Friday, January 06, 2006


1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

1:6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering.

For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.

1:7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.

1:8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.


James here makes a clear distinction between two groups of people - those who place all their trust in Christ and those who place only part of their trust in Christ.

God’s elect, when exposed to temptations, run to Christ. They ask God (ask of God) for knowledge of Christ. They come for revival in knowledge of Christ crucified for their sins. They abandon all reliance, all trust, in their self-worth as they come to him to place all their trust in him, to place all their trust in his perfect righteousness. They come in perfect faith doubtlessly knowing they are totally corrupt and he is perfectly Holy. Their patience comes from knowing Christ fully. All those who desire to know more of Christ simply ask and it is given to them by God (giveth to all men). It is his joy to give Grace abundantly (liberally), and to continue to give it (giveth). All those who have seen Christ have been enabled to do so, they have been enabled to place all their trust in Christ. They know they stand before God completely in Christ’s righteousness and none of their own. They know they will never receive any of God’s wrath (upbraideth not).

Note that this “wisdom” is Christ. In Proverbs 8 he assigns the name wisdom and all its character to himself. This “faith” is trust in Christ. Christ is given to all who seek him (ask of God) completely trusting (faith) in him and nothing else.

Prov 8:12 I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions.

The status of the second group of people is completely different. Those who try to come to God while trusting in themselves (either partially or fully) are not accepted by God. God will not accept, will not love, and will not do anything for those who come to him claiming any self-worth whatsoever (For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord). Remember in Genesis Chapter 4 that Abel brought a bloody substitute and was accepted while Cain instead brought the results of his efforts and was condemned. God’s message to us in his word is clear, his justice is universal, his love is not. Every single member of the human race is condemned justly under God’s Law. The only way to reconcile to God is through the gift of Christ’s imputed righteousness evidenced by faith in him. Christ saves God’s elect to himself by himself for his glory. Salvation is only by and through his sovereignly bestowed Free Gift of Grace; it is absolutely not by or through any of man’s works or merit. God will not tolerate any mixing of his Grace and man’s works.

Isa 42:8 I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.

God’s elect come to Christ with 100% trust in his righteousness and 0% trust in their own righteousness. They come with no wavering at all (ask in faith, nothing wavering).

By Ray Bennetts

Thursday, November 17, 2005


13:22 And Manoah said unto his wife, We shall surely die, because we have seen God.

13:23 But his wife said unto him, If the LORD were pleased to kill us, he would not have received a burnt offering and a meat offering at our hands, neither would he have shewed us all these things, nor would as at this time have told us such things as these.

After witnessing God’s acceptance of their offering, Manoah and his wife make a striking disclosure of God’s purpose. Christ’s faithful Gospel preachers declare that certain proof of God’s purpose is given to the elect and not to those predestined for destruction.
Prov 3:32-33 For the froward is abomination to the LORD: but his secret is with the righteous. The curse of the LORD is in the house of the wicked: but he blesseth the habitation of the just.

Manoah portrays one who has come to Christ but does not yet comprehend what has happened. His wife portrays a preacher instructing him so that he understands.
Neh 8:1-8 And all the people gathered themselves together as one man... they spake unto Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses... Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation both of men and women, and all that could hear with understanding... they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.

1) Christ himself reveals himself to his elect so they know that God does not intend to pour wrath on them. All are condemned under Law; every sin must be paid for. God’s elect have had their sin debt paid by Christ for them. They will never die (If the LORD were pleased to kill us.. he would not... neither would... nor would...).

John 14:20 ... Ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.

2) The fact that Christ’s offering at Calvary was accepted is what enables God not to kill his elect. They are acceptable to God because he received their offering (he would not have received a burnt offering and a meat offering at our hands).

Gen 4:3-5 ... Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.

3) Christ is revealed to the elect only (us) through the preaching of the Gospel by his preachers to his church (neither would he have shewed us all these things). God’s enemies do not know of his name, his character, his Free Sovereign Grace.

Ps 25:14 The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant.
John 15:15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.

4) Christ reveals himself to the elect to give them confidence, assurance, peace, and rest during their lives here on earth (now - at this time) that they might believe and trust in him now and fully take all the promises and all the blessings of his covenant (nor would as at this time have told us such things as these).

Ps 27:13-14 I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.

By Ray Bennetts

Sunday, October 02, 2005


Jeremiah preached at the end of the period of Kings. He preached the Gospel of God’s Free Sovereign Grace in Christ; he preached God’s love and care for his chosen elect. He declared the impending destruction of Judah and the temple, the coming 70 years of captivity in Babylon, and the certain restoration for the elect. Here he exposes all those who undermine his preaching, all those who preach free-will works-religion.
Christ alone, all sufficient in salvation, is the message of the Bible. Christ saved God’s elect to himself by himself for his glory. Only Christ is righteous. God’s elect have no righteousness of their own; they have Christ’s righteousness imputed to them freely, his gift of Grace (receiving Grace is to get what you do not deserve). Christ cares for his loved ones by gathering them to the Gospel preachers he provides to care for them. God is absolutely Holy, in wrath he will justly punish all sin, as a loving father he will chastise his loved ones.

