Home | Newsletters | Books | Tracts | Guest Book | Links | Contact Us | Donate | Search   

 

Present Truth Articles Online

 

2 Peter 1:12


Dear Readers,

December 2012

“Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord” (1 Timothy 1:2). Grace is “the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life” (Strong’s Greek Dictionary). This is a rich gift none of us deserve, but all of us have the privelege to partake of it. I pray that you receive rich measures of it.

Kendra’s Sidenotes: My wife will print her first issue of Sidenotes at the beginning of January. If you would like to receive it, either by e-mail or postal mail, please let us know. You can write Kendra at: sidenotes@gmx.com. 

In This Issue:

Walking in the Spirit – Part 1

by Lynnford Beachy

You May Freely Eat?

by Jim Raymond

How to Get Knowledge

by Ellet J. Waggoner

Death

by Kyle Smith

Young at Heart


Walking in the Spirit – Part 1

by Lynnford Beachy

I am very thankful for what the Lord has done in my life. If you would have seen me about twenty-one years ago, you probably would have turned the other way and left me alone. That is what most people did when they saw me. It is kind of sad because Christians are supposed to be the light of the world. We’re supposed to be a witness and a testimony to others. As I look back on my life when I was into drugs, nobody ever came to me and shared the Lord with me. No one came and said, “Jesus loves you. God loves you so much He gave His Son to die for you.” No one ever gave me a tract, or materials to teach me about God. That has been a wakeup call in my life. I ask myself, “What am I doing to help other people?” especially those who don’t look like they would be interested. When we plant the seeds, God will water them. They have effect whether we know it or not.

What does it mean to walk in the Spirit? “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16). Fulfilling the lust of the flesh is sin. It says that if you walk in the Spirit you will not commit sin, “you shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” Walking in the Spirit is crucial! It is very important!

The Bible says, “Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him” (1 John 3:6). If you abide in Him it says you will not sin. Another text just a few verses later says, “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God” (1_John 3:9). Here it says if we are born of God we cannot commit sin, and the reason is because His seed remains in us. Who or what is His seed? What is this talking about? Christ is His seed. In another place it says, “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ” (Galatians 3:16). In this text His seed refers to Christ. Even more so God’s seed is Christ, who is the only begotten Son. If God’s seed, Christ, remains in you, you will not sin.

Here we have learned three keys to victory over sin.

Keys to Victory Over Sin

• Born of God

• Abide in Him

• Walk in the Spirit

As long as we are doing these things we will not sin. We will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.

Is this something even desirable? Most of the world says this cannot happen anyway. You will sin until the Lord comes and changes you. Then you will be able to overcome sin, but until that point you are stuck. If you’re a thief, stay a thief. If you’re a liar or murderer, stay a liar or murderer. Usually they won’t come out so boldly with those exact words, but that is in effect what they are saying when they say that you are going to continue sinning until the Lord comes. What is the difference between one sin and another? Surely when a thief comes into the church most people would want him to stop being a thief. Otherwise they would have to put a padlock on the tithe box, or bolt the chairs to the floor. Christians should not be sinning. Here it says if Christ’s seed remains in us we cannot sin.

We are looking at promises on overcoming sin and we have seen from these texts keys to victory. If we are born of God we won’t sin. If we abide in Him we will not sin. If we walk in the Spirit we will not sin. I want to look at those things individually.

Born of God

First, I want to look at being born of God. What does that mean? “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith” (1_John 5:4). If we are born of God we will overcome the world. All the promises of God are to those who overcome. Jesus said, “…he that endureth to the end shall be saved” (Matthew 10:22), and, “To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God” (Revelation 2:7). It is not enough just to begin the walk of faith, to start to follow God and then give up half-way through. We must endure unto the end and overcome. The victory that overcomes the world is our faith. Faith is the victory!

Some disciples came to Jesus one day and asked Him, “What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent” (John 6:28, 29). God’s work is to get you to believe. You can see that with Jesus, when He was here He kept asking people, “Where is your faith?” (Luke 8:25). When He did see faith He said He had found “great faith” (Matthew 8:10), or, “Thy faith hath made thee whole” (Mark 5:34; 10:52). When Peter was walking on the water it was by faith. Then when he sank Jesus asked, “O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?” (Matthew 14:31). So it is the work of God to get us to believe, to have faith. This is the victory that overcomes the world.

