal peace.
Now what a beautiful picture is this of the suffering saint! If it be, as we have seen, the trial of his faith — if it be a servant, enduring all the day long the ill-treatment of a froward master — or here, if, at the cost of everything, he maintains the righteousness and uprightness of his walk, and thus maintains a good conscience — his comfort is this, that which poor Noah enjoyed — whenever judgment might come, he was as safe as if he were in heaven.
Well now in 1 Peter 4 you get another kind of sorrow, and that is in the very opening of it. You must count upon the trial, not of righteousness, but of holiness. The former was given in the 3rd chapter; the trial of holiness in given in the opening of the 4th. What is the difference? Righteousness is uprightness of conduct outside, in the world; holiness is the pure and chaste behaviour, in your own members within. Well that is put to trial in this world too — one without, and the other within. As you have to fight the battle of holiness within, so you have to fight the battle of righteousness without. You are to fight the fight of holiness in your own members, as you are to fight the fight of righteousness in the course of the world. And what is your comfort? Why this, that you shall soon give an account to Him that is ready to judge quick and dead; and remember, that while you are fighting this fight of holiness, you are living your time, not to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. There is your comfort. If we had any bit of heart at all, it would be a great support to us to know that God is with us.
In the progress of the 4th chapter, you find another form of suffering, and that is what we call “martyr suffering.” Not suffering from the trial of faith, or from the frowardness of an evil master, from a relation, or nearest of kin, nor the suffering for righteousness, nor the trial of holiness in the members, but more characteristically what we call martyr-suffering. Well, how does he speak to us under that? “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial. . . . . But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings,” etc. (1Pe. 4:12, 13).
Oh, with what a cheerful mind the Spirit of God speaks! Supposing we were this moment dragged off to the prison — to meet the stake, like hundreds before us — see with what a cheerful spirit the Holy Ghost would put us on the journey! “Think it not strange,” says He; for when you are taking the journey to the prison or the stake, you are only on the journey with the Saviour to Calvary. You and I may not be prepared for it, but we must not measure the Spirit’s thoughts by our attainments. It is but a little pain for a while, when His glory shall appear. “Ye may be glad,” etc., 1Pe. 4:13-14. Now mark the current of the cheerful spirit here, “If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the Spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you,” etc. 1Pe. 4:13-14. Happy thing it is, that when the martyr is on his way to death, you should see the Spirit of glory resting upon his head. His persecutions for Christ’s sake are the very plattings of the crown upon his brow! It is the blessed Saviour coming and fitting the crown upon his brow. “The Spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you.” And again I say, in this, which to nature is the gloomiest we have looked at yet — in the trial of faith, in enduring the ill-treatment of others, we may have human relief; but here, shut up to Christ, with nothing but the gloom of a prison around us, nothing but the fiery stake before the eye — here the glad spirit, the oil of gladness, comes to anoint the spirit richly. And, O beloved! To know that, while even in the dungeon, the hand of God is fitting a crown of glory to the brow! “The Spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part He is evil spoken of, but on your part He is glorified.” We know not what a day may bring forth, but Jesus knows, and He will provide.
Well then, in the last chapter, you find here, at the 6th verse, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time.” (1Pe. 5:6). And here I believe we return very much to the first chapter. We can’t tell in what form that “mighty hand” may humble. It may be by removing prop after prop, disappointing one expectation of the heart after another. It may be by terrible ways God may humble you; and what is worst of all, He may appear in the very act to be against you. He may seem to carry Himself so wilfully against your circumstances and your present joys, that the heart will begin to fear lest God should be against us. It is a “mighty hand;” but let that comfort you instead of frightening you. There is a great comfort in this word “mighty.” It is not a “soothing hand;” it is a “mighty hand,” that seems set on bruising. Well, what says the Spirit of God? “Humble yourselves” under it, for “He will exalt you.” Oh how beautiful! See how roughly Joseph spoke to his brethren. He put them in prison — told the keepers to take charge of them — but in secret he wept; and, in due time, he “exalted” them.
“Casting all your care upon Him,” etc. (1Pe. 5:7). Oh, what comfort there is here! I don’t believe that Joseph’s tears in secret have a stronger voice in our ears than this, because it tells us, that while the hand is dealing roughly outside, the heart is feeling inside. Well, there it is; and as to the devil’s temptation, resist him. Don’t “humble yourselves” under that hand — “resist” him, just as did Jesus of old — “Get thee behind me, Satan” — and “the God of all grace, who hath called us,” etc., “perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you,” (1Pe. 5:10). Thus the mighty energy of the Holy Ghost carries the apostle Peter, and you, and me, as well as those “strangers,” in the hearing of all saints, through every variety of human trial. Whether it is the undefined exercise and trial of faith; whether it is enduring suffering from the frowardness and ill-nature of those that are around us, or from the maintenance of righteousness and a good conscience, or from the struggles between flesh and Spirit, or martyr-suffering; or enduring under the hand of God, or the devil himself — the mighty energy of the Spirit of God carries Peter through them all, to provide strength and consolation. The Lord help our unbelief — take our hearts, and keep them in company with these eternal realities; and then, if it be the stake itself, let us meet it with a cheerful heart; deeply assured of this, that the hand of God is weaving a crown for the brows of His faithful people!

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Bellett, J.G. – Fiesta de Belshazzar

