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2 Peter 1:12

Dear Readers,

January 2011

“Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God upon every remembrance of you” (Philippians 1:2, 3). I pray that you are thriving spiritually and in good health. 

Florida Camp Meeting: Eden House Fellowship is hosting a non-denominational Bible Study Retreat from March 2-6, at Camp Thunderbird near Apopka, Florida. The planned agenda features seminars and activities designed to enhance your Bible study e
xperience. Contact Jerri at 407-291-9565 for further information.

In this Issue

Thank You!

by Lynnford Beachy

Sin Shall Not Have Dominion (Part 4)

by Charles Fitch

Obituary Notice Something for the Young at Heart
You May Freely Eat?

by Jim Raymond


Thank You! 

These two words, in the right setting, can trigger a flood of emotions that will melt even a hard-hearted person. Thankfulness is an emotion that can be shared by both the giver and the receiver of these precious words. Yet, they are used far too little, especially in the time in which we are living. 

Paul wrote to Timothy, “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” (2 Timothy 3:1-5). 

As you read Paul’s account of the last days your mind probably goes to all the ungodly world-loving people in the world. But, Paul ends his account by saying these people have “a form of godliness” but deny “the power thereof.” He is talking about the condition of the church in the last days. One of the identifying marks is unthank- fulness. 

Referring to those who forsook God, Paul wrote, “When they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened” (Romans 1:21). Here, Paul linked unthankfulness to finally rejecting God. We cannot afford to let that happen to us. 

We have a multitude of things in our lives for which to be thankful. Even those in difficult conditions can count many things for which to thank God. A few years ago I visited a very poor part of India, and I passed a barren part of ground that was filled with a group of kids in tattered clothes, most were barefoot, playing cricket with a tree branch and an old ragged ball. They were running around laughing, having as much fun as any group of kids in a rich community. I noticed children playing with old bottles or sticks and enjoying them as thoroughly as if they were expensive toys. You don’t have to have much to be thankful. The fact that you can breathe is enough to give God thanks. 

The patriarch, Job, was a rich man, but in one day he lost everything, including his children. Yet, through all this he said, “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD” (Job 1:21). Thankfulness is not the result of having many possessions, but of appreciating the blessings which you receive. 

Riches and Thankfulness 

Many rich people are sad and troubled as a result of their riches. Solomon wrote, “He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity. When goods increase, they are increased that eat them: and what good is there to the owners thereof, saving the beholding of them with their eyes? The sleep of a labouring man is sweet, whether he eat little or much: but the abundance of the rich will not suffer him to sleep. There is a sore evil which I have seen under the sun, namely, riches kept for the owners thereof to their hurt” (Ecclesiastes 5:10-13). 

Often riches bring more sorrow and trouble than they are worth. “The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it” (Proverbs 10:22). God’s blessings of riches come without the added worry of trying tenaciously to hold on to them. Many people who are cumbered with riches have sorrow from worrying about the possibility of losing their riches, or busied trying to get more riches. Often people will work long and hard to get riches, and then they do not have time to enjoy them because they use their time to get more riches. 

“There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing: there is that maketh himself poor, yet hath great riches” (Proverbs 13:7). Earthly treasures are only temporary. Great riches come from having Christ in your heart, and you can be thankful for this treasure at any time. Be thankful for what you have. Most people don’t know what they have until they lose it. Don’t wait until it’s gone to be thankful for what you have. 

A Lesson from a Leper 

When Jesus “entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole” (Luke 17:12-19). 

The Samaritans and Jews were both descendents of Abraham yet, they treated each other with terrible racial prejudice. Of the ten lepers who were healed, only a Samaritan returned to give thanks. Leprosy was a terrible disease! Certainly the other lepers were glad to be healed, yet they failed to express their appreciation by saying, “Thank you.” God wants us to not only be thankful, but to express our thanks to God for all the blessings he sends our way. Surely, you have good reason right now to thank God for something He has done for you. Won’t you take the time to do it now? Amazing things can happen when you take time to thank God! 

Jehoshaphat’s Prayer 

Jehoshpaphat remembered to thank God for his blessings even before he received them. 

Jehoshaphat used one of the strangest war strategies ever recorded in the Bible. The record of it is found in 2 Chronicles chapter 20. Jehoshaphat and his army were being invaded by a huge confederate army. Jehoshaphat sought the Lord for guidance in an eloquent prayer, praising God for his kindness and power, and asking for deliverance. God revealed through the prophet Jahaziel that they would not have to fight in this battle. Jehoshaphat believed this prophecy and incorporated a strange battle strategy. 

“And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the LORD, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the LORD; for his mercy endureth for ever. And when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten” (2 Chronicles 20:21-22). 

There is no instance in recorded history where singers had ever led an army into battle before, but Jehoshaphat believed that his army would not be fighting that day. God honored his faith! As soon as the singers began to praise God, He began to fight for them. 