Outline of Chapter 23

23:1-2 - False preachers condemned
23:3-9 - The elect rely on Christ
23:10-15 - Condemnation of false prophets and false priests
23:16-22 - Their false message is that man deserves to be loved by God
23:23-30 - Their false message is self-contrived not God’s Word
23:31-32 - Christ’s care ensures false prophets can not pervert God’s elect
23:33-38 - The reprobate demand that their works save them
23:39-40 - Christ will personally destroy all false preachers

23:1 Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD.
23:2 Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the LORD.

These ”sheep“ are God’s elect. These are the people sovereignly chosen by God before time began to receive his Mercy. They are weak simple needy creatures, unable to care for themselves, unable to save themselves. They are the only people loved by God; they are “the sheep of his pasture“; they are the ones he has committed to care for. Christ is their true shepherd; he has the responsibility to provide total care for them, to feed them his Gospel, to save them from the temptation of this world’s self-righteousness, to bring them into eternal glory with him. False pastors injure God’s loved ones. Pastors, like shepherds, are responsible for feeding their flock; they are to feed the Gospel to the church. The evil activity of these false pastors is shown clearly in the verses below. While claiming to be from God they preach man’s self-worth rather than man’s depravity. They attempt to eliminate man’s need for Christ. Christ condemns them (woe be unto) for their efforts, for damaging his people, for driving them apart, for ruining their unity, for separating them from Free-Grace, for “scattering” them. Christ will punish in wrath all of those who afflict the elect.

By Ray Bennetts

Jeremiah 23:3-9 - THE ELECT RELY ON CHRIST

23:3 And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase.

23:4 And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the LORD.

Foiling the efforts of false pastors, Christ gathers God’s elect (his flock) to his faithful Gospel preachers (shepherds) where they are fed the true Gospel. They have no fear to stand before God. They know they are justified by Christ’s righteousness not their own. They have everything they need (not lacking) in Christ.

23:5 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.

23:6 In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.

This King is Christ; he came on earth and lived perfectly righteous, obeying and fulfilling all of God’s Law. He is the sovereign King ruling over all. He is on the throne saving God’s elect (represented here by David, Judah, and Israel). They are saved because he imputes his righteousness to them. They do not trust in their own meritorious works; they trust in his perfect obedience of God’s Law. The elect do not rely on their righteousness, they claim his righteousness to themselves.

Jer 33:15-16 In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land. In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The LORD our righteousness.

23:7 Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that they shall no more say, The LORD liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; 23:8 But, The LORD liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land.

The spiritual seed freed from Law AND fully gathered to Christ (the seed of the house of Israel). This seed includes everyone who places all of their trust in Christ. They are delivered from the Law and gathered to Christ by Christ.

23:9 Mine heart within me is broken because of the prophets; all my bones shake; I am like a drunken man, and like a man whom wine hath overcome, because of the LORD, and because of the words of his holiness.

God’s elect hear of Christ through the preaching of his Gospel out of his Word the Bible. Christ’s faithful preachers declare Christ using every book in the Bible. At the time of Jeremiah’s writing this Chapter, they had the writings of the Old Testament prophets only. The elect in Jeremiah’s day heard of Christ through the writings of those prophets, “because of the prophets“. They heard of God’s Holiness, of his impossibly high standard which they can not reach, of their need for salvation, of Christ’s perfect righteousness, of Christ’s substitutionary atonement, of Christ’s offer of salvation to all who trust in his name (in his holy nature). The heard the Gospel of the righteousness of Jesus Christ; they heard “the words of his holiness”.

By Ray Bennetts


23:10 For the land is full of adulterers; for because of swearing the land mourneth; the pleasant places of the wilderness are dried up, and their course is evil, and their force is not right.

23:11 For both prophet and priest are profane; yea, in my house have I found their wickedness, saith the LORD.

23:12 Wherefore their way shall be unto them as slippery ways in the darkness: they shall be driven on, and fall therein: for I will bring evil upon them, even the year of their visitation, saith the LORD.

23:13 And I have seen folly in the prophets of Samaria; they prophesied in Baal, and caused my people Israel to err.

23:14 I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem an horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies: they strengthen also the hands of evildoers, that none doth return from his wickedness; they are all of them unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah.

23:15 Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts concerning the prophets; Behold, I will feed them with wormwood, and make them drink the water of gall: for from the prophets of Jerusalem is profaneness gone forth into all the land.