STEM Publishing: J. G. Bellett: Belshazzar’s Feast in its Application to the Great Exhibition.
Belshazzar’s Feast in its Application to the Great Exhibition.
from Musings on Scripture, Volume 2.
J. G. Bellett.
[Only articles not found elsewhere are shown here. ]
While Jeremiah was left at Jerusalem to witness the course of moral corruption there, and to warn of coming judgment, and while Ezekiel was among the remnant in the place of discipline or of righteousness on the river Chebar, Daniel is set among the Gentiles, even at Babylon, to learn the history and the ways of the Gentiles, or the world.
We may see this in his first six chapters, which constitute the first part of the book. In Daniel 1 we see the Gentiles, or the world, set up. Then in Daniel 2 we get the same system, the world, in its political career onward to the kingdom, figured in the great image, seen in all its parts, from its head of gold to its toes of iron-clay; and judged, in the appointed hour, by the stone which becomes a mountain, to occupy the scene of power all the world over, with an untransferable kingdom. Then in the four following chapters, the stories of Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, and Darius give us the moral course of the world. In Nebuchadnezzar we get a persecuting power, connected with human religion or idolatry. The king sets up an image and demands the worship of it on pain of the fiery furnace. The righteous refuse and suffer. In Belshazzar we get the easy, worldly, self-indulgent thing, with contempt of religion. The king makes a feast, worshipping all that which ministered to his pleasures. The righteous are utter strangers to it all. In Darius we get a persecuting power again, but it is in connection with self-exaltation. The king makes an interdict that none are to be treated as God but himself, for so many days on pain of the lion’s den. The righteous again refuse and suffer.
These are plain and sure distinctions in the progress of Gentile iniquity. And it may strike us, I judge, very clearly, that we are present rather in the day of Belshazzar. Persecution and idol-service gave character to the preceding day, and persecution and deification of man to the day which followed; but all was easy indifference, with thorough satisfaction in the present things of the world, in the day of Belshazzar. Refusal and consequent suffering form the path or history of the righteous in the times of the idolatrous, persecuting Nebuchadnezzar, and of the self-exalting, persecuting Darius; but in the times of Belshazzar, perfect and thorough separation is the place of the saints of God.
There is a voice for us in all this. Daniel is not seen at the feast. And there is one, though not in his strength yet much in his spirit, who is absent also — the queen, the king’s mother. The king is ignorant of the man of God who was then in his dominions. He is also unmindful of the doings of God which had been in the same dominions in the days of his father. But the queen has recollections and knowledge of these things, and she is a stranger to his feast.
Is not the question then with us to be this: Who is the separated one now? Who is going to the king’s feast, or who, in the light of the Lord, is separated from it? The present is in easy, self-indulgent, worldly moment. The gods of gold and of silver, of brass, of wood and of iron, are praised. All the capabilities in the world to make a feast are produced, and displayed, and gloried in. Social accommodation and social delights are the great object. Man’s works, the fruit of his skill and the resources of his country, adorn and furnish the scene. and are the host of the feast, that which gathers and entertains. Man is providing the joy of this awful hour in the world’s history — awful indeed, not in the judgments or sorrows which are upon it, but in the moral principles which are quickening it. The captivity of Zion was heedlessly forgotten by Belshazzar, and the vessels of God’s temple were profaned. The operations of His hands were not considered, but the wine and the tabret were in his feast. So now; the rejection of Christ is by common consent forgotten, that man may meet his fellow, greet him with a common joy and with a common welcome, because they are all of one earth, of the same world, of kindred flesh and blood; and all God’s claims on His elect and testimony against the world are thrown together as what for a season must be passed by, till the feast-day is kept.
Where then, again I ask, is the separated one? Where is Daniel? Where is the king’s mother? The feast does not attract either of them, though they may be in different measures of strength. Daniel knew the character of it before the judgment of it was pronounced. He does not wait for the fingers of the man’s hand to put him into his place in relation to it. He is not moved by the mysterious writing on the wall. Sudden destruction, as a thief in the night, does not come upon him. He and his companion, though “a weaker vessel,” are, in the spirit of their minds, in the place from whence these fingers were sent — they were “children of light as children of the day.” The judgment upon the feast had no terror for them, for they were not at the feast. They had judged it already. Their separation was not sleep. “They that sleep sleep in the night, and they that are drunken are drunken in the night.” But they were no more indifferent to it than taking their pleasure at it. Their separation therefore, as I said, was not sleep. In a divine sense they watched and were sober (1Th. 5:3). In the separated place Daniel knew the judgment of God about it all, long before the writing on the wall announced it to the world. All this is full of meaning for us.
I am not going to say that the form of evil which Belshazzar’s day presents is the worst. Nebuchadnezzar set up an idol before that day, and Darius set up himself after it. The fiery furnace was heated for the saints in the former reign, and the lion’s den was open for them in the latter. The day of Belshazzar witnessed nothing of this. The abomination in the plain of Dura did not demand worship then, neither did the royal statute forbid worship toward Jerusalem then. But still there is something in Belshazzar himself, if not in his day, which especially provoked the Spirit of the Lord. Daniel can feel for Nebuchadnezzar, and Nebuchadnezzar is brought to a right repentant mind, and the judgment of God is reversed. Daniel too, can feel for Darius, and Darius is seen in humbled gracious meltings of soul, and we can all pity him — pity him when we see him unwittingly involved in results which a moment’s vanity and easiness of nature had led to. But from us Belshazzar gets no kindly movement of heart, from the Spirit of God in Daniel nothing but stern rebuke, and from the hand of God nothing but swift destruction, the fingers on the wall announcing it, and the sword of the Median executing it; “In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain.”
He was the easy man of the world. He despised all religious fear. What he worshipped was his pleasures, the gods of silver, of brass, and of gold, the vessels which could fill out his entertainments and make provision for his lusts. He did not summon the world to either his idol or himself, but to his board and to his holyday. Nebuchadnezzar makes an image, Darius a royal decree, Belshazzar a feast. But Jerusalem and her sorrows are forgotten, the temple and its furniture despised. The wonders which the God of Jerusalem and of the temple had freshly wrought in the land were all a dream or a fiction with him, and the very spoils of His house he can use in making merry with his friends.
This was easy worldliness — the heartless way of man who can forget God’s wonders, and the rejection and humiliation of Christ. And all this is terrible. The harp, and the pipe, and the tabret are in such feasts; but the operation of God’s hands are forgotten. Till now the vessels of God’s house had been held in some fear and honour. But now they are profaned and made to serve the lusts of the king. God had ordained them to witness the separation of His priestly nation, and His own worship in the midst of His people; but the king makes them the instruments of his sport.
And what, I ask, is the effect to deck out the world, to enjoy it, and to boast of it, while Jesus is rejected by its citizens? Is it not a thing in kindred spirit with this? The rejection of Christ is forgotten yea, despised; for that is gloried in and displayed which continues the word, “We will not have this man to reign over us.” Is not this somewhat of taking of the choice vessels of God’s house, in the very day of their captivity, to make merry with them?
The present moment may surely thus remind us of Belshazzar’s feast. God’s of gold and of silver, of brass, of iron, and of wood are praised; the resources and capabilities of the world are displayed, thoughtless of its rejection of Christ. And are any of the captivity at the king’s feast? Israel was captive together with the vessels of the temple. Would any of them be so thoughtless as to make merry with the king who was despising the spoils of that house? Would any of the servants of the rejected nobleman take part with the citizens in setting forth the wonders of their blood-stained land? (See Luke 19)
The mind turns with these thoughts to the present moment. It cannot refuse to give itself, in some sort and in some measure, to the subject of “The Great Exhibition.” It would not be fit that it should be indifferent to it; for it is no common sign of the time and ought to be morally judged.
It will be pleaded for; no doubt of it. It will be said, that it is designed to encourage brotherhood among the nations, and to promote the great business of social comfort and happiness as wide as the human family. But, I ask, are these God’s objects? God has scattered the nations, and never proposes to gather them till He gathers them to Shiloh. God would have us strangers here, “content with such things as we have,” without making it our business to increase or improve them. God would have us testify against the world in its present condition, and therefore neither flatter it, nor reconcile it to itself, nor glory in its capabilities. The Exhibition is therefore in full collision with the mind of God. Christ exposes the world; the Exhibition displays it. Christ would alarm it, and call it to a sense of judgment; the Exhibition makes it on better terms with itself than ever.
It is indeed a mighty advance in all the apostate reprobate principles of man. Efforts of a like kind we may be familiar with; but they are commonplace in comparison with this. As prophets speak, touching advance in the ways of evil, this is indeed “adding drunkenness to thirst.”
I regard all admiration of it as a step in the way to “wonder after the beast.” That will be but a further expression of the same mind; and how serious, if evangelical religion be sending its contributions to it or becoming one of the Exhibitors at it! Deep must be the infatuation. To tell the world one day what it is in God’s esteem, and the next day to become one of the wonderers after its resources and capacities! Admiration like this savours of worship.
Like the old prophet at Bethel, when a saint is in a place or a position unwarranted by the call of God, the enemy will find easy occasion to use him. Still I own, when I think of it, it is to me wonderful that a Christian should find satisfaction in this thing. That it is an awful advance in the development of those evil principles which are to mark the day of Christendom’s ripened iniquity, I have not the feast doubt.
The Lord of old scattered the nations. (See Gen. 11) This was judgment on a bold attempt of theirs, when they were of one speech and one language, to make themselves independent of God. And has He reversed that judgment? There is indeed an appointed time when it shall be reversed. Jerusalem shall be a centre, and Shiloh a gathering object. The nations will flock to Zion, there to see the King in His beauty. And none of them there, we may say, shall appear before the Lord empty. The tributes of all the lands shall beautify the place of God’s sanctuary. The fruits of Midian and of Ephah shall be there, — gold and incense from Sheba, the flock of Kedar and the rams of Nebaioth, the glory of Lebanon, the forces of all the Gentiles. All shall flock there, like doves to their windows and kings shall minister there. Gold too shall be for brass, silver for iron, brass for wood, and iron for stones. All shall be for glory and beauty in the earth then. But this is still future. This is for “the world to come,” after the Redeemer has come out of Zion, and turned away ungodliness from Jacob. See Isaiah 59 and Romans 11.
The reversing of the judgment of scattering at Babel is left for the kingdom of God at Jerusalem. He that scattered must gather. He is Lord of the nations. “The powers that be are ordained of God.” It is His pleasure that they should be scattered nations still; for one universal monarchy is appointed of God for Jesus only — as it is written, “every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” “His dominion shall be from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth.”
The name of Jesus was, indeed, proposed as a gathering object in the day of Pentecost. Tongues were then cloven as they had been at Babel. But it was to reunite what had been already severed. But this proposal, like every other on God’s part to man, was disappointed. The hard unbelieving heart did this. And what is man now proposing? He who refused God’s proposal to gather to Jesus, in the power and presence of the Holy Ghost, is proposing to gather to himself. He will exalt himself as at Babel. He will be independent of God. He will be like the Most High. The beast will issue his decree on pain of death, his mark will be received on the forehead, and all the world will wonder after him. (Rev. 13) This is in the prospect of the world’s history. He who will not let Christ be exalted will surely seek to exalt himself. And such an one is man.
Isaiah, anticipating in the Spirit the last days, warns the people of God against saying “a confederacy,” in common with the world around them. (Isa. 8) And I ask myself and others, do we in deed and in faith receive these notices from the prophets? Do we judge that man will thus exalt himself and confederate — thus gather round himself? And if we treat these warnings of the character of the last days as divine, can we doubt from all we see and hear, that man has already begun to practise his hand in kindred attempts, in efforts which shall issue in all this?
The facilities and the speed in linking the nations one with another is now well known. It is used and gloried in. And what is this “Great Exhibition” but another trying of his skill in forwarding the main leading purpose of man’s heart? No doubt it suits the spirit which is moving all this, to have it under the sanction of religion. When he can use for his own ends, nothing suits the devil better. He would fain have had Christ exalt Himself under the sanction of Psalm 91. And again, and again, he would have acknowledged Christ, had He allowed it — as the spirit of divination would have witnessed to Christ’s servant, had he received it. (Acts 16) But this could not be. The beast, however, will have his false prophet. He will use religion for his own ends. But divine religions takes us only into God’s ends. And it teaches us this (with the authority of the real intrinsic holiness of such a principle): we can have no fellowship with that against which we are called to testify. (Eph. 5:11)