The Bible says, “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever” (1 Peter 1:23). We just noticed in the previous text that when we are born of God we have the victory over the world, and the victory that overcomes the world is our faith. Being born of God and having faith are inseparable. You cannot be born of God without faith. You cannot please God without faith, and faith is inseparable from the word of God. Here it says that we are born again by the word of God and this happens by faith in His word. You can have faith in all kinds of things, like the weatherman for example. You can have faith in the word of the weatherman that it will not rain tomorrow. Now, how certain can you be that it won’t rain because the weatherman said so? Has the weatherman ever been wrong? Many times!

The Bible says, “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” (Ezekiel 36:25-27). He says He’s going to pour clean water upon us. What is that water? It is the water of His word. Jesus said, “Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you” (John 15:3). Paul wrote that Jesus will cleanse the church “with the washing of water by the word” (Ephesians 5:26). He is going to sprinkle clean water upon us and we are going to be cleansed. Then He says, “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” (Ezekiel 36:26).

I was so glad when I first read that because I had a pretty corrupt, stony heart. I was glad that God was just going to get rid of it for me. It goes on to say, “And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes,…” (Ezekiel 36:27). I love this verse. It is one of my favorites of all times because this is one of the verses that started me on my conversion experience. This is what, initially, gave me the victory. Here it says He’s going to “cause” us to walk in His statutes; cause us to walk in His ways. Now, sometimes that is difficult to take. If I said to my children, “I’m going to make you obey me no matter what.” They wouldn’t really like that. It is not the kind of thing a person likes to hear. How is He going to cause us to walk in His ways? He is going to do this by giving us a new heart and a new spirit. That is the way He causes us to walk in His ways.

Before my conversion I thought that I would never want to become a Christian because I’d have to do all of the things I didn’t like, and I would have to give up the things I liked. I knew I would be very miserable. Why would I want to do something that would make me miserable? What I didn’t realize is that God would give me a new set of likes and dislikes. He would give me a new heart and a new spirit, and then the “things that I once loved I now hate, and the things that I once hated I now love.” This is how He causes us to walk in His ways, by giving us the desire to do it. He cleanses us from the inside out.

Abide in Him

We’ve seen a bit of what it means to be born of God—get a new heart. Now let’s look at what it means to abide in Him. Jesus said some strange things. He said, “He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him” (John 6:56). Right before that He said, “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you” (John 6:53). Many of the disciples went away and walked no longer with him because that was a hard saying they couldn’t understand. Is He telling us to be cannibals? This is really strange that I’m supposed to eat His flesh and drink His blood. It doesn’t sound very appetizing. What was He talking about? Was He talking about literal flesh, literal blood? Not at all! Look at what He says a few verses later.

“It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63). If you would go and eat His arm, it wouldn’t do you any good. That is not the flesh that He’s telling us to eat. “The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life.” The text right before that in verse fifty-six says if we eat His flesh and drink His blood, then He dwells in us and we in Him. We can dwell in Christ and Christ can dwell in us. That sounds a little strange. Christ is in heaven. Can we climb up there and dwell in Him? How do we get in Him?

Jesus said, “Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing” (John 15:3-5). He says that He is the vine. Have you ever cut a branch off of a tree? Does it then go on to bear fruit? Apart from having that nourishment from the tree it cannot live. There is one exception when Aaron’s rod, an old stick, budded and bore almonds and leaves. This was a strange happening that showed God’s miraculous power. Except you abide in the vine you cannot have any life, and you cannot bear fruit. You must abide in the vine. That is how we abide in Christ. When we accept Christ into our lives we say, “Lord, please come in,” and He does just that.

He stands at the door knocking. You open the door and say, “Come in, live in my heart”. At that point you become a member of the body of Christ. Now you are in Him. You are a member of His body because He is in you. Those are inseparable. You cannot be in Christ and Him not be in you. You cannot have Him in you and not be in Christ, they go hand in hand. Once Christ is in you, you are automatically in Him, you are in His body.

Jesus continued, “If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you” (John 15:6, 7). Notice He interchanged a phrase there. Previously He said, “Abide in me, and I in you,” and now He says, “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you.” You know that Christ dwells in us by His words, by faith in those words. He literally abides in us. He comes in and makes His abode in our hearts by faith in His word. He promised, “If any man hear my voice and opens the door, I will come in”. That’s His word. Just like Peter, when he got out of the boat and started to walk by faith in the word when Jesus said, “Come.” He walked on the water by faith in that word. That is how Christ dwells in the heart. It is by faith in His word. He promised He would come in, He does come in.