God’s enemies gather together around the horrible evil of false gospels. They preach it everywhere throughout the whole world as well as directly inside churches (in my house). It has “gone forth into all the land“. The pleasant places of the world (the whole world) are perverted distorted ruined into corruption (evil) by those who disrespect (profane) God, who commit adultery loving false gods rather than Christ.

The phrase “in my house” refers directly in his churches both in the Northern Kingdom of Israel (typified by its main city Samaria) and the Southern Kingdom of Judah (typified by its main city Jerusalem).

These false prophets are correctly and appropriately referred to as “prophets of Jerusalem“; they have absolutely no connection with Christ; they are intimately and permanently associated with the perverted religion of man invented on this world; they are not Gospel preachers. They live and preach in darkness; they do not have Christ; they do not have the light of the Gospel. There is no partial value in these false prophets; they are totally corrupt. God’s elect are specifically instructed to not listen to them, to not hearken to them. Their behaviour, their walk is corrupt - all can see it. They are as corrupted as were Sodom and Gomorrah (see Genesis 18).

Endless eternal suffering is proclaimed for them because of their profaneness (their disrespect for God’s character). God ordained that their preaching, their path, their way will cause them to fall, to slip, into darkness (completely removed for God) forever. Christ commits to “feed them with wormwood, and make them drink the water of gall“. Wormwood (also called Absinthe) is a plant that yields a bitter extract used to flavor absinthe and formerly as a medicine for intestinal worms. The point here is that Christ will punish them severely for their offenses.

By Ray Bennetts


23:16 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the LORD.

False preachers preach something they have seen in themselves, a vision of their own heart. They say God sent them, they say they bring his message. But God here declares the reality; they do not speak his Gospel, they do not declare Christ.

False preachers declare meaningless fluff (prophesy false dreams), not the Gospel. Their message is perverted useless man-made nonsense. They declare that man’s self-righteousness is relevant to God, that it has meaning, significance, or merit before God. These people know nothing about Christ. Do not waste time trying to salvage something useful out of their words. Christ instructs all to not listen to false preachers (hearken not). Those who do listen literally become “vain” in every sense. Man (whether smart or dim, wealthy or poor, moral or immoral) is totally corrupt, is guilty of sin against God. He deserves to receive, and can not save himself from, God’s wrath. His wisdom is worthless; his works are useless; everything in his life is worthless frustration - vanity.

Eccl 1:2-3 Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity. What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun?

Eccl 2:11 Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.

Eccl 2:14 The wise man's eyes are in his head; but the fool walketh in darkness: and I myself perceived also that one event happeneth to them all.

There is a thing of infinite value in this worthless corrupted void universe - it is God’s gift of the knowledge of Christ. This wisdom excels all other things - it gives eternal life.

Eccl 2:13 Then I saw that wisdom excelleth folly, as far as light excelleth darkness.

Eccl 7:12 For wisdom is a defence, and money is a defence: but the excellency of knowledge is, that wisdom giveth life to them that have it.

23:17 They say still unto them that despise me, The LORD hath said, Ye shall have peace; and they say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you.

WOW! This is the plain declaration of exactly what these false preachers preach.

False preachers do not declare the corruption of man. They do not declare that God’s wrath is justly deserved by all. Instead, they declare that man deserves to be treated well by God, that God loves man because man has earned God’s love through meritorious works. They say “ye shall have peace” and “no evil shall come upon you” as if to declare publicly that God is merely a god of love rather than a God who is Holy, absolutely unchangeably Holy, thrice Holy.

False preachers preach for and to them that despise God. They preach to them that live according to their own contrived view of what is happening in this world (after the imagination of his own heart), this world which was created by Christ and is completely under his control. Those who hate Christ walk through this world, live through their lives on this earth as if they were in control and they had no need of Christ. They have vile un-regenerated hearts which do not know Christ.

23:18 For who hath stood in the counsel of the LORD, and hath perceived and heard his word? who hath marked his word, and heard it? 23:19 Behold, a whirlwind of the LORD is gone forth in fury, even a grievous whirlwind: it shall fall grievously upon the head of the wicked.

23:20 The anger of the LORD shall not return, until he have executed, and till he have performed the thoughts of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly.

God is not such a one as man. He is Holy and Just. He will maintain his Holiness and punish all sin. Wrath is due to all men - not peace. God’s righteousness is farther above man than the stars are above the earth. God is not swayed by man’s imaginations of how God should deal with man. No one counsels him (who hath stood in the counsel of the LORD). God is completely sovereign, free from external influence. God will in wrath punish any and all sin ever committed (in fury...upon the head of the wicked). The “wicked” ones referred to here includes every person who ever committed even one single sin - this includes every single person.

