Saturday, April 30, 2011


There were many great Puritan preachers. Their writings excel even today, but some find them rather hard to read. There are some that are harder to read than others. John Owen, perhaps a bit. But I find Thomas Manton, Thomas Watson and Thomas Brooks (the  three Thomases), rather easy to read. It might not be so easy for you, if you haven't read Puritans before, or if you are not a good reader. I find Richard Sibbes and John Flavel pretty easy to read. John Bunyan isn't really hard to read. What I am saying is that if you don't take time to study the Puritans, it is your loss

I want to help you a little here. Many of you know that I have published short excerpts from many of them. This time I am offering you a little longer reading from perhaps my favorite Puritan. He may have been Charles Spurgeon's favorite also. The first book that Spurgeon published, other than his own sermons, was a book which his future wife, Susannah, helped him edit. It is titled Smooth Stones Taken From Ancient Brooks. It has been out of print for years, but Banner has just reprinted it.

I guess that if you didn't already know by the above title, I am presenting to you an excellent study on repentance taken from Brooks' first book written in 1652; Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices. I first read it 30 years ago, and have turned to it many times since. I think I am getting ready to read it again. I need it! You can obtain both of these Banner of Truth paperbacks very reasonably from Banner of Truth, Monergism, or Amazon. You might also try Christian Books. All online. "Remedies" is available for a free online download if you prefer at     It will be well worth your time and effort to read it, and you will have all the footnotes that way that I couldn't take time to copy from my volume one of my own Brooks six volume set. 
I hope you enjoy this, and I sincerely  hope it helps you, as it did me. Charles