When I first decided to give my life to the Lord, my earthly father shared with me a very important lesson. He gave me the text, Ezekiel 36:26, where God promised to give me a new heart and cause me to walk in His statutes. My dad told me to go and pray that God would give me a new heart and then get up from that prayer believing I had a new heart because He promised. He told me to continue believing that and I would notice a change; not right away but after a few days, he said I would notice that change. That is exactly what happened. I noticed that I had a new heart because I responded to things differently. When I stubbed my toe, I no longer cursed about fifty words; instead it was no big deal. It was very strange to notice that transformation in my life. This is what God did for me by giving me a new heart and having Christ come into my life.

“He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked” (1 John 2:6). If you say that you abide in Him, you must walk as He walked. How did He walk? He walked in His Father’s will. He did whatever His Father instructed Him to do. Walking as He walked is to obey His Father, and live your life the way that He lived His life.

Walk in the Spirit

We’ve looked at being born of God. We’ve looked at abiding in Him. Now let’s look at walking in the Spirit. These are three keys to overcoming sin, overcoming the world. The Bible says, “For we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7). If we’re going to walk as He walked, how did He walk? He walked by faith. Everything that He did, He walked by faith. “Without faith it is impossible to please” God (Hebrews 11:6). Did He please God? Yes! Every single moment of every day. So every step He took was by faith.

Paul wrote, “The just shall live by faith” (Galatians 3:11). They shall live by faith. So it is more than just walking by faith, it is even when you’re sitting down. You live by faith. Every breath you take by faith. That is the way the just live; that is the way Christ lived: by faith.

Paul prayed, “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love” (Ephesians 3:17). It goes on to say that you would be able to comprehend the height, depth, and width of God’s love. It says here that Christ dwells in your heart by faith. He said that He would come in if you open the door. If you invite Him in, He says, He will come in. How does He come in? He comes in by faith. There is a word here: “dwell.” What does that mean? “Live,” “take residence,” “abide” are other words for it. It’s not, “I’m going to hop in and hop out, catch the next train somewhere else.” No, He is going to come in and dwell. He is going to live there, and He does this by faith.

“As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him” (Colossians 2:6). How did you receive Christ Jesus? You received Him by faith. You have faith in His word that He says He will come in, and He does. That is how you accept Christ initially into your heart and He dwells in you, then He says as you have received him, “so walk ye in him.” Every step is to be done in the same way. I believe that Christ is in me. Like Paul said, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). That was the way Paul lived his life. He walked by faith. That is the way the Christian life is, walking by faith. Every step, every breath, we are living by faith.

“Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4). There is a new life that we have when we accept Christ into our hearts. We die, the old man dies, we are buried with Christ by baptism, into His death, “that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” “New life,” that is what He offers to give us. Isn’t that great! My old life is not worth having and I can venture to say that is true of each one of us. Our old life is not worth having and I’m glad that we can have a new life. Where does that new life come from? It is God living in us. It is Christ in you the hope of glory. Jesus said, “If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him” (John 14:23). Without that you have no life. John wrote, “He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life” (1 John 5:12). That is the difference between those who have life and those who do not. If you have the Son, you have life. The Son outside knocking at the door is not having Christ. We need to let Him in.

Paul admonished, “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:11). This is a faith text. You cannot do this by anything but faith. What does reckon mean? It means to consider it done. Live like Paul said in Galatians 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ.” I am dead. I am dead to sin. Sin no longer has any attraction or power over me because I am dead to that. When temptation comes knocking at the door the answer is, “Sorry, he’s not home, he’s dead. He doesn’t live here anymore. You’re knocking on the wrong door.” This is something you must do by faith. Consider yourself dead; consider yourself to have Christ living in you.

A Lesson from Jesus

Jesus said, “I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me” (John 5:30). This was an experience that Jesus had. He did not seek His own will, but the will of the Father who sent Him. Now, how often did He do this? Was it just once a day, or maybe once a week? What was His experience? Moment by moment! Every moment, He sought, not His own will, but the will of the Father who had sent Him. How are we supposed to walk again, what does the Bible say? We are supposed to walk “as He walked.” How did He walk? He sought the Father’s will at every moment, in every decision. He didn’t even consult His own will asking, “What do I want to do now? What’s going to make me happy?” Instead, He asked what would make the Father happy. He said, “I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart” (Psalm 40:8). When God gives us a new heart this will be our experience as well. This is the new covenant that He is going to put His law in our hearts and in our minds; He’s going to write them (Hebrews 10:16). This is the experience that Christ had. You will delight to do God’s will as well.