God patiently delays pouring out his wrath on all until his purpose has been completed, until Christ has fully secured all of the elect (performed the thoughts of his heart).

These latter days are today, Christ has come and won the victory and we preach all of his Gospel publicly. The whole Gospel is now revealed plainly to the elect (in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly).

23:21 I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied.

23:22 But if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings.

No one has been, is being, or will ever be saved from God’s wrath as a result of hearing the preaching of false preachers. They preach to those who hate God; they preach to the reprobates, those who were predestined to damnation. And the reprobates remain condemned after hearing the false Gospel.

The Gospel is preached by Christ’s preachers who know him (stood in my counsel); they preach Christ to God’s elect and it is effective to them. The elect repent of their self-confidence, turn from the evil of trusting in their righteousness works / doings; they turn to the Free Sovereign Grace of Christ; they rely fully on the imputed righteousness of Christ.

By Ray Bennetts


23:23 Am I a God at hand, saith the LORD, and not a God afar off? 23:24 Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD.

God is everywhere; he is ”at hand“. He is with us not far off. Nothing is hidden from him, all sin is exposed to him, and he will punish every bit of it. He sees what his enemies do. God says, I am against the prophets who attempt to defeat the advance of his Gospel.

23:25 I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed.

False preachers preach their heart not God’s. They preach the imaginary gospel of men, the deceit of their own heart. They preach that man can make himself acceptable to God through meritorious works. They are taken in a lie - they spread that lie to others using false credentials - claiming they speak for God. But God clearly declares here that they “prophesy lies in my name“.

23:26 How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart; 23:27 Which think to cause my people to forget my name by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbour, as their fathers have forgotten my name for Baal.

WOW! Here we are shown exactly what false preachers hope to achieve.

False preachers strive to have the elect forget God’s name, to forget God’s character, to forget his perfect Holiness, to forget that he will punish every sin to maintain his Holiness. Their goal is to make the elect think that they have no need for Christ, that they can save themselves by their own works. False preachers seek to have God’s elect forsake God’s Grace, seek to have God’s elect work for salvation, seek to have God’s elect honor man’s imaginary God (Baal) rather than Christ.

23:28 The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the LORD.

23:29 Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces? 23:30 Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that steal my words every one from his neighbour.

What is the chaff to the wheat? Chaff is insignificant waste that is carried away on the slightest breeze never to be seen again. False preaching (preaching of free-will works-religion) is as chaff in comparison to the Gospel of Free Sovereign Grace in Christ (the wheat). God’s elect reject all teaching of free-will works-religion, reject any teaching or claim that the works of man have any merit before God, reject any teaching that God owes anything to man.

Gospel preachers preach all of Christ’s character (speak my word faithfully) leaving nothing out and mixing nothing in. Only God’s word can break the stony heart (rock) of a sinner and turn them to Christ. The preaching of God’s Word is effective to his saints. It is a fire purifying his elect and consuming his enemies. False prophets are trivial they will not deter Christ from saving the elect.

By Ray Bennetts


23:31 Behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that use their tongues, and say, He saith.

23:32 Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the LORD, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the LORD.

Christ himself personally declares condemnation for false preachers, for all who falsely claim to speak for God (and say, He saith). In truth God sent them not nor commanded them. True Gospel preachers are sent and commanded to preach by Christ. They speak for Christ. They declare exactly what Christ gives them, exactly what every one of Christ’s prophets preached from the beginning - they preach Christ. The preaching of the Gospel is effective to God’s elect. The elect hear, turn away from / abandon all self-confidence, and put all their trust (their faith) in Christ’s righteousness.

The false preachers declare meaningless fluff (prophesy false dreams), rather than the Gospel. Their message is perverted useless man-made nonsense. They declare that man’s self-righteousness is relevant to God, that it has meaning, significance, or merit before God. These people know nothing about Christ. Do not waste time trying to salvage something useful out of their speeches - “hearken not unto their words”.

Christ guards his people from false gospels. The elect persevere in Grace because Christ keeps them. The lies of false prophets will not affect the elect (they shall not profit this people). The liars will not gain traction amoung the elect. They can not and will not lose hold of Christ. His Grace, his free undeserved gift, is their only hope. Christ protects his sheep from the lies of works-religionists.

By Ray Bennetts


23:33 And when this people, or the prophet, or a priest, shall ask thee, saying, What is the burden of the LORD? thou shalt then say unto them, What burden? I will even forsake you, saith the LORD.

23:34 And as for the prophet, and the priest, and the people, that shall say, The burden of the LORD, I will even punish that man and his house.

Those who ask, who desire, to have the responsibility of performing some work for God in order to gain favor from God are asking what God requires of, or will accept from, them. They are asking what standard they must achieve (What is the burden of the Lord). They want to work to achieve reconciliation with God, to save themselves. All who seek self-justification with God will be forsaken by God. He can only accept perfect righteousness. He will not accept their deeds (their works) and he will not accept them.