This story has many excellent lessons for us. We learn through this model prayer (2 Chronicles 20:6-12) to begin our prayers by extolling God’s goodness, followed by expressing our own weakness, then making our petition for help, and finally praising God for the answer to the petition requested. We also learn the value of giving praise and thanksgiving to God. The moment praise was begun was the moment God began to fight for them. In a real way we learn that God “inhabitest the praises of Israel” (Psalms 22:3). 

When we are gathered to worship God and wish to have His presence, it is good to follow this counsel: “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name” (Psalms 100:4). God will inhabit your praises, and bless you with His presence. 

God has blessed you, now bless Him in return by giving thanks unto Him. 

Thank God for People 

We should especially thank God for all the people God has put in our lives. Paul wrote to the Thessalonians, saying, “We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers” (1 Thessalonians 1:2). If we are truly thankful for others, we should make mention of them in our prayers to God. 

Paul exhorted, “that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:1-5). 

Paul encouraged us to pray for others, and specifically give thanks to God for them. The reason Paul gives for this exhortation is because God wants everyone to be saved. Our prayers for others are somehow beneficial to their salvation. Part of these prayers is to give thanks for them. And this thanks is to be given, not only for the nice people in our lives, but for “all men,” even those who treat us badly. 

The realization of this exhortation hit me recently. I knew to give thanks for the things He has done in my life, but the part about giving thanks specifically for people, I had taken for granted. I was thankful for people in my life, but I did not spend much time in prayer thanking God for those people. It has helped me to spend time to acknowledge and recount all of the wonderful people God has put in my life, starting with my wife and children. I am also very thankful for all of my church family that God has given me. I thank God for you, the one who is reading this study right now. You are important in my life and to the work of God. I am sure you, too, have many people in your life for whom you can give God thanks. 

Give Thanks for Everything 

“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). This text says we should give thanks for everything, not just the things we think are good. The truth is, we are not capable on our own to recognize everything God has put in our lives as blessings. Sometimes God’s blessings are disguised. 

I have heard a story about a poor farmer whose only horse ran away. His neighbors came to him saying, “We are sorry to hear of your misfortune.” The farmer replied, “How do you know it’s bad?” His neighbors left him puzzled. The next day, the farmer’s horse returned along with a wild horse, so now the farmer had two horses. His neighbors came to congratulate him for his good fortune. The farmer replied, “How do you know it’s good.” The following day, the farmer’s son was attempting to break the wild horse, when he was thrown off and broke his leg. Again the neighbors came to console him. The farmer replied, “How do you know it’s bad?” By this time his neighbors were done talking to him. The next morning a soldier rode through town collecting all the able bodied young men to go to war. The farmer’s son could not go because his leg was broken. You can not always tell when something is a blessing, so you might as well thank God for everything. 

Paul besought the Lord three times to remove something from him, but God had a reason for it, and responded, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). 

I read a story about Corrie ten Boom (a Christian who helped Jews escape the holocaust during World War II), who was thrust into a concentration camp where she was tortured and experienced many hardships. The section of the camp where Corrie and her sister stayed became infested with bed bugs. One day in prayer Corrie’s sister thanked God for the bed bugs. Corrie was outraged, asking, “How could you thank God for bed bugs?” Corrie’s sister replied by quoting “In every thing give thanks” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). A few days later they learned how the bed bugs were truly a blessing. Because of them, the guards avoided that area of the camp, which allowed them to have relative freedom to conduct Bible studies and distribute and hide portions of the Bible. God’s blessing here was disguised as bed bugs. 

The Sacrifice of Praise 

Paul wrote, “By him [Christ] therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name” (Hebrews 13:15). The sacrifice of praise is to give thanks to God. This is called “the fruit of our lips.” God spoke through Isaiah, “I create the fruit of the lips” (Isaiah 57:19). God is the one who produces this fruit in us. He gives us abundant reasons to thank and praise Him, and He delights to hear thanks and praise return to Him. The greatest gift God has given is the gift of His only begotten son. “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift” (2 Corinthians 9:15). 

Whenever God’s blessings come to your remembrance, take time to thank God. “Rejoice in the LORD, ye righteous; and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness” (Psalms 97:12). It is impossible to praise God too much, for He is worthy of more than we could ever give. The Psalmist wrote, “Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power. Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness” (Psalms 150:1, 2). 

I pray that God will instill in each of us grateful attitudes that spring forth with thanksgiving for everything in our lives, including every person. “Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving” (Colossians 4:2). 