Nor can we say that the judgment we form on this matter is a small or an indifferent thing. It is not so. The subject is well fitted to exercise the judgment of a saint of God. It is eminently so, I believe. His mind generally will be much affected by his sense of this thing and his decision respecting it. The mind can become dull. The eye gets dim betimes. And if such a process as that be going on, the next attempt of the enemy finds us less prepared. And I ask, Is not all that dangerous, when delusions are multiplying as they are and as they will?
We are counselled to buy eye-salve of Christ, that we may see. That is something beyond or beside faith and confession of the gospel. Laodicea had the common faith, and in a sense boasted of it, but Laodicea wanted eye-salve. And sure I am that let this great shop of the world’s ware expose what it may, that eye-salve is the very thing which will not, cannot be had there. It is the article which would detect the whole character of the place, and it could not therefore be bad there. It is a palace. Man is not enthroned there as God, it is true. Things among the children of men are not quite ripe for that yet. It is not a temple where man sits, showing himself as God. (2 Thess. 2) But man’s works are displayed there. Man’s art is enthroned there, and man expects to be admired and wondered at there, and thousands enter it (as another has observed) in the spirit of doing homage to man. It is a mirror in which the world is reflected in a thousand attractive forms, and the unworldly humbled, earth-rejected Jesus is forgotten. Jesus may be named there, it is true, but an unworldly Jesus is practically forgotten there.
It is indeed as I surely judge, solemnly, awfully significant. It is full of the spirit of the last days. This palace for man’s productions to be gazed at, is but a stage before the temple for man himself to sit in — and admiration of it is getting a generation ready, morally ready, to “wonder after the beast.” One is amazed that any Christian can find the least satisfaction in it.
This Exhibition (for it calls itself by that significant name) in its way shows all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. It does not hide this. It professes to do this. Like John Bunyan’s Vanity Fair, there is the Italian row, and the German row, and the English row. It has human skill and resources in all variety and from all lands. It presents the kingdoms of the world, and “the glory of them.” And who, I ask, was it that did this before? The Spirit led the Son of God into “the wilderness,” a place of strangership and pilgrimage — but the devil showed him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them.
The world, according to the scriptures of God, is a lost and a judged thing, it is incapable of recovery. The word of God does not, in a single passage of it, warrant the thought that it can be advanced or cultivated for God. He has judged it — though in grace the judgment tarries, and the long-suffering of God is salvation. But the world is a system past all hope of recovery, till the judgment be executed. But confederacy is an attempt to fix the world in its present condition, to settle it, though it be in departure from God and enmity against Christ. This was the thought at Babel of old.
Separation of His own out of the world is God’s way now. And this separation is the deepest and most thorough judgment that could be passed upon the world. This is a more complete judgment of it than by the waters of the flood, or by the plagues of Egypt, or by the sword of Joshua. The withdrawal or separation of all that God owns bespeaks final thoughts about the world, and not merely a purifying of it from present corruptions, as by the waters of Noah, in order to put it on a fresh trial. The trial of it is over, the judgment of it is pronounced, and the delay is but for the salvation of the elect. The attitude of the Church, that is, separation from the earth, and heavenly calling, tells us of the full moral condemnation of the course of things here. And thus the Church judges the world. Her position and calling does so.
The “servants” of the departed “nobleman” very well know that the country of the “citizens” has very great resources, and very great capabilities; and they know that in due season such will be both used and displayed. But they cannot allow this thought while that country is as it is now — stained with the blood of their rejected master. The cry, “We will not have this man to reign over us,” is ever in their ears. And with that cry from the land, can they, in company with the “citizens ” who raised it and still keep it up (for the character of the world, as we have said from scripture, is unalterably fixed), be occupied in investigating and producing the treasures of their country and the skill of its people, and glory in the thought of the common advancement?
They cannot, when alive to the character of the place where they are, and awake, as they should ever be, to the cry which followed the rejected Jesus as He left it — they cannot. The cup of the Lord’s indignation is to go round the nations, and they must drink it. An awful reverse this will be from Belshazzar passing the wine among his courtiers and concubines in the cups of the Lord’s house. And solemn it is in those nations feasting and praising the gods of gold, and of silver, of iron, of brass, and of wood while such an handwriting as that, is on the wall against them. If not on the walls of the palace, it is in the books of the prophets.. (Psalm 75; Jer. 25)
Incorruption, I can say, cannot inherit corruption, The spotless Jesus cannot hold an unpurged dominion. The woman of Revelation 17 glorifies herself, and lives deliciously in the earth during that very time in which the judgment of God is awaiting it; but the bride of Revelation 21 does not become manifested in the earth till it has been cleansed and is ready, not for the judgment of the Lord but for the presence of the glory.
There is infinite moral distance there. The world must be judged ere it can be adopted of God. The earth must be purified before it can be furnished and adorned for Him. This has been again and again transacted in the progress of the divine government. Noah, God’s saint and representative, took the earth to rule and to enjoy it, but it had previously passed through the purifying of the flood. Israel, God’s people and witnesses, took the land of Canaan to possess and enjoy it, but it had been judged by the sword of Joshua. And according to these types the earth is to be cleansed; out of the kingdom is to be taken all that offends and does iniquity ere Jesus will take the power.
Ornament and furniture well becomes it, for it is the Lord’s footstool. Eden had not only its plants, and trees, and fruits, and flowers; but its gold, its bdellium, and its onyx stones. Solomon, in typical days of glory, trafficked in all desirable riches. And the millennial Jerusalem will receive all the treasures of the provinces. (Isaiah 60) But the present age is not millennial, the earth is not yet an extended Eden. Corruption is not judged; the things that offend and do iniquity are not taken away, nor is there any divine commission to that end. The field of tares is not to be cleansed now — it waits for the angels and the time of harvest. The saint submits to “the powers that be,” knowing that “God” will stand in the congregation of them for judgment in due season (compare Rom. 13:1 with Psa. 82:1).
It is despite of the holiness of God, we may therefore say, to be presenting this evil world in its ornaments and furniture, in its resources and capabilities, as this Exhibition is doing. And it is also despite of the wrongs and sorrows of Christ. The citizens who have cast outside their city and country the blessed Son of God, are exhibiting what their country can produce, and what their hands can skilfully weave and fashion. I ask, could a servant of such a rejected Master, aid and encourage such things? Could he be a servant a moment beyond the time that he thus practically forgot his Lord’s rejection here? He could not. He might, indeed, be a useful member of society, and serve his generation in their generation well; but a servant of Christ (properly speaking) he could not be if once he forgot the world’s rejection of Christ; and acceptance of the invitation of the citizens (19) to come and seek to rejoice with them in the resources of their country and the skill of their people would at once be such forgetfulness.
The sorrow and the humbling of a saint is that he remembers the rejection of his Master so coldly and acts on that great fact so poorly. But to have it estranged from the soul so as to consent to take part with the citizens from one end of the world to the other, in a great confederated effort to display the world as a wealthy and desirable place — to do this in full and hearty fellowship with all, on the ground of the common humanity, is confounding light and darkness, Christ and Belial. The language of the whole thing is this — We will forget, at least for a season, the claims and the sorrows of Jesus, and have a holyday with the world that has rejected Him.
Has so little “eye-salve” been bought of Christ as to leave the saints in such a blinded condition of soul as this? “If thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.” When Daniel and his companions entered the place of the Gentiles, they carried one purpose of heart with them, that they would not defile themselves with the king’s meat (Dan. 1:8). He knew not what this might cost him, but this was his purpose. He had bought this eye-salve of Christ, ere he stood among the uncircumcised. And in the strength of the Lord, he and his dear companions stood. The fiery furnace and the lion’s den witness the victory of men strengthened by Christ. “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors, through him that loved us.” And so at Belshazzar’s feast. Daniel entered it is a conqueror, as afterwards he entered the lion’s den. He had no affinity with the feast — not a bit. He was, in the day of it, as we have seen, a separated man. But he was called to it, and he entered the banqueting hall as a conqueror. The king who was there promised to make him “the third ruler in the kingdom.” “Let thy gifts be to thyself, and give thy rewards to another,” said the servant of Christ. He was as much a conqueror in the day of the feast, as he was in the day of the lion’s den.
Noble attitude of a saint of God! Could such a man have accepted an invitation to the feast? Morally impossible. And “the eye-salve” which Christ had supplied him with, disclosed its further virtues, as he stood in that palace of the world’s enjoyments. There was nothing in the language of the writing on the wall beyond the astrologers of Babylon more than beyond Daniel. Not so much, I might say. At least the words were as familiar to a Chaldean as to a Hebrew. But the wise men of Babylon, the scribes of Belshazzar’s court and kingdom were not equal to interpret them. They were morally incapacitated. A single eye to Christ alone can do so to this day — the “eye-salve.” If we test a thing by any test but Christ, we shall misinterpret it. It will appear fair, and good, and desirable, if we try it by its relationship to the welfare of society, or to the advancement of man and the world; but if we look at it in the light of a rejected Jesus, its bloom will be found to be corruption. Standing in the festive hall, Daniel traces the whole scene in Babylon at that hour in relation to God. He rehearses before Belshazzar God’s way with Nebuchadnezzar, and Nebuchadnezzar’s way with God, and then Belshazzar’s own hardness and infidel pride in defiance of Him who had wrought the wonders. This was Daniel’s key to the writing — of course, I know, under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. But still this was the prophet’s moral apprehension of the king’s feast. He judged it in reference to God — and what could the end be, but awful and sudden destruction? The writing must speak of judgment, and though the lords and the captains, the wives and the concubines, sport themselves in the king’s hall.
“Anoint thine eyes with eye-salve, that thou mayest see.” It is blessed so to do, but it is hard. We judge of things in reference to ourselves, and not in reference to Christ. We think rather of the world’s improvement than of His rejection. We talk of human capabilities rather than of human and incurable apostasy. We want the eye-salve, without which we cannot see — we cannot discover the feast, or read the writing on the wall.
The disciples wanted it on the Mount of Olives, as they looked on the Temple. They saw the building but not with the eye of Christ, not as anointed with the eye-salve. He had seen it, and all that surrounded it, with the eye of God; and costly as it was and beautiful beyond comparison, He had written the judgment of it; yea, on the very wall He had written the judgment of “that beautiful house.” “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem — your house is left unto you desolate.” This was writing with the same divine authority which had sentenced Belshazzar and his feast. But the disciples still eyed the beauty of the stones, and Jesus, in patient grace, but because of their demand, and unanointed eye, had to re-write the doom of that place: “Verily I say unto you, there shall not be left one stone upon another, which shall not be thrown down.”
Sad to tell of it then, sad to see it now, sad to know, in our own worldly hearts, the secret of all this darkness. We may be sorry to find it thus among disciples, though prepared to get it plentifully among the children of men. The kings of the earth, the merchants, and the mariners bewail the fall of Babylon, and we wonder not. They judged Babylon in reference to themselves — they had lived deliciouslywith her. How could they have eye-salve to know her, and to see her with the mind of heaven? God “remembered her iniquities,” but they remembered her as one “wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness.” They therefore bewail, when heaven rejoices. The lords at the feast tremble, when heaven traces its doom. But sad it is that saints should be admiring the “costliness” which the mind of heaven has already judged.
What words in our ears, beloved, are all these — what writings under our eyes! O for the anointing which Christ has for His saints! O for power in our souls to judge the king’s feast, the Gentiles’ greatness, the world’s advancement, the jubilee of Babylon, in the light of the rejection of the Son of God, in the hearing of that cry, “We will not have this man to reign over us. Then let us ask ourselves, if we have a pulse of affection or allegiance to Jesus, can we glory in this present moment with all its costliness and pleasures?