Is “seeking” an active word or a passive word? If you lose your keys and then you sit down on the couch and just wait for them to fall in your lap, are you seeking for them? No, you’ve given up. Now, sometimes it’s good to give up and say, “Lord, please take over because I’ve exhausted all my resources, please help.” Seeking, though, is something that is active. When you are seeking something, you are actively looking for it; you don’t just wait for it to hit you over the head. This is what Jesus said He did for the Father’s will. He didn’t wait for a lightning strike, or handwriting on the wall, He sought for the Father’s will instead of His own.

Do we do that or do we mostly seek our own will? “What do I want to do today?” Jesus sought His Father’s will and this is the way we are to walk; seek for His will. A lot of times we only seek for His will when we want to do some big thing, like sell a house or move to the country, which might be a good thing, or buy a car, or whatever it is. We want to know His will then because there will be serious consequences if it’s not the right thing. Do we seek His will in the little things? What about, “Where should I go today?” We should seek His will even in the small things. Jesus sought His Father’s will all of the time.

Look at what He says, “And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him” (John 8:29). Jesus claimed that He always pleased His Father. In order for Him to make such a claim, He must have always known what pleased His Father, because not only did He always please His Father, He knew that He always pleased Him. So He must have known what pleased His Father all of the time.

Look how detailed His pleasing of His father was. He said, “Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works” (John 14:10). Notice the result of having the Father dwelling in you. He does the works and He also speaks through you. Jesus said He speaks not of Himself. He didn’t speak a word, He didn’t utter a word, unless His Father said, “This is what I want You to say.” That is extreme detail isn’t it? The Father gave Jesus detailed instructions and Jesus said, “I’ll do it.” “I do always those things that please my Father.”

Throughout the day I give my children many instructions, maybe a hundred instructions a day. How would you like it if I did that to you? You probably would rebel very quickly. As parents it is our duty to teach our children, to guide and train them in the way they ought to go. Is this what Jesus received from His Father, maybe a hundred instructions? No, He received much more instruction from His Father than any earthly father has ever given his children. Thousands of instructions daily, so that every word He spoke the Father told Him what to say. He said, “For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak” (John 12:49). If you are in the center of God’s will, it doesn’t matter what happens. God is in control of all of it. If our work is done on earth we may as well die wherever we are. If our work is not done there is nothing that can kill us. If we are completely surrendered to Him, we are immortal until God finishes the work He wishes to do through us.


You May Freely Eat?

by Jim Raymond

Amaranth: Grow Your Own - 1

Amaranths are classed roughly into one of four categories: grain, vegetable, ornamental or weedy. Difference between these categories is strained because all amaranths may easily slip into more than one category at the same time. This reality is shown in the fact that all amaranth types, from tip to root, are edible1 [Footnote: This statement does not belittle the concerns that 3 of the amaranth varieties can, under the right circumstances, exhibit high nitrate levels that, at least theoretically, could be turned into poisonous nitrite in some animals and/or people.] and they taste much alike. Some are stunningly beautiful while others produce the most desirable leaves, or yield an abundance of seeds. Even in the weedy category, all amaranths can seem quite mischievous when out of place, but a few can be aggressively pernicious.

Amaranths offer many horticultural options. With over 400 diverse varieties around the world, the amaranth family members come in all sizes, shapes and colors. The leaves can be roundish or lance-like, 2 to 8 inches long, light green, dark green, reddish or variegated; seeds may be white, yellow, pink or black, and the tiny flowers can form huge tassels, small nubs or brush-like tips in shades of red, pink, golden yellow or cream.

Some cultivated amaranth varieties grow 6 to 8 feet and under perfect conditions some are reported to top out at 13 feet. This could be visually arresting among the petunias, but it’s not a convenient height for seed harvesting by hand. Most ornamental garden varieties approach 5 feet (ranging 2 to 6), and present vivid foliage color and/or impressive floral displays. Read seed packets or catalogs to select the best look or cultivation parameters for your needs.

Why Grow Amaranth?