Obituary Notice 

    Pastor Bob Habenicht and his wife, Ardis, were missionaries to Brazil for many years, where they established several schools. Bob was an avid gardener and taught his skills to students in Brazil. In his later years he learned the truth about God, and acquired a passion to share this truth with others, especially leaders in his church and the students he had trained in Brazil. He wrote a book entitled, Pastor Bob’s Confession, in which he gave his testimony of how he learned the truth about God in contrast to the popular trinitarian concept. (Contact us to obtain a copy of this book.)  Bob_Habenicht

    Pastor Bob suffered from a head injury as a result of a fall during his last trip to Brazil in 2009. His fall caused Bob to return to the US earlier than expected. My family and I visited him at a recovery center near Miami, Florida shortly after his return. It was impressive to see his passion for lost souls. He wept as he recounted his sadness at not being able to get much accomplished in Brazil in his last trip, and his fear that he would not be able to return. He really loved the people to whom he ministered. He was truly a godly pastor to many of God’s children. He will be deeply missed.    Editor 

    Bob’s son, Har Mahdeem, wrote the following obituary: 

About 9:30 AM, 22 December 2010, Pastor Bob Habenicht quietly breathed his last, as his daughter Cynthia spoke to him about his Blessed Hope. 

At 9:00 AM, 23 December, he was buried, a block from his home, in Floral Crest Cemetary. Near Bryant, Alabama. 

At 3:00 PM that same day, a lovely memorial service was held at Floral Crest church, officiated by Pastor Karl Doerner, of Cynthia’s congregation in Birmingham. Many pleasant memories were recounted by friends and family. This was followed by a supper provided by the ladies of the congregation. 

Pastor Bob, Robert Harvey Habe- nicht, Jr. was born in Michigan, 26 April 1932. 

Our condolences to all his friends among your flock. 

 Har Mahdeem 

(Please pray for Bob’s widow, Ardis, and the rest of the family as they grieve the loss of this dear soul. “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints”—Psalms 116:15.    Editor


You May Freely Eat? 

by Jim Raymond 

(Brother Jim Raymond has been a food scientist for many years, and has agreed to share some of his knowledge with us.    Editor

The Importance of Vitamin-D 

For this issue of YMFE, I would like to share the following news release (reproduced with the author’s permission). It was written by John Cannell, MD, in response to the US Food and Nutrition Board’s November 30th decision to continue recommending a daily intake of Vitamin-D which, according to the world’s leading Vitamin-D researchers, falls well below even the top level of inadequacy. Unfortunately, attaining the FNB’s Recommended Daily Intake will do essentially nothing to benefit those who get enough sun exposure or for those who get no exposure and rely solely on dietary sources to reach desired blood levels. 

Please pay attention to his many references that point out the adequate to optimal intake range, the benefits of the adequate-optimal intake, and the severe public health risks of failing to meet adequate intake levels. I appreciate the way Dr. Cannell, consistently emphasizes moderate daily sun exposure as the best of the two most effective natural ways to get our D3 (Sun first — followed by supplementation with artificial UVB light and/or oral D3). 

Even though most of us are well into “Vitamin-D Winter”, it’s not too late to apply the knowledge you’ll gain from the information in this news release.  For more information on Vitamin-D3 you can consult back issues of Present Truth ranging from October 2009 thru February 2010, or search the newsletters on the Present Truth website for “D3”, and you will find enough information on Dr. Cannell’s website to make you a local vitamin-D expert: www.vitamindcouncil.org. As always questions or comments are welcome. 

Blessings! JR 

Today, the Food and Nutrition Board has Failed Millions… 

After 13 years of silence, the quasi-governmental agency, the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) Food and Nutrition Board (FNB), yesterday recommended that a three - pound premature infant can take virtually the same amount of vitamin D as a 300 pound pregnant woman. While that 400 IU/day dose is close to adequate for infants, 600 IU/day in pregnant women will do nothing to help the three childhood epidemics most closely associated with gestational and early childhood vitamin D deficiencies: asthma, auto-immune disorders, and, as recently reported in the largest pediatric journal in the world, autism (1).  Professor Bruce Hollis of the Medical University of South Carolina has shown pregnant and lactating women need at least 5,000 IU/day, not 600. 

The FNB also reported that vitamin D toxicity might occur at an intake of 10,000 IU/day (250 micrograms), although they could produce no reproducible evidence that 10,000 IU/day has ever caused toxicity in humans and only one poorly conducted study indicating 20,000 IU/day may cause mild elevations in serum calcium but not clinical toxicity. 

Viewed with different measure, this FNB report recommends that an infant should take 10 micrograms/day (400 IU) and the pregnant women 15 micrograms/day (600 IU). As a single 30 minutes dose of summer sunshine gives adults more than 10,000 IU (250 micrograms), the FNB is apparently also warning that natural vitamin D input — as occurred from the sun before the widespread use of sunscreen — is dangerous. That is, the FNB is implying that God does not know what he is doing. 

Disturbingly, this FNB committee focused on bone health, just like they did 14 years ago. They ignored the thousands of studies from the last ten years that showed higher doses of vitamin D helps: heart health, brain health, breast health, prostate health, pancreatic health, muscle health, nerve health, eye health, immune health, colon health, liver health, mood health, skin health, and especially fetal health. 