23:35 Thus shall ye say every one to his neighbour, and every one to his brother, What hath the LORD answered? and, What hath the LORD spoken? 23:36 And the burden of the LORD shall ye mention no more: for every man's word shall be his burden; for ye have perverted the words of the living God, of the LORD of hosts our God.

God’s people, his sovereignly chosen elect, are all humbled by him. They bow to Christ. They do not seek any way to exalt themselves; they know that there is absolutely no goodness in themselves. They seek to know what God’s will is, what he has ordained. They seek to know Christ. They seek the truth directly in God’s Word, asking “what hath the LORD spoken“, asking what God has ordained, what has he purposed, what God has established regarding salvation. God’s elect understand that Christ has done all the work in their salvation. The elect know that they have no burden, no work to do. They rest in Christ’s completed Work.

God holds each person directly responsible for their actions (for every man's word shall be his burden). The elect declare Christ directly as he is revealed in God’s Word (the Bible). All those who pervert God’s Word are condemned for denying Christ.

23:37 Thus shalt thou say to the prophet, What hath the LORD answered thee? and, What hath the LORD spoken? 23:38 But since ye say, The burden of the LORD; therefore thus saith the LORD; Because ye say this word, The burden of the LORD, and I have sent unto you, saying, Ye shall not say, The burden of the LORD;

The reprobates are stuck on, dwell on, and are fascinated by the concept of working for their salvation, of showing God that they are good. All those who do not speak the words of the Gospel of Free Grace (what the Lord has spoken) are condemned for speaking works (the burden of the Lord). Remember Cain and Abel - Cain told God that his works made his soul acceptable while Abel offered up Christ’s soul substituted for his own corrupted soul.

God does not accept the works of man because God is perfectly Holy and can not accept anything un-Holy. As such, Salvation is all of Christ’s Grace and not at all of anyone’s works. Christ is the only one who satisfied and fulfilled all of God’s Law. Christ is the only one God has judged to be perfectly righteous. God imparted the sin debt of all of his sovereignly chosen elect onto Christ at the cross on Calvary. Christ suffered under God’s wrath to redeem the elect. Christ imputed his righteousness to each and every one of the elect. Their salvation is only and entirely as a result of Christ’s work for them.

By Ray Bennetts


Jer 23:39 Therefore, behold, I, even I, will utterly forget you, and I will forsake you, and the city that I gave you and your fathers, and cast you out of my presence: 23:40 And I will bring an everlasting reproach upon you, and a perpetual shame, which shall not be forgotten.

God’s elect and all of his Gospel preachers declare the freedom in Christ exactly as the Bible reveals it!! All those who declare bondage under Law are condemned!! Christ is very specific and clear about the fate of all those who preach free-will works-religion. Christ declares and repeats it for emphasis that he, yes he himself, will personally take action against these liars (I, even I, will).

Christ makes seven specific statements about what he will do to all those who preach or declare the merit of man’s works. He will.....

1) utterly forget you -

2) forsake you -

3) [forsake] the city -

4) cast you out of my presence -

5) bring an everlasting reproach upon you -

6) [bring] a perpetual shame [upon you] -

7) [all of which] shall not be forgotten -

By Ray Bennetts

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Ezekiel: Guaranteed rescue from works-religion

Ezekiel 34:7-10 Therefore, ye shepherds, hear the word of the LORD; As I live, saith the Lord GOD, surely because my flock became a prey, and my flock became meat to every beast of the field, because there was no shepherd, neither did my shepherds search for my flock, but the shepherds fed themselves, and fed not my flock; Therefore, O ye shepherds, hear the word of the LORD; Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; for I will deliver my flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them.

In Chapter 34, Christ instructs Ezekiel to preach against the shepherds of Israel. He exposes them for what they are - false preachers. They are not “Gospel preachers”; they are “preachers of Israel”. They say they are preachers of God but they are not Christ’s shepherds.

God’s elect are: diseased, sick, lost, scattered, become meat, wandering, and not sought after. They are hopeless, powerless, and undesirable. They see their sin and know their guilt before God. They are easy prey for false preachers (beasts of the field).

False preachers do not help God’s elect by pointing to Christ. Instead they cruelly preach self-righteousness. They point people back to themselves, telling each person to trust in their own individual meritorious works. They try to force God’s elect to plead their own righteousness to God. Their aim is to put everyone under bondage to the Law. They do not proclaim God’s Free Sovereign Grace.

Since these false preachers (who call themselves his shepherds) are concerned with themselves rather than God’s elect - Christ announces that he is against them. Legally and justly because of what they have done (therefore and thus) Christ commits to punish them forever.