(An excerpt from his book, which was written in 1652,titled Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices)
    The sixth device that Satan hath to draw the soul to sin is, Device (6). By persuading the soul that the work of repentance is an easy work, and that therefore the soul need not make such a matter of sin. Why?! Suppose you do sin, saith Satan, it is no such diffi­cult thing to return, and confess, and be sorrowful, and beg pardon, and cry,   'Lord, have mercy upon me;' and if you do but this, God will cut the score, 1 and pardon your sins, and save your souls, &c.
   By this device Satan draws many a soul to sin, and makes many millions of souls servants or rather slaves to sin, &c.
    Now, the remedies against this device of Satan are these that follow:
Remedy (1). The first remedy is, seriously to consider, that re­pentance is a mighty work, a difficult work, a work that is above our power. There is no power below that power that raised Christ from the dead, and that made the world, that can break the heart of a sin­ner or turn the heart of a sinner. Thou art as well able to melt ada­mant, as to melt thine own heart; to turn a flint into flesh, as to turn thine own heart to the Lord; to raise the dead and to make a world, as to repent. Repentance is a flower that grows not in nature's garden. ‘Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.’Jer. xiii. 23. Repentance is a gift that comes down from above.2 Men are not born with repentance in their hearts, as they are born with tongues in their mouths: 3 Acts v. 31, 'Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.’So in 2Tim. ii. 25, 'In meekness instruct­ing them that oppose themselves ; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth’  It is not in the power of any mortal to repent at pleasure.4 Some ignorant deluded souls vainly conceit that these five words, 'Lord! have mercy upon me,' are efficacious to send them to heaven; but as many are undone by buying a counterfeit jewel, so many are in hell by mistake of their repentance. Many rest in their repentance, though it be but the shadow of repentance, which caused one to say, ‘Repentance damneth more than sin.’
   Remedy (2). The second remedy against this device of Satan is, solemnly to consider the nature of true repentance. Repentance is some other thing than what vain men conceive.1
   Repentance is sometimes taken, in a more strict and narrow sense for godly sorrow; sometimes repentance is taken, in a large sense, for amendment of life. Repentance hath in it three things, viz.:
   The act, subject, terms.
(1.) The formal act of repentance is a changing and converting. It is often set forth in Scripture by turning. 'Turn thou me, and I shall be turned,' saith Ephraim; 'after that I was turned, I repented,' saith he, Jer. xxxi. 18. It is a turning from darkness to light.
(2.) The subject changed and converted, is the whole man; it is both the sinner's heart and life: first his heart, then his life; first his person, then his practice and conversation. 'Wash ye, make you clean.’ there is the change of their persons ; ' Put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes ; cease to do evil, learn to do well,' Isa. i. 16 ; there is the change of their practices. So 'Cast away’ saith Ezekiel, 'all your transgressions whereby you have transgressed;’ there is the change of the life; ' and make you a new heart and a new spirit’ xviii. 30; there is the change of the heart.
(3.) The terms of this change and conversion, from which and to which both heart and life must be changed: from sin to God. The heart must be changed from the state and power of sin, the life from the acts of sin, but both unto God; the heart to be under his power in a state of grace, the life to be under his rule in all new obedience; as the apostle speaks, ' To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God.’ Acts xxvi. 18. So the prophet Isaiah saith, ' Let the wicked forsake their ways, and the unrighteous man his thoughts, and let him return unto the Lord,' lv. 7.
   Thus much of the nature of evangelical repentance. Now, souls, tell me whether it be such an easy thing to repent, as Satan doth suggest. Besides what hath been spoken, I desire that you will take notice, that repentance doth include turning from the most darling sin. Ephraim shall say, 'What have I to do any more with idols?' Hosea xiv. 8. Yea, it is a turning from all sin to God: Ezek. xviii. 30, 'Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one of you ac­cording to his ways, saith the Lord God. Repent, and turn your­selves from your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin.’
  Herod turned from many, but turned not from his Herodias, which was his ruin. Judas turned from all visible wickedness, yet he would not cast out that golden devil covetousness. and therefore was cast into the hottest place in hell. He that turns not from every sin turns not aright from any one sin. Every sin strikes at the honour of God, the being of God, the glory of God, the heart of Christ, the joy of the Spirit, and the peace of a man's conscience; and therefore a soul truly penitent strikes at all, hates all, conflicts with all, and will labour to draw strength from a crucified Christ to crucify all. A true penitent knows neither father nor mother; neither right eye nor right hand, but will pluck out the one and cut off the other. Saul spared but one Agag, and that cost him his soul and his kingdom, 1 Sam. xv. 9. Besides, repentance is not only a turning from all sin, but also a turn­ing to all good ; to a love of all good, to a prizing of all good, and to a following after all good : Ezek. xviii. 