Tens of millions of pregnant women and their breast-feeding infants are severely vitamin D deficient, resulting in a great increase in the medieval disease, rickets. The FNB report seems to reason that if so many pregnant women have low vitamin D blood levels then it must be OK because such low levels are so common. However, such circular logic simply represents the cave man existence of most modern day pregnant women. 

Hence, if you want to optimize your vitamin D levels — not just optimize the bone effect — supplementing is crucial. But it is almost impossible to significantly raise your vitamin D levels when supplementing at only 600 IU/day (15 micrograms). 

Pregnant women taking 400 IU/day have the same blood levels as pregnant women not taking vitamin D; that is, 400 IU is a meaninglessly small dose for pregnant women. Even taking 2,000 IU/day of vitamin D will only increase the vitamin D levels of most pregnant women by about 10 points, depending mainly on their weight. Professor Bruce Hollis has shown that 2,000 IU/day does not raise vitamin D to healthy or natural levels in either pregnant or lactating women. Therefore supplementing with higher amounts — like 5,000 IU/day — is crucial for those women who want their fetus to enjoy optimal vitamin D levels, and the future health benefits that go along with it. 

For example, taking only two of the hundreds of recently published studies:  Sunshine

Professor Urashima and colleagues in Japan gave 1,200 IU/day of vitamin D3 for six months to Japanese 10 year-olds in a randomized controlled trial. They found vitamin D dramatically reduced the incidence of influenza A as well as the episodes of asthma attacks in the treated kids while the placebo group was not so fortunate. If Dr. Urashima had followed the newest FNB recommendations, it is unlikely that 400 IU/day treatment would have done much of anything and some of the treated young teenagers may have come to serious harm without the vitamin D. 

Likewise, a randomized controlled prevention trial of adults by Professor Joan Lappe and colleagues at Creighton University, which showed dramatic improvements in the health of internal organs, used more than twice the FNB’s new adult recommendations. 

Finally, the FNB committee consulted with 14 vitamin D experts and — after reading these 14 different reports — the FNB decided to suppress their reports. Many of these 14 consultants are either famous vitamin D researchers, like Professor Robert Heaney at Creighton, or in the case of Professor Walter Willett at Harvard, the single best-known nutritionist in the world. So, the FNB will not tell us what Professors Heaney and Willett thought of their new report? Why not? 

Yesterday, the Vitamin D Council directed our attorney to file a federal Freedom of Information (FOI) request to the IOM’s FNB for the release of these 14 reports. 

I [Dr. Cannell], my family, most of my friends, hundreds of patients, and thousands of readers of the Vitamin D Council newsletter, have been taking 5,000 IU/day for up to eight years. Not only have they reported no significant side-effects, indeed, they have reported greatly improved health in multiple organ systems. 

My advice: especially for pregnant women, continue taking 5,000 IU/day until your (OH)D] is between 50 ng/ml and 80 ng/ml (the vitamin D blood levels obtained by humans who live and work in the sun and the mid-point of the current reference ranges at all American laboratories). Gestational vitamin D deficiency is not only associated with rickets, but a significantly increased risk of neonatal pneumonia (2), a doubled risk for preeclampsia (3), a tripled risk for gestational diabetes (4), and a quadrupled risk for primary cesarean section (5). 


Yesterday, the FNB failed millions of pregnant women whose as yet unborn babies will pay the price. Let us hope the FNB will comply with the spirit of “transparency” by quickly responding to our freedom of Information requests. 

John Cannell, MD
Executive Director
The Vitamin D Council
1241 Johnson Ave. #134
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 

(1)    Cannell J.J. On the aetiology of autism. Acta Paediatr. 2010 Aug;99(8):1128-30. Epub 2010 May 19. 

(2)    Karatekin G, Kaya A, Salihoglu O, Balci H, Nuhoglu A. Association of subclinical vitamin D deficiency in newborns with acute lower respiratory infection and their mothers. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2009;63(4):473-7. 

(3)    Bodnar LM, Catov JM, Simhan HN, Holick MF, Powers RW, Roberts JM. Maternal vitamin D deficiency increases the risk of preeclampsia. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2007;92(9):3517-22. 

(4)    Zhang C, Qiu C, Hu FB, David RM, van Dam RM, Bralley A, Williams MA. Maternal plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations and the risk for gestational diabetes mellitus. PLoS One. 2008;3(11):e3753. 

(5)    Merewood A, Mehta SD, Chen TC, Bauchner H, Holick MF. Association between vitamin D deficiency and primary cesarean section. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2009;94(3):940-5. 

Sin Shall Not Have Dominion Over You (Part 4) 

by Charles Fitch 

(Charles Fitch was a pastor of the Free Presbyterian Church of Newark, NJ. In 1840 he wrote a series of letters to the headquarters of his church defending his belief in God’s power to save us from sin. Here are those letters.    Editor

We are, therefore, to cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, by the promises of God. These contain the truth, through which we may be sanctified, according to our Saviour’s prayer. 