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Pink – Peligrosas Delicias

por Arturo Pink.

Pro 23:1 Cuando te sientes a comer con algún señor, Considera bien lo que está delante de ti,

Suponemos que este versículo tiene poco vigencia por muchos, porque es poco probable que serán invitados a comer con el Presidente de los Estados Unidos o el Rey de Inglaterra. Pero que lastima que tal pensamiento debe entrar en la mente de cualquier cristiano. Lastima que la tendencia de hacer carnal la Palabra de Dios es tan común. Lastima que nuestros interpretes espirituales de los Oráculos Vivientes casi han desaparecidos de la tierra. Aun que no hay tal ungido maestro disponible para abrir las Escrituras, debe ser obvio que el Espíritu Santo nunca iba a poner tal versículo como este en la Palabra si no tuvo aplicación al pueblo de Dios en general. ¿No debemos meditar para encontrar su sentido y valor?

Cuando te sientes a comer con algún señor, Considera bien lo que está delante de ti,” Hay otros gobernadores mencionados en las Escrituras aparte de los civiles. ¿No leemos de “príncipes de la congregación” (Éxo 16:22), “principal de la singoga” (Luc 8:41), tanto que “gobernadores de las tinieblas de este siglo” (Efe 6:12)? Ahora, no todos los gobernadores religiosos del cristianismo han sido llamados por Dios. No, muy lejos de esto. ¡Personalmente el autor duda que dos de cada mil predicadores, ministros, y misioneros, sobre todo el mundo, han sido llamado por Dios! Muchos son auto instalados, unos enviados por otra gente, y la mayoría son levantados por Satanás. El lector atento del Antiguo y Nuevo Testamentos encontrarán que los falsos profetas han, en cada sigo, numerado más, en gran número, que los verdaderos. Es por esta razón que Dios nos manda de no creer “cada espíritu, sino probad los espíritus para ver si son de Dios; porque muchos falsos profetas han salido en el mundo” (1Jn 4:1). Entonces la exhortación dado en Proverbios 23:1 ha sido siempre buena para el pueblo de Dios de seguir, y tal vez nunca fue más necesario que en el tiempo de degenerados y apostatas  como nuestro tiempo.

La predicación que oímos, y de una medida, absorbemos, tiene precisamente el mismo efecto sobre nuestros almas, como la comida que comimos: si es saludable, es para nuestra nutrición, y si es injuriosa, nos hace mal. Cuando te sientes a comer con algún señor, Considera bien lo que está delante de ti. La cosa trágica es que muchos de los hijos de Dios hoy carecen tanto de la espiritualidad, y entonces son ignorantes espiritualmente hablando, que no sabe como “considerar diligentemente” lo que es “puesto delante de ellos.” No saben que pruebas a aplicar, ni como examinar lo que escuchar. Mientras que el predicador es “ortodoxo” y aprobado por los que ellos consideran “sano en la fe”, ellos piensan que su mensaje está bien. Mientras que el predicador se adscribe a los fundamentos de la fe, suponen que él es un verdadero siervo de Dios. Mientras que el predicador queda cerca a la letra de las Escrituras, se imaginan que sus almas son alimentados con la sincera leche de la Palabra. Pero que lastima que estas almas sin discernimiento tienen tanta fe en creer cualquiera.

Si el lector está listo para preguntar, “¿Pero qué pruebas debemos aplicar? Dejanos ayudarte a contestar tu pregunta por preguntarte otra. ¿Qué criterio aplicas a la materia que comes? ¿Estás satisfecho si ha sido preparado y cocinado según los mejores métodos de los mejores chefs en el mundo? No. Lo principal es ¿qué efecto tu comida tiene sobre ti? ¿Te hace mal a tu estomago? ¿Te produce buen salud o te enferma? ¿Verdad? Bien, ahora aplica el mismo principio al espiritual — ¿o debemos decir mejor, a la comida “espiritual” que consumes. ¿Qué efecto tiene sobre tu carácter y conducta? ¿Qué está produciendo en tu corazón y vida? Pero no debemos pararnos allí nada más con una generalización. Si somos para ayudar a las almas hoy, el siervo de Dios tiene que ser preciso, y entrar a los detalles. Reflejarte sobre estas preguntas.

Does the preaching you listen to come home to your heart in the power of the Holy Spirit? If not, what is the use of hearing it? Does the preaching you hear pierce you, search your conscience, condemn you, and make you cry, “O wretched man that I am”? Or does it add to your store of intellectual knowledge, minister to your delight, and make you feel self-satisfied? Do not treat these questions lightly, we beg you, or you are very likely to prove your own worst enemy. Face them fairly and squarely, as in the presence of God. “Consider diligently” what is set before you from the pulpit, for it must do one of two things: help or harm you. It either promotes humility, or feeds pride. It either stimulates to work out your own salvation “with fear and trembling,” or it fosters carnal security and self-confidence. It either drives you to your knees, or it more and more lulls your spiritual sensibilities. It either makes you more conscientious and careful about all the details of your daily life, or more careless and callous. It either causes you to cry unto God day and night for Him to work in your heart a deeper and more constant hatred of evil, or (probably unconsciously) leads you to think more lightly of sin—excusing “little” failures, and consoling yourself with the thought that none of us reach perfection in this life; whereas God says, “Be holy in all manner of behavior” (1 Peter 1:15).
“And put a knife to your throat, if you be a man given to appetite” (Proverbs 23:2). This is strong language, is it not? Yes, and the subject calls for it. So very few realize the fearful consequences which follow from a disregard of that command of Christ’s, “Take heed what you hear” (Mark 4:24). False doctrine has the same effect upon the soul as poison does upon the body. But Satan appeals to the pride of so many, and succeeds in making them believe they are immune, that they are so “well established in the Truth” that listening to error cannot injure them. Therefore does the Holy Spirit say, “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners” (1 Cor. 15:33): not they may, but DO! Yes, even though you are quite unaware of it. “And put a knife to your throat, if you be a man given to appetite.” This is plainly a word of warning for those who are consumed with curiosity to hear every new “evangelist” or “Bible-teacher” who comes to town; those who have an insatiable appetite to sample every religious “feast” that is spread in their community. That is what is meant by “a man given to appetite”: one who craves to hear the latest pulpit or platform sensationalist.
To all such God says, Take yourself in hand, and use no half measures to check this dangerous tendency. It is at your imminent peril you disregard this Divine admonition. If you disobey, Satan will either slay you, or else drug and put you soundly to sleep. “Be not desirous of his dainties: for they are deceitful food” (Proverbs 23:3). Yes, he has “dainties” to offer you: that is why so many are attracted to his table. These “dainties” are skillfully varied to meet different tastes. For “prophetic students” they are spicy items from the newspapers, served under the name of “signs of the times.” But these are “deceitful food,” for they leave the soul starved and barren: there is no spiritual nutriment in them! For the energetic young people, there is a pleasing presentation of “Christian service,” calling upon them to engage in “work for the Lord”: these too are “deceitful food,” for they neither edify (build up) nor lead to a closer walking with Christ; instead, they take the eye off Christ, unto the “perishing multitudes”: as though God were unable to save His own elect without our assistance! “Keep your heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23) is God’s word unto you.
For others there is a regular exposition of “our doctrines” which are indeed “dainties” unto those of a theological turn of mind. “Yes, but ‘our doctrines’ are Scripture doctrines, and surely they cannot be ‘deceitful food’!” Ah dear friend, Satan frequently transforms himself into “an angel of light”; he knows full well that no harm will be done unto his cause while doctrinal dissertations are addressed to the intellect, and the conscience is not searched. Unless there be a practical application made of each Scripture doctrine, the heart is not touched nor the soul humbled; instead, pride is fed and the head is merely stuffed with a theoretical knowledge of the Truth. Mark this well: doctrine divorced from experimental and practical preaching is highly injurious!
What the writer and reader most need is not “dainties,” but “bitter herbs” (Exo. 12:8) to purge us of pride, independency, self-love! We need to be fed “with the bread of tears” (Psalm 80:5) and “the water of affliction” (Isaiah 30:20). Only that ministry truly helps which causes us to mourn before God, which brings us into the dust, which makes us loathe ourselves. Perhaps some will reply, “I want a ministry where Christ is exalted.” Good; but do you relish a ministry which gives you to see how un-Christlike you are in your ways, how little you are following the example which He has left us? A faithful and well-balanced ministry of “Christ” includes His teaching upon Discipleship, His claims and demands upon us, His precepts and warnings. Beware of flesh-pleasing “dainties,” dear reader.
We pass over the intervening ones and come to verse 8 of Proverbs 23, “The morsel which you have eaten shall you vomit up, and lose your sweet words.” Yes, if you are really a child of God, this is what the Spirit will, sooner or later, work in you. He will yet make your heart nauseated with those flesh-pleasing “dainties” which you now so much relish; He will yet cause you to turn with disgust from that which the empty professors feed upon with such avidity. We speak from painful experience. Sheep cannot thrive on that which goats eat! If your preacher is admired and eulogized by white-washed worldlings, you may be certain that his ministry cannot help you. If large crowds enthusiastically hear him, it is a sure sign that he is not ministering the Word in the power of the Spirit!
In closing, let us point out that all we have said above about “considering diligently” what preaching you attend, applies with equal force to listening on to the radio! “Take heed what you hear”: if it does not make your conscience more tender, it will make it more callous. The same applies to your reading. The great majority of the “orthodox” and “sound” magazines being printed today, can only harm you, for they contain nothing to make you weep before God, nothing to increase the “fear of the Lord” in your soul, nothing that will lead to an increasing mortifying of your members which are upon the earth. If you have proven this to be the case, then from now on shun them as you would a plague. “Cease from man!” (Isaiah 2:22) and feed upon the Word.