21, 'But if the wicked will turn from all the sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die;’ that is, only negative righteousness and holiness is no right­eousness nor holiness.1 David fulfilled all the will of God, and had respect unto all his commandments, and so had Zacharias and Eliza­beth. It is not enough that the tree bears not ill fruit; but it must bring forth good fruit, else it must be ‘cut down and cast into the fire,' Luke xiii. 7. So it is not enough that you are not thus and thus wicked, but you must be thus and thus gracious and good, else divine justice will put the axe of divine vengeance to the root of your souls, and cut you off for ever. ‘Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewed down and cast into the fire’ Mat. iii. 10. Besides, re­pentance doth include a sensibleness of sin's sinfulness, how opposite and contrary it is to the blessed God. God is light, sin is darkness; God is life, sin is death; God is heaven, sin is hell; God is beauty, sin is deformity. Also true repentance includes a sensibleness of sin's mischievousness; how it cast angels out of heaven, and Adam out of paradise; how it laid the first corner stone in hell, and brought in all the curses, crosses, and miseries, that be in the world; and how it makes men liable to all temporal, spiritual, and eternal wrath; how it hath made men Godless, Christless, hopeless, and heavenless.
  Further, true repentance doth include sorrow for sin, contrition of heart. It breaks the heart with sighs, and sobs, and groans, for that a loving God and Father is by sin offended, a blessed Saviour afresh crucified, and the sweet comforter, the Spirit, grieved and vexed.
   Again repentance doth include not only a loathing of sin, but also a loathing of ourselves for sin. As a man doth not only loathe poison, but loathes the very dish or vessel that hath the smell of the poison; so a true penitent doth not only loathe his sin, but he loathes himself, the vessel that smells of it; so Ezek. XX. 43, ‘And there shall ye remember your ways and all your doings, wherein ye have been defiled; and ye shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for all your evils that ye have committed.’ True repentance will work your hearts, not only to loathe your sins, but also to loathe yourselves.
   Again, true repentance doth not only work a man to loathe himself for his sins, but it makes him ashamed of his sin also: 'What fruit have ye of those things whereof ye are now ashamed?' saith the apostle, Rom. vi. 21. So Ezekiel, 'And thou shalt be confounded, and never open thy mouth any more, because of thy shame, when I am pacified toward thee for all that thou hast done, saith the Lord God,' xxxvi. 32. When a penitential soul sees his sins pardoned, the anger of God pacified, the divine justice satisfied, then he sits down and blushes, as the Hebrew hath it, as one ashamed. Yea, true re­pentance doth work a man to cross his sinful self, and to walk con­trary to sinful self, to take a holy revenge upon sin, as you may see in Paul, the jailor, Mary Magdalene, and Manasseh. This apostle shews in 2 Cor. vii. 10, 11: 'For godly sorrow worketh repentance never to be repented of; but the sorrow of the world worketh death. For behold the self-same thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge.'2 Now, souls, sum up all these things together, and tell me whether it be such an easy thing to repent as Satan would make the soul to believe, and I am confident your heart will answer that it is as hard a thing to repent as it is to make a world, or raise the dead.
   I shall conclude this second remedy with a worthy saying of a pre­cious holy man: ' Repentance,' saith he, 'strips us stark naked of all the garments of the old Adam, and leaves not so much as a shirt be­hind.' In this rotten building it leaves not a stone upon a stone. As the flood drowned Noah's own friends and servants, so must the flood of repenting tears drown our sweetest and most profitable sins.
   Remedy (3). The third remedy against this device of Satan is seri­ously to consider, that repentance is a continued act. The word repent implies the continuation of it.3 True repentance inclines a man's heart to perform God's statutes always, even unto the end. A true penitent must go on from faith to faith, from strength to strength; he must never stand still nor turn back. Repentance is a grace, and must have its daily operation as well as other graces. True repent­ance is a continued spring, where the waters of godly sorrow are always flowing :  'My sins are ever before me,' Ps. li. 3. A true peni­tent is often casting his eyes back to the days of his former vanity, and this makes him morning and evening to 'water his couch with his tears.' ‘Remember not against me the sins of my youth,' saith one blessed penitent; and 'I was a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious,' saith another penitent.1
   Repentance is a continued act of turning, a repentance never to be repented of, a turning never to turn again to folly. A true penitent hath ever something within him to turn from; he can never get near enough to God; no, not so near him as once he was; and therefore he is still turning and turning that he may get nearer and nearer to him, that is his chiefest good and his only happiness, optimum maximum, the best and the greatest.2 They are every day a-crying out, 'O wretched men that we are, who shall deliver us from this body of death!' Rom. vii. 24. They are still sen­sible of sin, and still conflicting with sin, and still sorrowing for sin, and still loathing of themselves for sin. Repentance is no transient act, but a continued act of the soul.      
   And tell me, 0 tempted soul, whether it be such an easy thing as Satan would make thee believe, to be every day a-turning more and more from sin, and a-turning nearer and nearer to God, thy choicest blessedness. A true penitent can as easily content himself with one act of faith, or one act of love, as he can content himself with one act of repentance.
   A Jewish Rabbi, pressing the practice of repentance upon his dis­ciples, exhorting them to be sure to repent the day before they died, one of them replied, that the day of any man’s death was very uncertain. ‘Repent therefore, every day and then you shall be sure to repent the day before you die.’ You are wise and know how to apply it to your own advantage.
   Thanks for reading. Please comment.  Charles Woodruff