Two Inquiries Here Arise: 

  • What has God promised? 
  • How shall we gain the fulfillment of the promises? 

1. I remember that it is said, (Galatians 3:16), “Now, to Abraham and to his seed were the promises made,” and that (29th verse), “if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise.” When I find a promise in the Bible adapted to the necessities of my case, as I am one of Abraham’s seed, if I am Christ’s, I am one of those to whom that promise was made, and I am an heir to all the good which God in that promise, has pledged Himself to bestow. With this assurance I look to the promises, and inquire, with eager interest, what has God my Redeemer promised to give me? Here I may look through the whole Bible, for to Abraham and his seed were the promises made, and I am one of them, because I believe in Christ. 

“And the Lord thy God shall circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live” (Deuteronomy 30:6). It is very plain that he who did thus love God, would not sin. The reason why this and other exceeding great and precious promises have not been fulfilled, to all God’s professing people in every age, will appear, when I shall come to show how we may gain the fulfillment of the promises. 

“Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean; from all your filthiness, and from all your idols will I cleanse you. A new heart, also, will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments and do them.… I will also save you from all your uncleanness” (Ezekiel 36:25-27, 29). If it should be said that those promises were made to the Jews, I reply, “to Abraham and his seed were the promises made” (Galatians 3:16), and of these I clam to be. No one among them can have a need to be cleansed from all his filthiness, and from all his idols, and to be saved from all his uncleanness, more than I do. I do, therefore, regard myself as an heir to the good here promised. 

“And they shall be My people, and I will be their God. And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear Me forever, for the good of them and of their children after them: and I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them to do them good: but I will put My fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from Me” (Jeremiah 32:38-40). Should it again be said that these promises were made to the Jews only, I utterly deny that any natural descendant of Abraham has any right, title, or inheritance, in these exceeding great and precious promises, which does not equally belong to me as a disciple of Christ. Should it be said, that these promises are connected with the literal return of the Jews to their own land, I reply, that God has said, “No good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly” (Psalms 84:11); and that “He that spared not His Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things” (Romans 8:32). And since no lost sinner more needs the good here promised than myself, I urge my humble claim through Christ to all the good here brought to view, and regard it as my inheritance. 

Again, it is said, “Behold the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah; not according to the first covenant that I made with their fathers, in the day that I took them by the hand, to bring them out of the land of Egypt; (which My covenant they brake, although I was an husband to them, saith the Lord.) But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; after those days, saith the Lord, I will put My law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and I will be their God and they shall be my people” (Jeremiah 31:31-33). This is the same pledge of being brought to love God with all the heart, soul, mind, and strength: and of this pledge and benefit of the new covenant I cannot be deprived; for of this new covenant Christ is the mediator, as we are told by Paul, in his epistle to the Hebrews; so that to fulfill this new covenant is the very thing which Christ came to do. His own blood, Christ Himself called “the blood of the new testament,” or covenant (Mark 14:24); and Paul said of himself and his fellow apostles, “God hath made us able ministers of the new testament, not of the letter that killeth, but of the Spirit that giveth life” (2 Corinthians 3:6). This new covenant therefore, which puts God’s law in the hearts of His people and by this means takes away their sins, should be regarded as the great and glorious theme of them that preach in the name of Christ. It is the fulfillment of this covenant which Christ has in view, when He says, “blessed are they that do hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6). “He that cometh to Me… shall never thirst. As the living Father hath sent Me, and I live by the Father;… so he that eateth Me, even he shall live by Me” (John 6:35, 57). “Ask, and ye shall receive; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you, for every one that asketh, receiveth; and he that seeketh, findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. If a son ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye, then, being evil, know how to give good things to your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask Him?” (Matthew 7:7-11; Luke 11:9-13). That these promises refer to the blessings of the new covenant, I infer from the fact, that there is no good which we so much need, as to have God’s law put into our hearts, so that we may truly love him, “with all our heart, and with all our soul” (Matthew 22:37; Deuteronomy 10:12). And since He has made this covenant, and sent Christ to be the Mediator of it, and has thus assured us of His utmost readiness to give every good thing, I see the way wide open, for Christians to be “cleansed from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). It is in the fulfillment of this new covenant, that that will be accomplished for which our Saviour taught us to pray — “Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven.” To the blessings of this new covenant we may also apply other great and precious promises of our Saviour. “All things whatsoever ye ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive” (Matthew 21:22). “Hitherto ye have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full” (John 16:24). When the Christian finds his sins taken away, and the new covenant fulfilled in him, so that he does “love God with all his heart, and with all his soul,” then “his joy is full,” and it never can be full until then. Accordingly, John, in writing his epistle, says, “these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full” (1 John 1:4). And what does he then write, to give Christians fullness of joy? Why, that “the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin; that we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness; that He was manifested to take away our sins, and that whosoever abideth in Him sinneth not” (1 John 1:7, 9; 3:5, 6). These are the very things to give the Christian fullness of joy, and nothing short of these can do it. 