Christ commits that he himself (I, even I) will collect and save each and every one of God’s elect. The elect are his flock - his and his alone. They are his loved ones and his responsibility. They are sheep - totally helpless without him. He teaches them of his Grace. He takes them out of false religion. He takes them away from those who preach the soul damning heresy of works-religion (will deliver my flock from their mouth). He will not let them despair under false teachers.

Here is a message of comfort to God’s elect. Christ guarantees that he will secure all of them under his wings; he takes them out of false religion; he teaches them of his Grace; he brings them to him using his true Preachers. Every one of God’s elect know that Christ, the LORD their God, is with them.

By Ray Bennetts

Friday, September 02, 2005

Amos: How Do We Seek Him?

Amos 5:10-15 compares the behavior of those who hate Christ and those who love him.

Amos 5:10-15 They hate him that rebuketh in the gate, and they abhor him that speaketh uprightly. Forasmuch therefore as your treading is upon the poor, and ye take from him burdens of wheat: ye have built houses of hewn stone, but ye shall not dwell in them; ye have planted pleasant vineyards, but ye shall not drink wine of them. For I know your manifold transgressions and your mighty sins: they afflict the just, they take a bribe, and they turn aside the poor in the gate from their right. Therefore the prudent shall keep silence in that time; for it is an evil time. Seek good, and not evil, that ye may live: and so the LORD, the God of hosts, shall be with you, as ye have spoken. Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate: it may be that the LORD God of hosts will be gracious unto the remnant of Joseph.

Natural man “hates and abhors“ Christ as well as all those who confess Christ. God knows his enemies and he uses their sin to afflict his people (the just). God’s enemies “tread upon the poor”. These poor are the poor in spirit, those who have been humbled through the gift of the Holy Spirit. They “hate him....abhor him...tread upon the poor...take from him”. God has committed to punish all sins against him and all sins against his people. They will not reap benefits from any of their efforts in this life. Their works are meaningless (hewing stones and planting vineyards), they can not reconcile themselves to God, and they can not protect themselves from God’s wrath.

God’s elect, in reaction to afflictions sent by God to them in this life, turn from their filth, corruption, and self-reliance. They are enabled to see and understand that there is no righteousness in themselves or anyone else in this life. They seek the absolute righteousness of Christ. They “seek good and not evil” and they “hate the evil”. They reject free-will works-religion and rely exclusively on Christ’s Free Sovereign Grace. They seek and love the righteousness of Christ; they “seek good” and “love the good”.

God’s elect do not attempt to show off their righteousness to anyone. They “prudently” rest quietly (silently) in Christ’s righteousness. They display their knowledge of Christ through their words and their actions. God commits that he will come to (be with) those who seek him. They confess that he is with them (as ye have spoken) - and he is with them at all times. God “will be gracious” to all who seek him. He will give them what they absolutely do not deserve.

Joel 2:12-13 Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.

By Ray Bennetts

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Amos: Who Is It We Are To Seek?

After confirming the certainty of punishment and calling all of mankind to return unto him in Chapter 4. Now God declares four times what we are to do – and that is “Seek ye me, seek the Lord, and ye shall live.” But who is it that we should seek?

Amos 5:7-9 Ye who turn judgment to wormwood, and leave off righteousness in the earth, Seek him that maketh the seven stars and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with night: that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is his name: That strengtheneth the spoiled against the strong, so that the spoiled shall come against the fortress.

WHO should you seek? Seek the Lord Almighty who is in absolute control of everything, the one who made the Earth and the Stars, the one who did miracles in bringing his people up out of Egypt (out of bondage under his Law), the one who brought the flood in Noah’s days (justly punishing sin). This is Jesus Christ - The LORD (universal controller) is his name / his character. He is a just God and a Savior. He is the only savior, he humbles believers and gives them the ability to trust in his righteousness, and he gives them the ability to overcome the temptations of this world. He is the creator, and savior, and maintainer of God’s elect. Believers seek Jesus Christ, they seek his mercy.

Nah 1:2-3 God is jealous, and the LORD revengeth; the LORD revengeth, and is furious; the LORD will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth wrath for his enemies. The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the LORD hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.

John 11:24-26 Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

John 14:6-7 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.

By Ray Bennetts

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Amos: Where Does One Seek Christ?

In Amos Chapter 5 Christ declares four times what man must do to avoid punishment for sin - and that is “Seek ye me, seek the Lord, and ye shall live.” Christ commits that all who trust in him for salvation will be saved. He says “All who come to me I will in no wise cast out”. He is the only way of salvation. But where should one seek him, where can one learn of him?

Amos 5:4-6 For thus saith the LORD unto the house of Israel, Seek ye me, and ye shall live: But seek not Bethel, nor enter into Gilgal, and pass not to Beersheba: for Gilgal shall surely go into captivity, and Bethel shall come to nought. Seek the LORD, and ye shall live; lest he break out like fire in the house of Joseph, and devour it, and there be none to quench it in Bethel.