Sunday, April 24, 2011


 BY THOMAS BOSTON (1676-!732)

As ye will not be libertines in your life and practice, being dead to sin and the world with Christ; so ye will not be legalists in your life and practice neither, being also dead with him to the law as a covenant of works. Your obedience will run in another channel than it did before your union with Christ, even in the channel of the gospel. Ye will serve in newness of spirit, in faith and love. The frowns of a merciful Father will be a terror to you to frighten you from sin; love and gratitude will prompt you to obedience. The grieving of the Spirit of a Saviour will be a spring of sorrow to you; and his atoning blood and perfect righteousness will be the spring-head of all your comfort before the Lord; your good works but streams thereof, as they evidence your saving interest in these, are accepted through them, and glorify God your Saviour.

Ye will not continue to serve in the oldness of the letter, as before; at what time the law was the spring of all the obedience ye performed; fear of the punishment of hell for your sins, and hope of the reward of heaven’s happiness for your duties, being the weights that made you go, though for all them you often stopped; your sorrows springing from your ill works, under the influence of the law allenarly; and your comforts from your good works, under the same influence; ye being alive to the law and dead to Christ. Rom. vii. 6, “But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.” If by faith you wholly rely on Christ’s righteousness, the holiness of his nature, the righteousness of his life, and his satisfaction for sin, how is it possible but ye must be dead to the law? for the law is not of faith, Gal. iii. 12. But if you perform your obedience for life and salvation, looking for acceptance with God on the account of your works, you go in a way directly opposite to the way of faith, and either altogether reject Christ’s satisfying of the law, or else impute imperfection unto his payment of the bond. And “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace,” Gal. v. 4.
—Thomas Boston “A View of the Covenant of Grace”

Monday, April 18, 2011



We are changing the pattern just a little. Previously, the only blog on which we had changing photos was cyberphotos. We still do, but thought it a good idea to use photos on cybermeditations also. This gives you an extra visual element. Tell me how you like or dislike it----Thanks, Charles

Richard Baxter is regarded as one of the great Puritans. Perhaps his most famous, and many would say his must useful is The Reformed Pastor. Remember Baxter had the famous quote, which so many preachers have used "I preached as never sure to preach again, And as a dying man to dying men". Here is a good excerpt from The Reformed Pastor.

"'Seeing all these things lie upon our hands, what manner of persons ought we to be in all holy endeavors and resolutions for our work!' This is not a burden for the shoulders of a child. What skill doth every part of our work require! - and of how much moment is every part! To preach a sermon, I think, is not the hardest part; and yet what skill is necessary to make the truth plain; to convince the hearers, to let irresistible light in to their consciences, and to keep it there, and drive all home; to screw the truth into their minds, and work Christ into their affections; to meet every objection, and clearly to resolve it; to drive sinners to a stand, and make them see that there is no hope, but that they must unavoidably either be converted or condemned - and to do all this, as regards language and manner, as beseems our work, and yet as is most suitable to the capacities of our hearers. This, and a great deal more that should be done in every sermon, must surely require a great deal of holy skill. So great a God, whose message we deliver, should be honoured by our delivery of it."  

Sunday, April 10, 2011


BY ROLFE BARNARD (1904-!969)

Now my friends, I come to say that the Old Gospel of God's Grace is opposed to this "new gospel" of part grace and part man. The Old Gospel, which is the true Gospel of God, safeguarded some values which this new gospel loses. Will you hear me carefully now? The new gospel that we have today by an uncertain universal redemption and universal divine saving purpose compels itself to cheapen grace and to cheapen the cross of Christ—by denying that the Father and the Son are sovereign in salvation. This new gospel assures us that after God in Christ has done all that They can or will do, it depends finally on each man's own choice whether God's purpose to save him is realized or not. 

Now my friends, this popular position has two unhappy results — this preaching that God has done His part and now He helplessly stands by while you decide whether or not his purpose shall be realized:

In the first place, this position compels us to misunderstand the significance of the gracious invitations of Christ in the Gospel. When we hear the invitations of these preachers who pervert the Gospel—they are not the expressions of the tender patience of a mighty Sovereign; they are the pathetic pleas of human desire. And so the enthroned Lord of glory under present-day preaching is suddenly changed into a weak, futile figure, knocking at the human heart which He is powerless to open. My friends, this is a shameful dishonor to the Sovereign Christ of the New Testament.

In the second place, this "new gospel" as it is preached forces us to deny our dependence upon God; when it comes to vital decisions, it takes us out of God's hands. It tells us that after all, we are the master of our fate and the captain of our souls. And it so undermines the very foundation of our relationship with our Maker. No wonder the converts of today are so often both irreverent and irreligious!