One more passage I will now quote, and then on this point I shall have done. It is that passage, in relation to which Paul says to the Corinthians, “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Corinthians 7:1). The passage is this: “For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them and walk in them, and I will be their God, and they shall be My people, Wherefore, come out from among them and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing, and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty” (2 Corinthians 6:16- 18). 

Here, in my view, the apostle means to teach that, in the promises, “I will dwell in them and walk in them, and I will be their God and they shall be My people,” there is a promise of being cleansed from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, and of perfecting holiness in the fear of God. If, then, we can find a way to secure to us the fulfillment of these exceeding great and precious promises, we shall, as it seems to me, attain to the highest possible good. I shall therefore now inquire, 

2. How shall we gain the fulfillment of God’s promises? 

On this point I remark, that there is a passage which has served me as a key to unlock the rich treasures of God’s word; and which, for some years, has been opening to me more and more “the riches of the glory of Christ’s inheritance in the saints” (Ephesians 1:8), and which has done very much to bring me where I am, “by the grace of God,” today. It is found in 2 Corinthians 1:20: “For all the promises of God in Him (Christ) are yea, and in Him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.” By this I understand, that while no promise of God is ever fulfilled to us, except for Christ’s sake, we may have the fulfillment of every promise, for the fulfillment of which we trust in Christ; and that when we trust in Christ, and receive for His sake the fulfillment of God’s promises, God is glorified by us. Take then the promise, “I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for Mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins” (Isaiah 43:25). To whom is that promise fulfilled? To him, and to him only, who trusts in Christ, to have it fulfilled to him for Christ’s sake. Such an one always receives pardon, and none else. 

Take now the promises, “I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and make you clean; from all your filthiness, and from all your idols will I cleanse you, and I will save you from all your uncleanness” (Ezekiel 36:25, 29); “The very God of peace, who hath called you, is faithful to sanctify you wholly, and to preserve your whole spirit and soul and body, blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:23); and to whom are those promises fulfilled? Like the promises pledging forgiveness of sin, they are all yea and amen in Christ, to the glory of God by us, so that when we come to Christ, and trust in Him, to have these promises fulfilled to us for His sake, “God will glorify Himself, by sprinkling clean water upon us, by cleansing us from all our filthiness and from all our idols, and by sanctifying us wholly, and preserving our whole spirit, and soul, and body, blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Through the promises of God, then, we cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, and perfect holiness in the fear of God, when we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, that these promises will be fulfilled to us for His sake. Herein, it seems to me, there is, in these last days, a great departure from the faith — and that when the church of Christ will learn to cleanse herself from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, and to perfect holiness in the fear of God, by trusting in Christ for the fulfillment of those exceeding great and precious promises which pledge to her salvation from all her uncleanness, she will put on her beautiful garments, and arise and shine, her light having come, and the glory of the Lord having arisen upon her (Isaiah 52:1; 60:1). 

And now dear brother, I will look directly to your questions. You have already had abundant reply as to the question, whether men are, or may be holy in this life. While I believe that there is little holiness in the world, I believe there is abundant provision made in God’s grace by which Christians may “stand perfect and complete in all the will of God” (Colossians 4:12); and I believe that in the days of Paul, Peter and John, this grace was fully available, through the faith in Christ, for the fulfillment of God’s promises — and no less so now, to all who will in the same way avail themselves of it. 

As it respects the martyrs, — I believe that no man ever became a martyr for Christ, who was not actually cleansed from all sin; because, the giving up of the whole world, and life itself, for Christ’s sake, fully evince that such a one must have loved Christ, with his whole and undivided heart, and must therefore, have been free from sin. Men may become martyrs to other things, with no regard to Christ, as millions have done to the mad passions of men; but no man, in my apprehension, ever could become a martyr for Christ’s sake, whose heart was not purified, and filled with love to Christ. I believe, therefore, that every real gospel martyr was cleansed from sin, before he left the world. 

In modern times, many godly men have seemed not fully to apprehend all the riches of the grace of God, and have maintained that no Christian ever did on earth “cleanse himself from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, and perfect holiness in the fear of God.” (2 Corinthians 7:1). But if a man can be cleansed from sin, by faith in Christ for the fulfillment of God’s promises, a moment before death, why not a day, a year or twenty or fifty years? 

You ask my views, respecting the general character of those who have embraced the doctrine of entire sanctification in this life. I answer, I have no doubt that some, professing a belief in this doctrine, have been licentious – so have some who profess to believe in the doctrine of the new birth, but I do not see that in either case, their licentiousness is in any sense chargeable, upon the doctrine which they profess to believe. I can no more conceive that a man should become licentious as a direct consequence of trusting in Christ to be kept by the grace of God from all sin, than that a man should sink to hell, in consequence of trusting in Christ to save him from hell. In either case, in my apprehension, the evil must result from want of faith in Christ, and not from the exercise of it. 