Amaranth’s obviously high value is further enhanced by other desirable characteristics, which include its low-maintenance demands, drought-tolerance, heat-tolerance and disease-resistance. In a mixed garden they make great interplant companions for small greens or other shade-loving crops nestled beneath them. Because it is a distinctive family, it can serve as a crop rotation alternate for any other plant family. It is excellent as a high nutrient green manure or as a compost ingredient for soil augmentation. As a dried fodder, it is an exceptional high protein animal feed—including poultry. Amaranth is one of the very few “grain” sources that is feasibly sufficient under a family-based agricultural model.

All this said, it’s the versatility and the edibility2 [Footnote: Leaves and tender shoots may be eaten raw, boiled, steamed, or stir-fried. Large leaves (fresh or lightly wilted) make great edible wrappers like seaweed, for vegan “sushi”, or grape leaf dolmas. The crisp interior of larger stems make a fine vegetable like asparagus; raw, steamed, grilled, marinated or otherwise cooked; flower buds make excellent edible garnishes too.] that attracts me to amaranth. What a blessing to have a plant that is relatively easy to grow and is as pretty in the landscape as it is nutritious. This nutritious beauty starts providing tasty nutrient-dense leaves by early summer when the kale is waning in both quality and quantity. And, just before amaranth shuts down for the winter, it leaves me with seed enough to grow fresh sprouts to carry me through the chilling season until spinach, kale and the minor leafy greens return to please the eye and nourish the flesh.

I am most interested in those varieties that are triple-hitters; that not only look beautiful and grow a lot of tasty leaves, but also produce respectable seed harvest. The stellar ornamental amaranth, Love Lies Bleeding, with its dense leaves and numerous long seed heads produce thousands of tiny seeds. I prefer most of my food to be raw so my need for leafy greens is apparent. Because of the preference for raw, using the seeds in baked or boiled goods is not a priority, and the seeds of amaranth must be cooked to disable the toxic anti-nutrient compounds. So my need for fresh raw veggies can be satisfied through the winter by amaranth micro-greens or sprouts.

Growing Amaranth for Vegetables & Seed

Like all fast-growing leafy greens, amaranth knows how to advantage good, rich, friable soil with a steady supply of moisture and nutrients, including nitrogen. There is a difference in that amaranth is prepared to deal with hot dry conditions much better than most other leafy green crops. To illustrate this, let’s compare the ideal daytime growing temperatures for amaranth, which is 86-95°F, with that of Kale—my fair-weather favorite—which is 60-65°F.

Growing Specifications:

Theoretical seed life — 1 year.

StartDirect seeding at ¼ - ½ inch, (after frost danger); Punnet seeding from 8 to 6 weeks before last frost.

Germination — 3 to 4 days, at 60° to 90°F.

Soil - Well drained, moist, rich in nitrogen and phosphorous at pH 6 - 6.43 [Footnote: Lower pH (more acidic) decreases growth.].

Sun — Full.

Transplanting/Thinning4 [Footnote: Minimize transplant shock by planting the punnets in the late afternoon or on a cloudy day, and water the plants immediately to ensure good root-to-soil contact.] — about 2-4 inches tall at/before the four true leaves stage.

Bed SpacingFor grain5 [Footnote: Grow Biointensive® Spacing for Grain (seed) production = 12 inches at maximum of 159 plants per 100 square foot raised bed (5’x20’).] at 12” apart. For greens6 [Footnote: Grow Biointensive® Spacing for Greens = 6 inches at maximum of 621 plants per 100 square foot raised bed (5’x20’).] at 6” apart;

Field Spacing7 [Footnote: Echo’s comprehensive report features hand planting and harvesting.] — For grain at 9” apart in rows 30” apart. For greens at 3” apart in rows 36” apart.

Days of Harvest — Grain: 110 to 150.

When established, amaranth can brave it through some rough conditions; until then, the tiny seedlings are very fragile and require a fair amount of nurture until they can compete with weeds and the vagarities of nature. I prefer starting ornamentals in paper or peat punnets. This way I can slip a hardy 4-6 inch plant into a freshly prepared spot with minimal set-back and no competition. Besides knowing that the seed did germinate, another obvious benefit with punnet-started transplants is that it enables precise landscape placement.

Before we leave the topic of nurture I want to share this interesting tip: I’m told that ornamentals show their best colors in non-enriched soil. Does this seem counter-intuitive to you, too? This comes from John Jeavens’ organization (the Grow Biointesive® people), so perhaps I’ll try it on a not-so-obvious plant.