The Old Gospel speaks very differently in expounding man's need of Christ; the Old Gospel stresses something almost ignored today. That something is that sinners cannot obey the Gospel any more than they can obey the Law, apart from renewal of heart. On the other hand, declaring Christ's power to save, the Old Gospel proclaims Him as the Author and chief agent of conversion. It preaches Him as coming by His Spirit as the Gospel goes forth to renew men's hearts and draw them to Himself. Thus, the Old Gospel, while stressing that faith is man's duty, stresses also that faith is not in man's power. God must give what He commands. Ephesians 2:8 says, "For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God."

Hebrews 12:2a says:  "Looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith."'

Thus the Old Gospel announces not merely that men must come to Christ for salvation, but the Old Gospel also announces that men cannot come unless God draws them. John 6:44 says, "No man can come to Me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him."

John 14:6 says, "Jesus saith unto him, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father but by Me."

John 3:27 says, "John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from Heaven."

Thus, my friends, the Old Gospel does what desperately needs to be done; it labors to overthrow self-confidence, it labors to convince sinners that salvation is altogether out of their hands, and to shut sinners up to a self-despairing dependence on the glorious grace of a Sovereign Saviour, not only for their righteousness, but for their faith, too. Thus the Old Gospel doesn't talk about deciding for Christ, as we hear today. For this business of deciding for Christ suggests voting a person into office. It suggests an act in which the candidate plays no part, beyond offering himself for election. Everything is settled by the voter's independent choice. I wish people would believe me when I tell you that we do not vote God's Son into office as our Saviour! Nor does our Saviour remain passive while preachers campaign on His behalf.

My friends, coming to Christ, resting on Christ and turning from sin in full surrender to Christ is far different from deciding for Christ as your Saviour. Those who pervert the Gospel beg people to accept Jesus as their Saviour, and they will be saved. That is a lie out of Hell, because it is not in the Bible. If a person does not surrender to Jesus Christ as Lord to rule and reign over the life —he is not saved! We also hear these words spoken by preachers who pervert the Gospel:  "Now sinner, God has done His part—the Devil wants you, and Christ wants you, and you have the deciding vote." But, my friends, that is not so! Christ didn't just offer Himself for office. He is working now—He is on a throne ruling and reigning as Prophet, Priest, and King. He does not stand by while we try to get people to decide for Him as the Gospel is proclaimed. He comes in the Spirit actively to draw men to Himself, and thus we preachers say that He is a Saviour for sinners. The Father and the Spirit draw sinners to Christ.

Salvation is of the Lord. Thank God it is all in Christ. And to the question, "What must I do to be saved?" And this is the question of questions. The Old Gospel replies, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ." And then somebody says, "What does that mean?" The Old Gospel replies, "It means knowing one's self to be a sinner and knowing the Christ who died for sinners. It means to abandon all self-righteousness and self-confidence, and to cast yourself wholly upon Christ for pardon and peace. It means exchanging one's natural enmity and rebellion against God for a spirit of grateful submission to the will of Christ, through the renewing of one's heart by the Holy Ghost. It means God taking a sinner and making him a new creature in Christ."

The next question, how am I to go about believing on Christ and repenting? "Brother Barnard, you say I have no natural ability to do these things?" I didn't say that—God says that! "If I have no ability to do these things, how am I to go about believing on Christ and repenting? If you say I must—and I can't—how can it come to pass?" To that perplexing question, and yet true one, the Old Gospel answers, "Listen, sinner friend, look to Christ. Quit looking to yourself; quit listening to your old bent and feeble will; look to Christ, seek the Lord, beg for mercy." 1 Samuel 2:8 says, "He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory."
Isaiah 45:22 says, "Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else."

Isaiah 55:6 says. "Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near."

Jeremiah 29:13 says, "And ye shall seek Me, and find Me, when ye shall search for Me with all your heart."

Cry to Christ, just as you are, cast yourself on His mercy, ask Him to give you a new heart, working in you true repentance and faith. Ask Christ to take away your evil heart of unbelief and to write His law in your heart. Draw near to Him, watching, praying, reading, and hearing His Word. And continue to seek the Lord until He speaks peace to you.