WHERE should one seek Christ? Do not seek him in false man-made religion (“seek not Bethel”) there is no peace there. Bethel was the location of one of the golden calves placed by Jeroboam I. The calves symbolize false worship - represent man’s self-perceived power and wealth and beauty. False religion glorifies man and the works of man. False religion teaches than man can justify himself to God on the basis of his own meritorious works. Christ’s faithful Gospel preachers declare Christ’s doctrine clearly and simply and boldly for all to hear. They proclaim salvation by his Grace alone. True worship of God gives all the glory to Christ. Believers know, believe, and understand his free Grace. Those who desire to be saved seek him, seek the Lord; they look to him; they bow to his sovereignty; they call on his name, his perfect righteousness; they rely on him exclusively for salvation; they do not place any trust in themselves at all. They plead for his mercy they do not claim any self-worthiness. They accept his Free Sovereign Grace.

John 6:35-38 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not. All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.

By Ray Bennetts

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Amos: Why Seek Christ?

In Amos Chapter 5 Christ declares four times what man must do to avoid punishment for sin - and that is “Seek ye me, seek the Lord, and ye shall live.”

Amos 5:1-4 Hear ye this word which I take up against you, even a lamentation, O house of Israel. The virgin of Israel is fallen; she shall no more rise: she is forsaken upon her land; there is none to raise her up. For thus saith the Lord GOD; The city that went out by a thousand shall leave an hundred, and that which went forth by an hundred shall leave ten, to the house of Israel. For thus saith the LORD unto the house of Israel, Seek ye me, and ye shall live:

WHY seek Christ? Every person who ever lived should seek him because every person deserves God’s wrath (they have fallen) for their sin. And no one is strong enough to save themselves from his wrath (shall no more rise). Every person must seek him to avoid unending punishment for their personal sin debt. This sin debt is so large, so massive, so heavy that no one can pay it. No one knows how to pay and there is not enough wealth on the planet to pay for their debt. No one can save themselves but Christ commits to save everyone who comes to him for salvation.

Isa 40:15-17 Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing. And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn, nor the beasts thereof sufficient for a burnt offering. All nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity.

By Ray Bennetts

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Amos: Salvation Is All Of Grace And None Of Works

Natural man invents his own gods and invents religions (typified here by Bethel and Gilgal) which glorify man’s works as meritorious. All of those religions are false; God exposes and smashes them all. The works of natural man are meaningless to God. Only perfect righteousness is acceptable to God. The only man who ever walked perfectly righteous on this earth is Jesus Christ. The only way to be saved from God’s wrath is by the imputed righteousness of Christ. Christ offers this to everyone; he commits to save everyone who seeks him. Natural man refuses to seek Christ, refuses to bow to him. Only those elected by God before time began are enabled to seek Christ. Salvation is only by the free sovereign gift of Grace in Jesus Christ. God will not accept any of man’s offerings and he will not accept any of man’s works. He will not accept any mixture of Grace and Works. Salvation is by Grace exclusively.

Amos 5:4-5 For thus saith the LORD unto the house of Israel, Seek ye me, and ye shall live: But seek not Bethel, nor enter into Gilgal, and pass not to Beersheba: for Gilgal shall surely go into captivity, and Bethel shall come to nought.

Amos 5:21-22 I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies. Though ye offer me burnt offerings and your meat offerings, I will not accept them: neither will I regard the peace offerings of your fat beasts.

By Ray Bennetts

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Daniel: Salvation By Grace Not Works

Natural man thinks that he is powerful, so powerful that he can justify himself before God. However, salvation is by God’s Grace alone, not at all by any meritorious works of any man in any way.

In the book of Daniel we are shown that all man’s works and kingdoms (the trappings he builds up around himself in honor of himself) are worthless, powerless, vain, and devoid of value - they are annihilated by Christ. Christ is the powerful “stone [that] was cut out without hands”. He overwhelms / smashes all of man’s works, destroys them so completely that they effectively float away like chaff on the wind. Man’s works are meaningless. Christ’s salvation does not require and does not use any of man’s works. Christ performs all of salvation; man has no part in it, man’s hands do not touch it, do not contribute to it. Christ is the “great mountain” that fills the whole earth. He is preeminent in all ways over all things; he is in complete control - not man.

Dan 2:34-35 Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.

God’s elect ask to receive his Grace on the basis of his Sovereign Mercy, not on the basis of their works, not on the basis of any self-righteousness, not on the basis of any of their merit.

Dan 9:18 O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies.