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Bellett, J.G. – Absalom

STEM Publishing: J. G. Bellett: Absalom.
2Sa. 11:12.
“The fool hath said in his heart, No God!”
J. G. Bellett.
BT vol. 14, p. 193 etc.
David is the principal object before the mind of the Spirit of God in both the 1st and the 2nd books of Samuel. In the 1st book we see him brought from obscurity into honour and praise, and there standing, by the good hand of God, in full righteousness amid the persecutions of the wicked. In the 2nd we see him descending from honour, through sin, into degradation and ruin, but there learning the rich and marvellous ways of the grace of God. It is thus the sorrow of righteousness, or “David the martyr,” that we first see; and the shame of sin, or “David the penitent,” that we next see.
And these things give us different characters in the Psalms. In some of them we hear the breathings of a convicted conscience, a heart exercised in thoughts of transgression, searching after God again, and from thence rising into a blessed sense of grace and salvation. In others we hear the sorrows of conscious righteousness suffering the reproach of the wicked, but knowing all the while its title to fulness of joy and strength in God.
These are the varied exercises known to David’s soul; and in all this he is the type of God’s remnant in the latter time, who will have to pass through the shame and sorrows of afflicted and yet conscious integrity, and the shame also of convicted sin. For that remnant, though righteous in their own persons and conduct, will identify themselves with their nation in all its blood-guiltiness,* and look on Him who was pierced, and mourn as though they had pierced Him themselves.
*And as this unguilty remnant thus confess the sin of the nation, because they identify themselves with it, so does Jesus in the Psalms, though without sin, confess it, because He has consented to be “made sin for us.”
And (wonderful, and yet blessed to tell it) David would not have known all that is in God, had he not passed through the sin of 2 Samuel, as well as the sorrow of 1 Samuel, for it is sin that manifests God.
And what a truth that is! I learn God in the darkness of mine own iniquity. For there was in God a deeper secret than all that His hand revealed in creation. There was the treasure of His bosom. There was grace in God, love for guilty ones; and Adam’s sin drew that secret out; for “the Seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent’s head” at once came forth to tell him that God had something better than all the fruit of His six days’ work of creation.
The direct history of Absalom may be considered as beginning with 2 Sam. 11. In the previous chapters of this book David had been advancing into power and the kingdom, approving himself to God and to the conscience of all men. In no scene in which he is called to take a part does he seek himself, or eye his own advantages. He considers the sorrows and dishonour of others rather than his own gains, and will be serving others though at his own expense. Thus he weeps over Saul and over Abner (2 Sam. 1 – 4), and it is his first concern, after he comes to the throne, to bring home the ark of God to Israel, and prepare it a worthy habitation; for which end he would be base in his own sight, and despise the shame of others. He sought the greatness of God’s house, and not his own wealth, and the Lord prospered him whithersoever he went. As David would be only a servant, the Lord would make him honourable and prosperous; and even his mistakes savour of his virtues. It is his impatience to be serving that leads to his errors touching both the carriage of the ark and the building of the house. No doubt he was to be blamed, for in those matters he had not waited on the counsel of the Lord, as he had been wont to do; but this came from his desire to be doing service for God. He thought, to be sure, that in these things he must be right. He trusted his heart in them, and therefore did foolishly (Pro. 28:26); but still his errors savour of that which was characteristically “David,” being connected in his mind with desire to be in service for the Lord and His people. (2 Sam. 5 – 10.)
All this indeed is excellent; but all this does not make out a well-fought fight, and a stainless victory for David. All is not over even yet; such holy beginnings as these are not every thing. The strength of the summer sun is still to try this promise of the spring. He that girdeth on his armour must not boast as he that putteth it off. “Ye have need of patience” is the word, and so we shall find it even here with David.
It was the time, we read, when kings went forth to battle. (2Sa. 11:1.) But David the king tarries at Jerusalem, and that sets him at once in the flesh. He was not where the Spirit could own him, but has chosen his own way. It may seem to be a small thing, but it is enough for the enemy of his soul. It is only, one might say, a tarrying in the city when he should have been in the field of battle. But the little foxes spoil the vines, we read, “for the vines themselves are tender;” and this beginning may account for any result. Soft relaxing habits quickly come in, for the next moment we see him, instead of having girded the sword upon his thigh, lying on his bed at eventide. The outposts had been left unguarded, and the very citadel becomes an easy spoil for the enemy. Nothing could do for him now but to arise and shake himself, like Samson, in the strength of the Lord. But, like Samson, he appears as though he had already betrayed the secret of the Lord. And all because he got into the way of his own heart. He was drawn away by his own lusts and enticed; and lust was soon to conceive sin, and sin to bring forth death. Jerusalem, beloved, was David’s place for himself, when the field of battle was God’s place for him; and, little as that may seem, it is enough to lead to adultery. “Lord,” may we all say, “it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.”
But it is not merely one lust that enters by this door and riots in David’s veins, for love of his fair name in the world now proves just as much a lust in him as the desire of his eye. The one led him to adultery with Bath-sheba, the other goads him to the murder of Uriah. He had no thirst after Uriah’s blood, but rather contrives expedients to preserve it, and to that end will do all but surrender his place and reputation among men. He sends to the field of battle to fetch him home to his wife, and thus to be a covert for his sin; and when that will not do, his subtle and uneasy heart devises to make Uriah drunk, that he may still accomplish his end, and use him as a veil under which to hide his own iniquity. Nor is it till all these schemes were baffled, and righteousness in Uriah refuses to be so used in the service of sin in David, that David sacrifices him to his lust. To his love of the world he sacrifices Uriah now, as he had just before sacrificed Bath-sheba to the desire of his eye. And he will sacrifice even his nation to the same. He will so order it that the army of Israel may be defeated, as well as the blood of Uriah be shed before the walls of Rabbah, rather than that his good name should be made a scandal. All must go rather than David hazard that. Just as Pilate afterwards: — he was Caesar’s friend, the world’s friend; and, rather than hazard any breach in that friendship, Jesus must die. Sad thus to tell it, David and Pilate are found together. There was no more thirst for innocent blood in Pilate than there was in David; but there was the same love of his credit in the world in David as there was in Pilate. Pilate as well as David can try many devices to preserve the innocent blood and the world for himself at the same time; but David as well as Pilate will give up the one for the other if both cannot be retained together.
It is sad thus to class David and Pilate together. But flesh is flesh in whomsoever found. But David had now to prove that “sin, when it is perfected, bringeth forth death.” And well is it for us when we prove that here through the Holy Ghost, and do not wait to prove it by the judgment of God by and by. So was it now with David. Adultery, murder, and falsehood had perfected the sin, and now came the bitterness of his soul. He takes the sentence of death in himself. “His bones wax old, and his moisture is turned into the drought of summer.” (Psalm 32.) Death within was consuming him as a moth fretting a garment. There was no strength of grace as yet to confess the sin; but the life within was sensitive of the wound it had received. The spirit felt the grief it had been put to, but David kept silence and did not tell out his shame as yet, for guile was still in the spirit. (Psalm 32.) The voice of a prophet must call forth confession; but when it does come forth, it is indeed of a divine quality; for it is not merely the trespass against Uriah that his soul is conscious of and his lips confess, but he sees his sin in the light of God’s glory. And it is there, beloved, we always see it when we see it aright; it is there we divinely know what sin is. “I have sinned against the Lord,” said David; and with this apprehension he utters, “against thee, thee only have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight.” (Ps. 51.) Before this confession the spirit had its wound within, and it was intolerable. But this confession perfects his conversion; and then he was able to teach sinners the ways of the Lord, as Peter after he was converted could strengthen his brethren. When he had learnt the blessedness of grace abounding over sin, he could present himself to all other poor sinners as the warrant of their confidence in the Lord. “For this,” says he, “shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found.” (Ps. 32.) Like Paul he is set forth a pattern of all long-suffering, and like Peter he knows the restoring of a soul that had erred from the ways of righteousness.
In the striking style of Scripture, we now read, after David had accomplished his sin, “the thing that David had done displeased the Lord.” There is no long account of God’s anger, but this tells us of His mind towards the sin of His servant. But if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive them; and so we find it here. “I have sinned against the Lord” says David. “The Lord has put away thy sin,” answers the prophet. (2 Sam. 12.)
2 Samuel 13, 14.
But acceptance into God’s favour always puts us into one interest with God’s honour in the world; and, from the moment of our acceptance through His grace, we are to be the servants of His glory. The moment we rest as sinners, we begin our labour as saints. By faith we rest as sinners knowing the virtue of the blood of Jesus for the full repose of the conscience before God: but from thence we labour as only in the prospect of the rest that is ours as saints. We become the servants of God’s glory when we are made free through God’s grace. And so here: David had been just led to his rest as a sinner — “The Lord has put away thy sin;” but now he must serve God’s glory as a sinner brought near. As the name of God had been reproached through David, David must now bear the reproach too: and God will show His entire separation from the sin of His servant, and before all men, He must measure his former work into his bosom. The child that Bathsheba had borne him must die; as his sword had slain, Uriah, the sword now shall not depart from his house; and that which he had done to the shame of others, and done it secretly, others should now do to his shame in the sight of the sun.
It is in connection with all this that Absalom is introduced to us. He is to be made the rod in the Lord’s hand for the chastening of David — a rod, too, taken out of his own stem — his own child; as the Lord by Nathan had just said to him, “behold I will raise up evil against thee, out of thine own house.” Absalom meant not so, like the Assyrian afterwards (Isa. 10:7). The Assyrian was to have a commission from the lord against the hypocritical nation, but in his heart he thinks only of the spoil and the prey. Absalom is now to serve his own lusts, but God will use him for the renewing of His servant in holiness.