If you are growing vegetable amaranth and have only a few seeds, or space is tight, or you only need a few plants, or you lack the gardening resources to nurture these very tiny and very fragile seedlings, then starting indoors should be seriously considered. When doing so, prepare the flats eight to six weeks before the last frost in your area. If you choose to plant traditional rows in ground, and ample seed is available, here’s a tip from experienced gardeners to save the time and effort of spacing and planting individual seeds: Mix (“dilute”) the seeds with similarly-sized dry sand and place the mix in a spice jar or herb shaker with holes a little larger than the contents. Use the shaker to sand-paint rows directly onto prepared beds. Finish the rows with a covering of soil to the proper depth and water with a coarse mist or fine spray to wet the soil but not move it around. As the seedlings grow, successively pluck the extra sprouts for your menu until the remaining plants conform to the spacing guidelines you chose.

When your plants are about a foot tall, scrape the surface soil from between the rows into a mound around the plants about half way up the stem. This helps protect the plants from being blown over in the wind. It also uproots weeds between rows and suffocates weeds around the plants.

Sourcing Amaranth Seed

There are many sources for amaranth seed. Bountiful Gardens is my favorite gardening information and plant supply center because of the interesting varieties they carry, the friendly helpfulness of the staff, and the breadth of knowledge on all things plant growing. I have no other interest but your enjoyment and success with growing your own.

Bountiful Gardens

1726-D South Main Street

Willits CA 95490

Phone: 707 459 6410

FAX: 707 459 1925

email: bountiful@sonic.net

http://www.bountifulgardens.org/

[Notes: Open 9am to 4pm, Pacific time, Monday through Friday]

My two favorites are:

Ellen’s Purple Amaranth

Item Number: GAM-7196

Description: A productive and beautiful amaranth from Golden Rule's Ellen Bartholomew, who tracks down the really exciting specimens and shares her finds with us. Her purple introduction produces some magnificent amaranths with giant red-toned purple flower heads. Even the leaves are purple-tinged—the seeds are all white.

Ellen Bartholomew introductions are excellent—she picks the top quality from all around the world. Her Purple Amaranth find reveals its rich genetic history by occasionally producing a plant of a different color honoring, no doubt, a distant ancestor—always a distant relative you’ll be glad to meet.

Burgundy Grain Amaranth

Item Number: GAM-7195

Description: Beautiful big plants up to 8 ft with both leaves and seed-heads of intense deep red. Produces large yields of white seed, excellent for grain use. Many of the red-leafed varieties available have black, strong-tasting seeds and are primarily for eating the leaves. This type is hard to get.

[Notes: Gorgeous! Besides being a true beauty, this is a triple-duty pick (ornamental, greens, and grain). Plus, the dried flowers hold their color well! If you only have room for one type, and don’t mind reddish juices on your white Lenox plates as with Red Swiss Chard, this is it.]

Love Lies Bleeding Amaranth, mentioned earlier, is another popular triple-duty winner with green plant parts and ridiculously long red flowers loaded with seed. This one is often available locally under its common name.

Blessings! JR


How to Get Knowledge

by Ellet J. Waggoner

“Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets; she crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates; in the city she uttereth her words, saying, how long, ye simple ones, will you love simplicity? and the scorners delight In their scorning; and fools hate knowledge? Turn you at my reproof; behold, I will pour out My Spirit unto you, I will make known My words unto you” (Proverbs 1:20-23).

This is the language of the Lord Jesus Christ, “in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3). This means that there is nothing of any kind whatever that is worthy to be called wisdom, which is not to be found in Christ. Read 1 Corinthians 1:22-24: “For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling-block, and unto the Greeks foolishness; but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.” That is, the wisdom which the Greeks sought after, is contained only in Christ. Because they sought it in themselves, and not in Christ, the wisdom which they had became foolishness. Out of Christ it is impossible to find true wisdom.

True wisdom consists in knowing God. “Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches; but let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth Me, that I am the Lord which exercise lovingkindness, judgment and righteousness, in the earth; for in these things I delight, saith the Lord” (Jeremiah 9:23, 24). To know God is the sum of all scientific knowledge for Christ, who is the greatest manifestation of God, is the Source of all creation. “O the depths of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out!… For of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things” (Romans 11:33, 36). Christ is the beginning, the head, or source, of the creation of God (Revelation 3:14). He is “the firstborn of every creature” (Colossians 1:1-5). “For by Him were all things created, in the heavens and upon the earth, things visible and things invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things have been created through Him, and unto Him; and He is before all things, and in Him all things consist” (Colossians 1:16, 17). Therefore the study of natural science must begin and end with the study of God in Christ.