And now, as to the greater safety of those that fear always – I answer, that he who trusts in Christ to be kept from sin, is the man, and the only man, that does fear always. He not only fears, but knows that he never shall, in any instance, keep himself, and therefore always flies to Christ; while he who does not fear always, does not trust in Christ, and therefore falls into sin. I do therefore most fully believe, that he who fears always, is most safe, provided his fears are sufficiently great to drive him to the Lord, in whom alone he has righteousness and strength. This fear hath no torment – it is a sweet reliance on Christ. 

I do not, therefore, think that any man’s absurdities, irregularities, inconsistencies, or crimes, are in any sense chargeable upon the doctrine which I advocate. The more precious the coin, the more desirable the counterfeit, to a wicked man. That the blessed doctrine of being kept from all sin by faith in Christ, will be counterfeited by unholy men, for licentious purpose, I have not a doubt; but shall I, therefore, cast away the coin – the most precious that ever fell down to lost man, from the exhaustless mint of heaven! No, my brother. The Word of God assures me that my Redeemer was “called Jesus, because He should save His people from their sin” (Matthew 1:21); “that He was manifested to take away our sins, and that whosoever abideth in Him sinneth not” (1 John 3:3, 6); and to that Saviour I must cleave as with the grasp of death; for I see a moment’s safety nowhere but under the shadow of His wing. “I will therefore say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him will I trust. Surely He shall deliver me from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover me with His feathers, and under His wing I trust. His truth, (in the fulfillment of His own exceeding great and precious promises,) shall be my shield and buckle” (Psalms 91:1-4). 

And now brother, I believe there are those who do embrace this great salvation fully, so that their characters are formed by it, and who can say, “The life that I live here in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20); and I do believe that they are not only decidedly, but eminently, more meek and heavenly than any other class of men. I ought here to say, however, that nothing, in my apprehension, is holiness, which falls short of the fulfillment of that promise, “The Lord thy God will circumcise thy heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul.” (Deuteronomy 30:6). The child of God is not, in my apprehension, “a whited sepulcher.” (Matthew 23:27). Holiness is “the righteousness of the law fulfilled in us.” (Romans 8:4). With any view of sanctification which does not make it consist in loving God with all the heart, and our neighbor as ourselves, I have no fellowship. If a man expresses to me his belief that, through the operations of the Holy Spirit upon his heart, received by faith in Christ for the fulfillment of God’s promises, he is enabled, “to love God with all his heart, and his neighbor as himself” (Luke 10:27); inasmuch as I know that God has promised to “circumcise his heart, to love the Lord his God with all his heart, and with all his soul.” I have no right to doubt that the promises of God are thus fulfilled in him, unless I see that in his life he does depart from the right way of the Lord, as it is revealed in His holy word. But “to the law, and the testimony. If they speak not, (or act not) according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (Isaiah 8:20). 

I am fully aware, however, that there are those who claim to be “perfect in Christ Jesus” (Colossians 1:28), who do fall into gross mistakes on this very point; and in this way do, in a very grievous manner, cause “the way of truth to be evil spoken of.” (Romans 14:16). By laying aside the plain written Word of God, as the rule, and the only rule by which they are to govern their faith, and try their feelings, and form their opinions, and shape all their conduct, and taking up the belief that the Holy Spirit so dwells in them that they need not resort to the Bible as their only guide, but may follow whatever impulse arises within them, they step at once on the broad ground of fanaticism, and become what Christ would have been, if He had, at the suggestion of Satan, thrown Himself from the pinnacle of the temple — tempters of God. While God has promised me, in His word, everything requisite to meet all the real necessities of my being, even to the full accomplishment of my highest good, both on earth and in heaven, He has nowhere given me license to transgress either His physical or moral laws, with the expectation that He will meet a necessity that I thus presumptuously create. If I were to leap from an eminence, with the expectation that God would save me from death by counteracting the law of gravitation, or by giving me wings; or, if I were voluntarily to abstain from food, with the expectation that God would preserve my life without eating; or venture to sea in a leaky ship, with the confidence that God would save me from a watery grave, I should be tempting God, by a willful transgression of physical law. I have no right to expect any miraculous assurance before hand, as He did to Moses, that He will be with me in a miraculous manner. No more am I to transgress moral precepts, by casting myself into the way of temptation unnecessarily, thinking that God will there keep me from being overcome; or by doing an act which God’s Word plainly forbids, through the presumption that the Holy Spirit guides me to it, and that it, therefore, is not sin. I know there are those who have ventured on this ground, and by so doing have brought amazing reproach on Christ and His cause. I am not to “believe every spirit, but to try the spirits, whether they be of God” (1 John 4:1). But by what rule am I to try every spirit? Plainly by the revealed word, I have no other rule, and I need no other. If I feel an impulse, then to do a thing contrary to the plain Word of God, I need not mistake the source from whence such an impulse comes. I know the devil is the originator of such an impulse, just as infallibly as though I were to see his evil face, or his glaring eyes, or hear the hissings of his hellish throat. I know there are those who are accustomed to say, “Whatever the Lord should tell me, I would do.” But I know the Lord will never tell me to do a thing contrary to the Bible; and when led to anything of this sort, they are surely led by Satan. Besides, I do not expect to influence the conduct of my fellow men, unless I can show them good and sufficient reasons for the course I wish them to pursue. Much more may I expect, that where the Holy Ghost would lead me, He will show me the best of reasons for following Him; and, for these reasons, I am to look into that Word which He has inspired. 