We need not particularly consider the circumstance which is made to introduce Absalom to us. The sin of Amnon, and the sorrows of Tamar, had their purpose, and could well have been used in God’s grace to keep poor David in lively recollection of his own sin and sorrow. It was a voice “in his own house” that must have spoken in thunder to him. Blood and uncleanness were staining his own children under his own eye. Tamar’s virgin garment was now rent, a sore remembrance of the stain upon himself; and Amnon’s blood was shed, awakening the voice of Uriah’s blood in his ear from the earth. But we need not more particularly look at this. Absalom was Tamar’s brother, and the son of David by a daughter of the king of Geshur (2Sa. 3:3) but we have nothing of him till now, when he appears at once before us its the subtle and wilful one, whose heart and eye were full only of their own devices and objects to reach which appears to be all his care. Amnon’s wrong to his sister had raised a deadly fire in his heart, which two full years had no power to quench; but his crafty soul must find the happiest way to let out his rage on its victim. The fire buries as though it had been kindled but yesterday, and his subtlety devises a sure passage for it. It is all of Satan. The guile of the serpent ministers to the fury of the lion, and Absalom plots the matter of the sheep-shearing that he may get the blood of Amnon. David has some misgivings. How indeed could it be otherwise? Must he not, after all that he had done and all that the prophet had said to him, have feared every stir in the house? For one of his own house was to bring the evil upon him. He does not like this sheep-shearing feast which Absalom proposes. But he is pressed about it, and Amnon then goes, and falls before the treachery and sword of his brother. (2 Sam. 13.)
Absalom by this had defiled the land, and forfeited his life. (Num. 35:33.) All that he can now do is to fly to strangers, for the land had no city of refuge for such an one. The avenger of blood might claim him of Bezer or of Kedesh. He had shed his brother’s blood, and this cried for vengeance. But David was a man of affection. He had a heart that sought its indulgence in the relations and sympathies of human life, and, being the man after God’s own heart, he would have found his joy rather in the ministrations of grace than in the exactions of righteousness. But Absalom had fled, for he was now debtor to that law of which David was the guardian, for David held his throne on the terms of reading the law continually. (Deut. 17.) What then can now be done? David may mourn for the son slain, and for the son banished, but are not both equally lost to him?
Now Joab was, in modern language, a consummate politician. He was nephew to the king, and thus the king’s honour was in some sense his honour, and that he knew and valued and sought to retain; and therefore he never seeks to disturb the throne as now settled in the house of Jesse, his grandfather. He was content to be the second in the kingdom, for that his worldly wisdom tell him he might be in safety, but more than that he knew he could not seek without hazard. He could get both Abner and Amasa out of his way, when he thought they were intruding into that place, which he had eyed for himself; but the first place he would leave with David, and therefore never conspires against him, but is ever watchful of his interest, ever ready to let David take the principal post of honour (2Sa. 12:28), and is even quicker than David himself (2 Sam. 24) to discern and provide for the stability of the throne.
Such an one could not but be busy at such a moment as this. He knew the softness of David’s heart, and easily calculated that any device to help him to bring back his banished child would be acceptable; and to do this acceptable service to the king, and thus to have a fresh claim to be the second round his throne, sets Joab in motion now. He did not much care for Absalom’s exile, but in some sense “he carried the bag and bare what was put therein.”
But the case was a very difficult one; for David, as I have said, might love his son and desire his return. But David was guardian of that law to which his son had exposed himself, and it was hard for Joab to contrive a way whereby David might let “mercy rejoice against judgment,” and thus bring back his banished one.
“A wise woman” of Tekoah is, therefore provided, whom Joab instructs in this matter. Perhaps we may not know the proper sense of that description of her, but it will shortly appear that she was wise indeed, and that too in the secrets of God Himself. She feigns herself it mourner, and comes to the king with just such a title of sorrow as must at once have caught his affections, and brought his own sorrow fully to mind. She tells him of her two sons, how one had slain the other in a quarrel in a field, and that the kinsman was out against the manslayer, threatening to leave her a withered stump in the earth. David is surprised. Such matters should lie with the proper judges to determine between the avenger and the manslayer. (Num. 35.) But David is surprised — nature speaks in him too quickly — the yearnings of nature move him, and he gives her a pledge three times assured that nothing shall befall her son. Then, armed with this pledge, she more distinctly assails the heart of the king. She is willing to let the pledge be to Absalom the, king’s son, and not to her son, and would have it known that she had been all the while pleading for David’s sorrow and not for her own.
But “wise woman” as she was, she had deeper resources than even these. She had reached David’s heart, and got a pledge from the desire and heat of human affection; but she seeks now to reconcile his conscience to all this, and to let him learn that he had a title in God Himself to let “mercy rejoice against judgment” to the guilty, as his soul desired, and as his lips had pledged. For all would be imperfect without this; for the king, as we have seen, was debtor to the law, and none could set it aside but he who established it. Samson, it is true, may marry a Philistine harlot, though the law denied all such commerce with any Gentile, when he has a dispensation from the Lawgiver. Gideon or Manoah may sacrifice on to rock, though the ordained place is elsewhere, if the Angel-Jehovah will stand by; and David himself may forsake the altar at Gibeon even for the threshing-floor of a Jebusite, when the God of grace meets him there. Now it is this principle of truth which the “wise woman” now brings to bear on the conscience, as her tale of woe had lately borne on the heart, of the king. She pleads with David in behalf of Absalom the very mercy of God in the gospel. She tells the king that he should fetch home his banished one; for says she, “we must needs die, and are as water spilt on the ground (i. e. good for nothing see:1Sa. 7:6), which cannot be gathered up again, neither doth God respect any person, yet doth He devise means that His banished be not expelled from Him.” Here she brings God’s own way before David. She pleads that law of liberty (Jam. 2:12) — which expresses even the heart of God Himself in His dealings with poor sinners, the gospel of God’s grace in which He righteously refuses to hear the law, and is just while the justifier of the guilty, having devised a way by which His banished ones return to him. Thus she pleads with his conscience, as she had before pleaded with his affections, and what call David do? Must he not give an answer in peace? Is he not satisfied? If the light of the gospel be thus by this wise woman brought to shine on him, must he not walk, and act in the light of it? Can he refuse to reflect it? This seems to be the way of her wisdom, and indeed it is strange and blessed. What a testimony this is! What a telling of the wonders of grace! That which is no better than water spilt on the ground is gathered up to be brought home to God Himself. (2 Sam. 14.)
This that we are meditating on is somewhat a neglected scripture. But it shows us that we may ofttimes find some stray and rich kidneys of wheat in the distant corners of the Lord’s granary. And this gospel in the mouth of this unknown widow, the “wise woman of Tekoah,” further shows us that Israel, even in their infant dispensation, had sweet truths to feed upon. From the beginning indeed the joy has been but one. “‘The woman’s seed” was the king’s highway cast up under the eye of faith, the known and published good news, whereby God hath devised to fetch home His banished ones.
The king, however, seems not to be quite at ease. The pleading of our wise woman was as wise as it could have been. Nothing in its season could have been more perfect. But the king was the guardian of the law, and the softness of his heart had betrayed him into an act of grace by which he had undertaken to set the law aside, but the thought seems to be lurking there, that he was debtor to the law. However, according to the king’s word, Absalom is brought home, but it is on terms of not seeing the king’s face; and so he dwells two full years in Jerusalem apart from David.
But he is still Absalom; wherever or however we see him, he is himself. His taste remains in him, and his scent is not changed, even though he had now returned from captivity. (Jer. 48:11.) He comes home the wilful Absalom still, the servant of his own passions and of them only. “Who is lord over us?” is the language of all his actings. His tongue was his own. “No God,” says he, in his heart continually. All that can be said in any way of commendation is, like Saul before him, of his comeliness in the flesh. “In all Israel there was none to be so much praised as Absalom for his beauty. From the sole of his foot even to the crown of his head there was no blemish in him:” we have no account of him beyond this of his beauty. His acts from first to last are enough to give him his right name and place before us; for in his own personal character, and in all in which it displays itself, Absalom is still the wilful one. He is the Saul of his day, or the apostate seed of the serpent, and the agent of the dragon, the usurper, the proud one who consults only his own will, which most surely carries him forth into full and constant resistance of God and His people. Even favours have but little claim on him. He may send to Joab to whom he owed every thing a second time, but beyond that small courtesy his heart owns no debt to him.
2 Samuel 15 – 18.
But the heart that is thus dead to the claims of kindness finds it easy to entertain any thing that Satan would propose. Thus, having exercised the rude strength of the lion in the corn-fields of his friends, he is quite prepared to practise the guile of the serpent in the kingdom of his father. The one or the other must be the way of Absalom. The child of him that was a liar and a murderer from the beginning, he knows no other master. He is Absalom, “the father of peace.” But it is the peace of a deceiver. He comes in peaceably and takes the kingdom by flatteries. By good words and fair speeches he deceives the simple. He steals the hearts of his father’s subjects, the people of the Lord and of His anointed. Nothing can be more corrupt than all his ways, for he is the mere slave of his own evil desires, let them urge him as they may, or set his heart on work with whatever device they may. And he will use any means for his own ends. He pretends the payment of a vow at Hebron, and takes with him two hundred men out of Jerusalem, to furnish as it might seem the table at the sacrificial feast; but all this was only to further his design upon the throne of his father. His slanders of his father, and flatteries of the people, had already prepared the nation for his pretensions; and now he sends out spies from Hebron to declare him through the land, and all too well in readiness for him, and speedily, therefore, the conspiracy was strong, and the people increased continually with him.
The Absaloms of every day have had their evil counsellors. This has been already noticed in the case of Saul, and some of these confederacies were then traced. Now we see it in the case of this apostate son of David. He gets Ahithophel to be with him, one who had stood among David’s children. But the counsellor joins the child: one who had eaten of David’s bread, and another with whom David had taken sweet counsel, none other or less than they, must now be found together against him.