But Christ is the righteousness of God. Righteousness is the character of God. Therefore no one can know God without knowing His righteousness; and so the study of true science reveals the righteousness of God. And this is wisdom, for “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” (Proverbs 1:7). The knowledge of the righteousness of God is connected with the knowledge of the works of God that we see with our eyes; for the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation, and the power of God is seen in the things that are made (Romans 1:16, 20). Therefore when the Bible speaks of wisdom and knowledge, it means not only the wisdom and knowledge which would be counted as such by men, but also “all wisdom and spiritual understanding.”

All this is summed up in the words of Moses to the children of Israel: “Behold I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the Lord my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it. Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people” (Deuteronomy 4:5. 3). They who keep the commandments of God, not in form merely, but in fact, will have wisdom which will excite the wonder of people who do not recognize the source of knowledge.

And now that we have seen what wisdom is let us note the words with which this article begins, to see how it may be obtained. The Lord says, “Turn you at My reproof; behold I will pour out My Spirit unto you, I will make known My words unto you” (Proverbs 1:23). That is; those who listen to heed the reproofs of the Lord, will know His words, which are wisdom. “For the Lord giveth wisdom, out of His mouth cometh knowledge and understanding” (Proverbs 2:6).

The reproofs of the Lord are by the Spirit of the Lord and are given, not for the purpose of taunting us with our failures, nor for the purpose of causing us to cringe in terror before Him, but that we may turn from our sins to righteousness. Before He went away, Christ promised to send the Holy Spirit as a Comforter, and the first thing that He was to do was to convince the world of sin. This He does by revealing the righteousness of God. These reproofs come in various ways, according to the sin and the peculiarity of the person. They are not simply of a general nature, but they come home to the individual, pointing out specific acts of wrong, and saying “Thou art the man.”

It is naturally a severe trial to any one to receive a sharp reproof, because it cuts directly across self. But no matter how cutting it may be, and even though the Lord has allowed the knowledge of our failing to come to us through an unfriendly source, it is the part of wisdom to heed it. To heed it means to forsake the evil, and that can be done only through Christ; for it is the blood of Christ alone that cleanses from all sin. “If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). The promise is that those who turn at the reproof of wisdom shall have the words of wisdom made known unto them. Not only will such an one have the words of the Lord,—the words of wisdom,—told to him, but he will have them made known to him. In this is found the secret of the failure of many to understand the Bible. They are cherishing some sin, or they are unwilling to keep all the commandments of God, and consequently they cannot know the meaning of the words of wisdom. Self stands in the way. Christ said that if any man had a mind to do the Father’s will, he should know of the doctrine (John 7:17). “The meek will He guide in judgments; and the meek will He teach His way” (Psalm 25:9).

Surely the result is worth all that it costs, even though the lesson be a trying one. The pain comes only in the letting go of self. When one has once yielded fully to the Lord; the reproofs of the Lord are pleasant. When self is dead, it cannot be hurt by them. Then instead of mourning over the reproof, because of wounded pride; or even in despondency, he will delight himself in the increased knowledge of God. Try it, all you who wish that you might understand the Bible. Let your doubts go to the winds. Let your own foolish wisdom, which would lead you to hesitate to receive the word of God, if it is contrary to your preconceived opinion, give place to the meekness of wisdom. In short; let your own opinions go entirely, and do not try to draw conclusions according to your own wisdom, but let God teach you at every step of the way. When you cannot see how a certain statement harmonizes with another, do not get impatient, and begin to doubt, but wait in faith, and God will explain it to you. Do not be afraid of waiting awhile. It may be that the Lord has some other lesson for you to learn before you can understand this one. But while you are waiting, wait only on the Lord, and His words will explain themselves. “Consider what I say; for the Lord shall give thee understanding in all things” (2 Timothy 2:7).

(This article was taken from a pamphlet with the same title, printed by the Pacific Press Pub. Co. in 1893.      Editor).

Death

by Kyle Smith

Are you aware of anything after death? Are you conscious in any way? No!

“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (Genesis 2:7). The body is made from the dust of the ground. When God added the breath of life Adam became a living soul. Notice God did not put a soul into man, man became a living soul when the body and breath of life were put together.