From this very error of following impulses instead of the Word of God, have grown up much of the inconsistencies, and in some cases, as I do not doubt, licentious practices of some, called Perfectionists. Instead of cleaving closely to the Word of God making it their only rule of life, writing it on their hearts, and setting it always, “as a frontlet between their eyes” (Deuteronomy 6:8), they have imbibed the idea that the Holy Spirit so dwells in them, as to be an infallible guide, without any reference to God’s plainly revealed will. And when a man steps on that ground, he may well expect, like him who went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, to find himself wounded, stripped of his raiment, and left, at least half dead. He throws himself defenseless among mortal foes; for the Word of God should be to him sword and shield. He might as well cast away rudder, and compass, and chart, and quadrant, and chronometer in mid-ocean, and expect God to guide him to his desired haven. Or as well, wandering among pitfalls in black midnight, cast away his oil lamp, and think to walk safely by faith. The Holy Spirit has indeed been given to guide us into all truth, but all the truth we need to know is in the Bible; and all the guidance we need, is a right understanding and practice of what the Bible contains, which can only be accomplished by the light of God’s Spirit. 

To be Continued… 

(This article was taken from pages 14-24 of the book entitled, “Sin Shall Not Have Dominion Over You,” by Charles Fitch. Some editing was done for this publication.    Editor

Something for the Young at Heart 

This month we are continuing a series of crossword Bible studies based on the book, Bible Handbook, by Stephen Haskell. In order to maintain the flow of the study, this crossword puzzle is not split into Across and Down sections—Across or Down is indicated at the end of each line. (The KJV is required.) 

The Power of the Word

  • The word of God is quick and ____. Hebrews 4:12—12 Down 
  • The word of God is like a fire and like a ____. Jeremiah 23:29—8 Down 
  • The worlds were ____ by the word of God. Hebrews 11:1-3—9 Across 
  • God's word healed and ____ people. Psalm 107:20—13 Across 
  • The Centurion’s servant was ____ by the word only. Matthew 8:8-13— 14 Across 
  • God heals all your ____. Psalm 103:3—13 Down 
  • God’s word is life to those that find them and health for their ____. Proverbs 4:20-22—15 Across 
  • “In the ____ was the Word…” John 1:1—6 Down 
  • “And the Word was ____ flesh.” John 1:14—4 Down 
  • Jesus said, “The words that I speak unto you, they are ____, and they are life.” John 6:63—16 Across 
  • Christ is the end of the law for ____ to every one that believes. Romans 10:4-8—3 Across 

Note: Christ is the end (or final goal) of the law, not the destroyer of it, for He said, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil” (Matthew 5:17). The Greek word that was translated “end” in the context of Romans 10:4 means, “the point aimed at as a limit” (Strong’s Greek Dictionary). It is used the same way in Paul’s letter to Timothy, “Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned” (1 Timothy 1:5). 

  • Christ prayed to His Father, “The ____ which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one.” John 17:22, 23—11 Across 
  • This unity is hard to understand and can only be comprehended by divine revelation. “Great is the ____ of godliness.” 1 Timothy 3:16—4 Across 
  • God “wrote on the tables, according to the first writing, the ten commandments, which the LORD ____ unto you in the mount…” Deuteronomy 10:4—5 Down 
  • God’s word is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. It is sharper than any twoedged sword, ____ even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit. Hebrews 4:12—1 Down 
  • David wrote, Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin ____ thee. Psalm 119:11—10 Down 
  • Great faith is simply to believe, because God speaks. When a Centurion asked Christ to speak the word only to heal his distant servant, Jesus said, “I have not ____ so great faith, no, not in Israel.” Matthew 8:9, 10—9 Down 
  • It is not our daily food that truly sustains us but the word of God. We are to live by “every word that proceedeth out of the ____ of the LORD…” Dueteronomy 8:3— 7 Across 
  • Faith in the Word as the word of God, carries the transforming power of God to the soul. “This is the ____ that overcometh the world…” 1 John 5:4—2 Down 

Answers to Last Month's Crossword


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