But all this gives occasion to one of the most affecting scenes in the history of David as a penitent. We know not whether the more to admire the beautiful workmanship of the Spirit of God in David, when suffering for righteousness, or when suffering for transgression. Thus I have before touched upon. We see him the martyr in the days of Saul, but then as led by the Spirit reading a sweet lesson of instruction to us, showing all patience and all holy confidence in God; consenting to be hunted as a partridge in the mountains day after day, rather than take vengeance into his own hands, or lift himself up against the Lord’s anointed. (1 Samuel.) And so now, though the scene be changed, and we have David the penitent rather than David the martyr, yet all is of equal interest and value to us, under the forming hand of the Spirit of God. (2 Samuel.)
Thus, when in 1 Samuel, the testimony of his conscience was for him, he would gird himself with all the gladness in God that he could get. He put on the ephod, he ate the bread of the sanctuary, he had the prophet and the priest with him in exile, and he carried the sword of Goliath, sweet pledge as it was that no weapon formed against him could prosper. All this was his then, and he claimed it all with confidence, carrying within him his title to rejoice in spirit, though circumstances were against him, knowing full well that he might have all in God, though nothing in man. He ate the fruit of an unwounded conscience, the glad feast of the Lord’s unclouded countenance. Indeed he dared not then to have eaten the bread of mourners. Could he surround the altar of God with tears? Could he fast while the bridegroom was with him?
But now in 2 Samuel it is otherwise, for the testimony of his conscience was against him. He is now a sinner. It is sin that has found him out, and has brought him into remembrance before God, and it is not for such an one to keep holy day. He must bow his head and accept his punishment. And so he does, and brings forth fruit that was as much in season, as his previous harvest of joy and confidence had been in season. And in the same spirit of true repentance, he would be alone in the trouble. He would have Ittai his friend go back, and leave him to meet the sorrow alone, for it was he alone that had sinned and drawn out the hand of the Lord; but what had those sheep done? And still in the same spirit he sends back the ark and its priests, as having a joy for him that it did not become him now to taste. The ark, the presence of God, was David’s best joy; but he was not entitled now to have it, and therefore he sends it home. All this was just the sorrow that became him now. “Carry back the ark of God,” says he, “into the city: if I shall find favour in the eyes of the Lord, He will bring me again and show me both it and His habitation; but if He thus say, I have no delight in thee, behold here am I, let Him do to me as seemeth good to Him.”
Nothing of joy was his at present. Lot the ark go back to the city, to shed the gladness of its presence there, he will go forward to Mount Olivet with tears and barefooted. He will eat nothing but the bread of mourners, and know nothing but the sorrow of the Bridegroom’s absence. Surely this was godly sorrow working repentance. And beside all this, he will allow even the wicked to reproach him. Another Benjamite comes out against him to plague him sorely; one too whom he had never wronged, or done despite to, any more than to his kinsman Saul of old. But Shimei comes out against him in this the day of his calamity, and reviles him, casting stones at him, and cursing him still as he goes. But David reviles not again. He hears the righteous rebukes of God in all this, and bows his head. God had given Shimei a commission to do this. What could David suffer more than David deserved? was the thought of the heart of our penitent. Therefore let Shimei, the unworthy Shimei, do or speak as he may, with David it. is not Shimei but the Lord. (2 Sam. 15, 16.)
All this was fruit meet for repentance. It was all perfect in season. But though thus silent as towards Shimei, David in spirit judges that he may plead against Ahithophel, and he says, “O Lord, turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness.” And this desire the Lord allows, for he answers it by speedily confounding that evil counsellor.
The counsel which this apostate friend, and companion of David, counselled in those days, was as if a man had inquired at the oracle of God. But the Lord had now appointed to overthrow him. Absalom rejects his counsel, his word is passed by; and as his reputation for wisdom in the state was every thing to him, his household gods are thus now stolen from him, his “good thing” is gone, and he sinks down a defiled dishonoured ruin.
What a lesson to us all, beloved! What did any thing avail Haman, while Mordecai sat at the gate? What would not Saul give up, if he could but be honoured before the people? Oh the solemn lesson which all this reads to us. Have we, beloved, any thing that, if it were touched, our life would be touched, or is our life so bound up with Jesus, that we could stand the wreck of all beside? What treasures are they which we are laying up day by day? what vineyard is it that we are cultivating? Where is the ruling passion fixed, brethren? Where is the current of the heart flowing, what point is it hasting towards? Does Jesus draw its desires, and awaken its intelligence, or what of this world is its master-spring? It is well, beloved, to put these challenges to our poor hearts, and try them thus in the presence of our blessed Lord. “When Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled his ass, and arose, and gat him home to his house, to his city, and put his household in order, and hanged himself, and died.” (2 Sam. 17.)
And Absalom the king is soon to be like this counsellor of his kingdom, for the beast and his false prophet perish together. But there was no prayer in the month of David against Absalom, as there had been against Ahithophol. How very striking is this, as indeed is every expression that we get of his heart all through these scenes. Nothing can be more perfect than this drawing by the divine hand. I have noticed this already in some features, and here again we trace it. He numbers the people, setting captains over hundreds and thousands of them, and making Joab, Abishai, and Ittai the chiefs. But he would fain go forth himself, for it was his sin which had brought all this mischief on the land, and David was of too noble a heart to let the mischief find any in the foreground but himself; and beside, he has his desire on Absalom still, and judges that his presence might help to shield him, for David was of too soft a heart to disown the feelings of a father even towards a rebel son.
But his people will not hear of this. What a loved man he was! and deservedly so, I am well assured: one, I judge, of the most attractive men that ever lived, who had qualities which could well command, and then detain beyond almost any other, the hearts and desires of all who know him. “Thou shalt not go forth,” the people answered, “for if we flee away they will not care for us; but now thou art worth ten thousand of us therefore now it is better that thou succour us out of the city.” As afterwards, when he was hazarding his life in battle with the Philistines, his men sware to him, saying “Thou shalt go no more out with us to battle, that thou quench not the light of Israel” (2Sa. 21:17). And indeed he was their light, their gladness, and their leader, the honoured and loved one of his day, in favour with God and man. But he now bows to the word of his people, and though his heart is still towards Absalom, he goes not out, but, “deal gently for my sake with the young man, even with Absalom,” is the last command he gives his captains on sending them forth to the battle.
With a heart stored with such affections “he sits between the gates to wait the solemn issue,” and the captains and their armies go to the battle of the wood of Ephraim. Victory or defeat would be much the same to David. No result but must tell him whence it came, and be armed with a sad remembrance of that other battle in which another had fallen, fallen too in the judgment of God, as one murdered by his hand, though he was all the while dallying in the city. But the Lord is but refining, and in no wise destroying him. His chastening, blessed be His name, is salvation. For though He is jealous for His holy name, He pities His people. The battle is hot for a moment in the wood of Ephraim, but the Lord is in it, as before at Gibeon; and as there the hailstones, so here the wood devours more than the sword. There was a great slaughter that day of more than twenty thousand men. All is confusion and utter destruction in the ranks of the apostate, and Absalom is caught in the boughs of a great oak, and is taken up between the heaven and the earth, a spectacle to both. He is made a show of openly; for “he that is hanged is accursed of God,” “and cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.” (2 Sam. 18.)
2 Samuel 19 – 23.
Here was the end of another apostate, a more fearful one even than Saul. The paper on “Saul,” to which this is in some sort kindred, has shown us that the evil king of Israel was a type of the wicked one in the latter day, who is to do according to his will, to magnify himself above God, and hold nothing in honour or desire but himself and his own way. Absalom in his day, as I have already observed, is type of the same wicked one. They are different samples of the same last great enemy of God and his people, who is to fill up the measure of human iniquity, and then call down the penal fire of God on all the corruptions of the earth. But there are features of all this self-will and wickedness in Absalom, that exceed even what we saw in Saul. Thus, Saul had been produced by the desire of the revolted heart of the nation. He was the man after the nation’s heart. But Absalom generated his own evil preeminence. It was not the nation’s but his own desire that brings him forth. And there is more of the violation of all the laws of nature in Absalom than in Saul. Absalom is the profane as well as the wicked prince (Eze. 21:25). With him it is not simply unbridled wickedness, but that profane wickedness that could trample on all the claims even of nature. Heady, high-minded, disobedient to parents, unthankful, without natural affection, the very characteristics of the perilous times in the last days, are more awfully developed in Absalom, than perhaps in any other even of the same rank of persons in Scripture.
It is not merely a corrupted, but an usurped, kingdom we see in the hand of Absalom; and this is another advance in iniquity upon the times of Saul. And still further I may observe, that Absalom seems entirely to disclaim the Lord all through the day of his usurpation. There is not one thought of God in the kingdom then. Ahithophel’s counsel but no counsel from the Lord, — the strength of his thousands but no strength in the Lord, appears then. And as there is not one thought of God to stir his conscience, neither is there one thought or softening movement of heart because of his father’s sorrow. Even the counsel to smite David alone pleased Absalom well (2 Sam. 17). Even Saul could weep at times, and confess righteousness in David; but Absalom’s soul has nothing like a gracious visitation oven for a single moment. He never, if I may so say, even thinks of saying, “I have sinned,” as Saul does. For what does Absalom care for sin? “Tush, God does not see,” this is the language of his uncircumcised heart and lips from beginning to end.
Nor is there one Jonathan to relieve the entire darkness of the scene, as there had been in the court and camp of Saul. There was not one single point of relief with Absalom and all that was confederate with him. It is all the unmixed darkness of an evil and apostate hour. And the Lord can in no wise own him. He gives him no commission all through the days of his usurpation; He could not. He had entrusted Saul with the slaughter of the Amalekites, but Absalom is in no wise known to Him. He is his own, and none but his own, from beginning to end.
Such was Absalom, — one of the darkest pictures of human nature that we are given to look at in the word of God; and such is now his end. He hangs in the tree, — another Lot’s wife to be had in constant remembrance. He had taken and reared up for himself a pillar in the king’s dale, and called it after his own name, because he had no son to keep his memorial alive in the earth. But the Lord was now giving him another and a far different memorial — a memorial in shame and not in glory. His body was cast into a pit in the wood, and a great heap of stones was laid on him. All his glory was thus tarnished. He was hung by the hair of his head, which had been his boast in the flesh; and, instead of a, pillar to his own name, he is made a pillar to us — a witness of the shame and ruin of apostacy. — “The wise shall inherit glory, but shame shall be the promotion of fools.”