When you die, the Bible says, “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it” (Ecclesiastes 12:7). At death a person is no longer a living soul. Here is a comparison: a cassette tape plus a tape player produces sound. As long as the tape is combined with the tape player information can be recorded to and played from the tape. If the tape player is destroyed the tape can no longer function. When your body dies, your spirit can no longer function and it returns to God who gave it, whether you are the most righteous saint, or the vilest criminal. God retains your spirit in an unconscious condition until the resurrection when He will give you a new body and you will again be able to function. Without the breath of life, man is completely dead.

God said, “If he set his heart upon man, if he gather unto himself his spirit and his breath; All flesh shall perish together, and man shall turn again unto dust” (Job 34:14, 15).

Now that we have established what happens to the body and spirit at death, let’s look at how the Bible describes our death. Jesus said to His disciples, “Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep… Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead” (John 11:11, 14). Our death is described as sleep. When you awake after sleep you have no awareness of the time that has passed since you fell asleep. Death is the same. You will have no awareness until your resurrection from death/sleep.

Now let’s look at a few scriptures that show us the dead have no awareness. The Bible says, “Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish” (Psalm 146:3, 4). “For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten… Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest” (Ecclesiastes 9:5, 10). “Wilt thou shew wonders to the dead? shall the dead arise and praise thee? Selah. Shall thy lovingkindness be declared in the grave? or thy faithfulness in destruction? Shall thy wonders be known in the dark? and thy righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?” (Psalm 88:10-12).

To conclude, scripture clearly says when we die it is as if we are asleep and we know nothing.

(Kyle was recently released from prison. He has continued the ministry God started through him when he was incarcerated. Please pray that God will continue to bless his ministry and all those to whom he ministers. You can contact him at preachersmith10@ya-hoo.com     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.)

Who are the Angels?

Download the pdf version to get the crossword puzzle:

http://presenttruth.info/newsletters/PresentTruth/pdf/2012/pt_dec12.pdf

·         “What is man,… For thou hast made him a little ____ than the angels,…” Psalm 8:4, 5—11 Down

·         “Thou, even thou, art Lord alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their ____,  and the ____ of heaven worshippeth thee.” Nehemiah 9:6 (1_word)—14 Down

·         “O ____ of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.” Psalm 84:12—10 Down

·         Jacob “dreamed, and behold a ____ set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.” Genesis 28:12—8 Across

·         “For he shall give his angels ____ over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.” Psalm 91:11—13 Across

·         “Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the ____ of my Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 18:10—3 Across

·         “Bless the Lord, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his ____, hearkening unto the voice of his word.” Psalm 103:20—4 Down

·         “And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels ____, and his ministers a flame of fire.” Hebrews 1:7—16 Across

·         Are they not all ____ spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?” Hebrews 1:14—1 Down

·         “There is a natural body, and there is a ____ body.” 1 Corinthians 15:44—7 Across

Note: Angels are ministering spirits, and they have spiritual bodies. Some have mistakenly concluded that since angels are spirits they do not have bodies, but the Bible does not support this theory.

·         “And their whole ____, and their backs, and their hands, and their wings,…” Ezekiel 10:12—9 Across

Note: Ezekiel was describing cherubim, which are a type of angel. The margin of many Bibles points out that the literal Hebrew word can be translated, “flesh.” Angels are literal beings with bodies.

·         “And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot… made them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did ____.” Genesis 19:1-3—15 Across

·         “And the ass saw the ____ of the Lord standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand…” Numbers 22:23—2 Down

·         “Then the Lord ____ the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand…” Numbers 22:31—12 Across

·         “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and ____ it by his angel unto his servant John.” Revelation 1:1— 6_Across

·         John saw an angel, then he said, “And I fell at his feet to ____ him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: ____ God…” Revelation 19:10 (1_word)—5 Down

Note: Angels are a type of created being distinct from humans. Some have proposed the idea that after a human dies, he becomes an angel. There is nothing in the Bible to support this theory.

 


To view or print this issue of Present Truth in Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) click here.

Present Truth is published monthly by Present Truth Ministries. It is sent free upon request. Duplication of these papers is not only permitted but strongly encouraged, as long as our contact information is retained. Present Truth is available online at www.presenttruth.info.

Editor: Lynnford Beachy, PO Box 315, Kansas, OK 74347, USA. Phone: (304) 633-5411, E-mail: webnewsletters@presenttruth.info.

Top of page               Home

 

 


Home    E-mail    Contact Us