God Almighty has to perform a miracle in you and reveal Christ in you, for you to have eternal life.
John 17:3 says, "And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, Whom Thou hast sent."

Luke 10:22 says, "All things are delivered to Me of My Father: and no man knoweth Who the Son is, but the Father; and Who the Father is, but the Son, and He to whom the Son shall reveal Him."

The Holy Ghost has to baptize you into the body of Christ. 1 Corinthians 12:13a says, "For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body."

Our Lord Jesus Christ is not passively waiting, but is actively working to bring His chosen people to faith. The preaching of the "new gospel" is called bringing men to Christ, as if only men moved while Christ stands still. The true Gospel is the coming of Christ to men. As the Gospel is preached, and Christ is set before men's eyes, the mighty Saviour, Whom the Gospel proclaims is busy (Praise God!) doing His work through the Word. Not standing by, but visiting sinners with salvation, awakening them to faith and drawing them in mercy to Himself. Thank God, we don't have to use all these methods of the flesh to get somebody to decide to accept Christ! We just have to proclaim Christ in the power of the Holy Ghost! We don't have to look at those poor sinners and know that it all depends on them. But we know that as we preach Christ, He is standing by, He is working, He is dealing with men. He is opening blind eyes and, bless God, He is drawing sinners to Himself. Oh, how glorious it is to proclaim the Christ Who came into the world to save sinners! Praise His Holy Name!

Luke 5:32 says, "I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."

Galatians 1:6-9 says, "I marvel that ye are so soon removed from Him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel, which is not another, but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the Gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from Heaven, preach any other Gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed."  Amen.

Saturday, April 2, 2011


(Here is another excellent Scripture Meditation from my friend W.F. Bell.)

In the 1960s the "Baby Boom" generation was "invaded" by the sexual revolution, Beatle mania and the drug culture.  In the sovereign mercy of God, at that same time, the Spirit of grace awakened me to my need of the Lord Jesus Christ, so I began to diligently study God's holy Word while still in High School.  A whole new world dawned upon me, as "Heaven came down, and glory filled my soul."  My life had been divinely "invaded" by the King of heaven, Prince Immanuel.  Grace sought me and caught me in my teenage wildness, and taught me to look to Christ alone.  Very early I learned Joshua 1:8-9, verses which were powerfully impressed upon me: "This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein; for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.  Have not I commanded thee?  Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed; for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest."  Time and time again through the years I have gone back to these verses for assurance of the Lord's mercy and goodness.  His promises never failed Joshua, and they have not failed me.

After over forty years of walking with God, through many ups and downs in life, it is not encouraging when one takes a candid look at the spiritual diagnosis of the modern church (I assure you the "church" has changed since I was young).  We clearly see some sad conditions.  One, our modern churches are not concerned for God's glory, but seem to be content running religious businesses.  Two, most of the preaching we hear today, alas, is not Christ-exalting, but very man-centered.  Thirdly, many religious people seem to be spiritually ignorant, being "at ease in Zion," and seem to have been fully absorbed into our anti-Christ culture.  Are not these things so?  God is still sovereign, however, and therein lies our hope.  "Be not dismayed."

Recently, while reading a detailed account of D-Day, June 6, 1944 (the Allied invasion of Normandy), I was struck deeply by the words of General Eisenhower concerning the invasion, calling it "the fury of an aroused democracy."  How true!  If ever "fury" was released by men upon others, it certainly was in this united effort to conquer the Nazis.  So, relating this to the modern church, if we are ever to experience 

spiritual deliverance and change from the above diagnosis, there must be "a divine invasion" from heaven among us.  We deserve the "fury" of God's wrath!  But what we seek is an "invasion" of mercy and power, which alone will truly set us free from worldly ways and man-centered worship, and bring great glory to our Lord Jesus Christ.  May God humble us all, no matter the cost to us.  Our hope lies not in puny man or his devices, but in King Jesus alone invading our shores.  His "mighty arm" and "right hand" only brings Himself the victory (Psalm 89:13).  So, let us pray, "GIVE us help from trouble; for VAIN is the help of man" (Psalm 108:12).  In other words, let us all pray, "Lord, invade us!  In wrath remember Thy mercy!"