This overthrow of Absalom was like the loss of Pharaoh and his host in the Red Sea, or as the fall of Saul on Mount Gilboa, or as by and by, the ruin of that man who having planted the tabernacle of his palaces in the glorious holy mountain shall then come to his end, and none shall help him.
But here let us mark it, that Moses and the congregation of Israel may sing “the Lord has triumphed gloriously;” and Deborah and Barak in their turn may likewise sing, “so let all thine enemies perish, O Lord;” for songs belong to a merry heart, to those who have the testimony of their conscience with them. But there could be no music in David’s heart now. That heart was no sanctuary of praise now. How could David at this time enter the gates, and praise the Lord? Those gates open only to the righteous nation that keep the truth. God had appointed salvation for walls and bulwarks, and praise for gates; but David must be silent there, because he had sinned against the Lord. O dear Brethren, that we may be faithful to our own joys; that we may so carry ourselves before the Lord our God, as to be able to run along with the saints in their prosperity, and with the chosen in their gladness, and know no check in our spirit, as poor David now knows in this feast-day of the Lord.
No: David has no music at this time. Absalom had fallen, and the blood of Uriah was crying from the ground afresh in David’s ears. It was not meet that he should make merry and be glad. He could not eat of the sacrifices, for such and such things had befallen him (Lev. 10:19). Victory was defeat, and life was death to David. His path is still the perfect path of the penitent; and thus he now goes to his chamber rather than to his throne; and as he goes, he weeps. and says, “O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!”
Better is it to have our path ordered by the Spirit within, though it may be a path of heaviness, than allow it to be determined by mere circumstances around. Thus was it now with David. The Spirit of God was leading him along, and he shall find life and peace at the end, though his sin had made the way dark and dreary for the present. But his sorrow must be all his own. The people had earned a victory, and were entitled to their rewards, and the king’s sorrow must not be allowed to tarnish their joy. Joab therefore recalls David to his people, and his people’s claims upon him, and David is awakened and goes forth to take his place in the scene again. He arises and sits in the gate; all the people come before him, and the tide of their desires return to him, and all his enemies are put to shame (2 Sam. 19.)
Thus was the restoration in happy progress; but there arises even after this, a little delay and difficulty in setting all in order, for the mischief had been great. Hence the matter of Sheba, the son of Bichri, another Benjamite (2 Sam. 20.)
But the Lord returns to him in full reconciliation. He is again inquired of by him; and in a day of public calamity, David learns that no sin of his was then in remembrance, but the sin of Saul and his bloody house. And this was for the healing of David’s wounded spirit. The goodness of God had led him to repentance; and no sting was to be left behind, no remembrance of all that had now passed was to remain; save where our sin, beloved, is ever to be remembered, in the increased care and diligence and watchfulness of our own spirit (2 Sam. 21.)
This was very gracious. But even more than this is preparing to witness to David what God was; for in the same grace and tender-kindness, the good Lord, in due season, prepares a song for David, wherein the Spirit leads him to forget all but the divine mercies. “David spake the words of this song in the day that the Lord had delivered him out of the hand of all his enemies, and out of the hand of Saul.” It is Saul that is here called to mind and not Absalom. Nothing is remembered but the injuries of an evil and unoffended enemy, and all the tale of sin and shame that followed is forgotten. David sings like a “virgin soul.” The Spirit recalls nothing that could have checked the song, and the flow of his heart in the joy of it; for when the Lord forgives He forgets also. At the end of the wilderness (though the Lord had disciplined and rebuked Israel by the way), it was only this: “He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel” (2 Sam. 22.)
There was something very gracious and exalted in the Lord putting this song into David’s lips. But we are to see greater things than even these, for after this song which thus rehearses the goodness of God and his rich triumphant grace, we read “the last words of David.” In them the Spirit leads him to trace the moral of his whole history. His commission as King of Israel had been to rule “in the fear of God,” and thus be as “the light of the morning” to his people. But this had not been so, and therefore his house was for the present not to be established; but the Spirit leads him still onward to look above present failure to One who should thus rule and thus establish his house for ever, and in whom these mercies of God to him should be sure and abiding mercies, when also the sons of the alien, the sons of Belial, the seed of all evil-doers, should be utterly consumed in the decreed place, thrust away as unprofitable thorns. To this, as to his rest, the Spirit of God leads David, and these are his “last words” (2 Sam. 23. )
Thus, in these three chapters, we get the full reconciliation between God and his servant, attested by three witnesses. The matter of the Gibeonites — the song — the last words of David — all tell us this. And thus we have seen the way of David, but also the end of the Lord. “The man who was raised up on high,” “the anointed of the God of Jacob,” “the sweet Psalmist of Israel,” is set up to celebrate in his own person and history the shining ways of God. Sin had reigned unto death; but grace had also reigned, through righteousness, unto eternal life, by Jesus Christ our Lord.
2 Samuel.
Here we end the path of David through the 1st and 2nd books of Samuel, or through the, times of “Saul” and “Absalom.” It is grace which God has been exhibiting in this history; and exhibiting in it all its blessed fulness. — We see its early dawn in the election of David, when men were despising him (1Sa. 16:11). — We see its brighter and fuller shinings all through the days of the trial and sorrow of righteousness, for grace then was watching over its object, lest any fowler should hurt him, keeping him, though hunted like a bird in the mountains, night and day (1 Sam. 18 – 31). Then, grace established this elect and favoured one in honour and peace above the malice and power of all his foes (2 Sam. 5). At the end grace shows its brightest glory, and does its noblest and holiest work, — it restores this elect and honoured one, when, in a dark and evil hour, he had turned from the ways of righteousness and peace (2 Sam. 11 – 23). Then did it rise to its noonday strength. Its early dawn had been sweet, the course which it then ran, as in the heavens, was bright and steady, but its full glory now broke out, when tainted David, like a “virgin soul,” sings his joys and triumphs in God.
These were the treasures of grace; and God was making a show of them, to His praise and our comfort, in David. Glory comes forth to shine afterwards, in like manner, in Solomon; but grace thus beforehand, had told of herself in David. It was grace electing, grace refreshing, grace exalting, and grace restoring, that the lips of the sinner might be occupied with a theme of blissful and everlasting praise.
But there is one other thing that we have to notice still. — As grace was thus displayed towards David, so was it displayed in David. It was the great rule of his life, giving character to his dealings with others, as it had thus given character to God’s dealings with Him. Being called to inherit blessing, he renders blessing. Thus, when reviled, he reviled not again (1Sa. 17:29). Afterwards when persecuted, he threatened not, but suffered it (1 Sam 18 – 31). In every scene in which he is called to take a part, either in action or in suffering (save where he is turned aside by Satan for awhile, as we have been seeing), it is not himself he is seeking or honouring, but others that he is serving in grace and kindness. The death of Saul and Jonathan make easy way for David to the throne; but his own advantage is not the circumstance in that event which governs his thoughts about it, he sees only the dishonour of the Lords anointed in it, and therefore weeps, instead of triumphs, over the day of Mount Gilboa. So in the fall of Abner and Ishbosheth, which was the quenching of the last light of Saul in Israel, it is only the sorrow and fasting of David that we hear of. It was not his own honour or advantage, that even then determined the state of his mind. — And so when fully settled in the throne, he is the man of grace and kindness still, remembering in that hour of glory those who had been the friends of his affliction and exile, and making it his care and business to find out some of the house of Saul to whom he might show the “kindness of God” (2 Sam. 1 – 10). He would be an imitator or follower of God, as a dear child; for what a God-like desire was that, “Is there not yet any of the house of Saul that I might show the kindness of God unto him?” Saul’s house had deserved evil, and not good, from David; but this made David’s kindness to them God’s kindness, for “God commendeth His love toward us, in that when we were yet sinners Christ died for us.” — And, in the same grace afterwards, David refuses to judge Shimei (2 Sam. 16, 19). The thought of the sons of Zeruiah was loathsome to David’s soul. “What have I to do with you, ye sons of Zeruiah?” says he to them, when they were for exacting righteousness. They understood not grace, but David understood nothing else. Mercy had rejoiced over judgment towards himself in the heart of the Lord, and nothing but the same can or must be found in the heart of David towards Shimei or the worst of his enemies.
Thus the history of David, through these 1st and 2nd books of Samuel, or through these times of “Saul” and “Absalom,” tells us, beloved, what God’s ways are, and what our ways should be. As His ways to us are in grace, so should be our ways to one another and to all men. In “this present evil world” of sin and sorrow we are learning God’s grace to perfection, in our own souls, daily, and should let others learn it in our walk and intercourse with them in like manner daily. By and by in the shining “world to come,” we shall learn glory in the same perfection. For David was followed by Solomon, and the God of all grace has called us unto His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, that He Himself may be our boast and song, and satisfying praise for ever and ever.
Dearly beloved, in the joy and liberty of the precious and perfect love which is ours now, let us pray that we might abound in the hope of the kingdom that is to be ours also, and walk above a world in which our blessed Master could not rest. — Grant this to all thy saints, O Lord, for Jesus our Saviour’s sake! Amen.

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Estos libros cristianos son en varios formatos, pdf, MS doc, RTF, e-Sword, theWord, mySword. Son libros cristianos para edificación y para el ministro profesional. Puede ser que hay unos libros que son comerciales (que tienes que comprar), pero los comerciales son muy pocos entre tantos. Como siempre, quien que lee un libro, debe compararlo con la Biblia para ver si es bíblico o no. No consto que todos son libre de problemas doctrinales o errores de lógica, o que viene de personas que no tienen buen testimonio. Tomo lo bueno, y deja lo no bueno. Mi propósito es de proveer una biblioteca cristiana para cristianos y ministros.

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Analizando el proceso de la fornicación

Sermones por Pastor David Cox

En esta serie de cuatro sermones, examinamos el proceso de la fornicación.

1. El Proceso de la Fornicación.
2. La Cosecha.
3. La Carnita
4.Definición de Fornicación.

Ve La asechanza del Diablo de la Trampa Bella