By Ray Bennetts

Friday, July 29, 2005

Song of Songs: Salvation From God’s Wrath Is Only By God’s Grace Not By Man’s Works

Man can not save himself from punishment under God’s wrath. His thoughts, words, deeds, and everything he has can not make atonement for his insults to God. God detests those who try to win his favor by any type of payment, including any meritorious works. The only way to be saved from eternal suffering under God’s wrath is through the gift of God’s Free Sovereign Grace in Christ and not at all of any man’s works; it can not be earned or purchased. Christ’s love for God’s elect is unconditional, permanent, and unquenchable. The elect did not earn their status through their works and they can not lose their status through their works. And God will not tolerate any mixing of Grace and works, not even in the slightest degree. Christ performs all of the work in saving God’s elect. The glory of salvation, all of it, belongs to Christ. He will not share his glory with another.

Song of Songs 8:7 Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned.

By Ray Bennetts

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Ecclesiastes: Salvation Is By Grace Not Works

The only way to be saved from punishment under God’s wrath is through the gift of God’s Free Sovereign Grace. No one can save themselves through their own meritorious works. The word Grace means “to receive something un-deserved”. No one deserves salvation. Salvation is a gift from God, not compensation, and not a reward. God’s elect have been enabled to see their total corruption and Christ’s perfect righteousness. Their offering to God is Christ’s soul not their own works. They have been given knowledge of Christ, they know their only hope is to trust in his imputed righteousness rather than their own. They rest confidently in the work Christ has done to reconcile them with God. Knowledge of Christ (the poor man) delivers all of God’s elect from eternal suffering under God’s wrath.

Ecclesiastes 9:11 I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.

Ecclesiastes 2:26 For God giveth to a man that is good in his sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy: but to the sinner he giveth travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to him that is good before God. This also is vanity and vexation of spirit.

Ecclesiastes 9:13-16 This wisdom have I seen also under the sun, and it seemed great unto me: There was a little city, and few men within it; and there came a great king against it, and besieged it, and built great bulwarks against it: Now there was found in it a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city; yet no man remembered that same poor man. Then said I, Wisdom is better than strength: nevertheless the poor man's wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard.

By Ray Bennetts

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Joel: Salvation Is All Of Grace And None Of Works

Those who attempt to justify themselves to God on the basis of their (self-proclaimed) great works will be forever removed from God. God is totally sovereign (free from external influence), he has decided who will be saved. Those who trust in their strength to justify themselves to God (e.g., typified by Egypt) and those who are self-confident (e.g., typified by Edom) are condemned to suffer for ever under God’s wrath.

Joel 2:20 But I will remove far off from you the northern army, and will drive him into a land barren and desolate, with his face toward the east sea, and his hinder part toward the utmost sea, and his stink shall come up, and his ill savour shall come up, because he hath done great things.

Joel 3:4 Yea, and what have ye to do with me, O Tyre, and Zidon, and all the coasts of Palestine? will ye render me a recompence? and if ye recompense me, swiftly and speedily will I return your recompence upon your own head;

Joel 3:19 Egypt shall be a desolation, and Edom shall be a desolate wilderness, for the violence against the children of Judah, because they have shed innocent blood in their land.

Christ handles every part of salvation. To God’s elect (those who are given the ability to repent) he has mercy (does not give them what they do deserve) and he gives them Grace (does give them what they do not deserve). He blots out his people’s sin. He makes them white as snow.

Joel 2:12-13 Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.

Joel 3:21 For I will cleanse their blood that I have not cleansed: for the LORD dwelleth in Zion.

By Ray Bennetts

Wednesday, July 13, 2005


God sovereignly chose a group people who he would save out of the human race.

None of these loved him or deserved to receive his mercy.

He saves these people by Christ for his glory - not their glory.

God sent Christ to marry his elect (an undeserving rebellious whore who despised him).

Hosea 1:2 The beginning of the word of the LORD by Hosea. And the LORD said to Hosea, Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms: for the land hath committed great whoredom, departing from the LORD.

These people did not desire Christ - they were “not my people”.

These people did not earn God’s Mercy - they “had not obtained mercy”.

God sovereignly chose (elected) these people - he declared they “art my people”.

These people were given faith in Christ - they all said God “art my God”.

God has mercy on the elect exclusively.

Hosea 2:23 And I will sow her unto me in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them which were not my people, Thou art my people; and they shall say, Thou art my God.

Only those chosen by God and purchased by his son will turn to Christ and be saved.

Hosea 14:7 They that dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall revive as the corn, and grow as the vine: the scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon.

By Ray Bennetts

Monday, July 11, 2005

Ruth: Christ Gets the Glory

Ruth 4:14 And the women said unto Naomi, Blessed be the LORD, which hath not left thee this day without a kinsman, that his name may be famous in Israel.

God saves his people to himself by himself for his glory. All that is happening in our lives in this day and age, all that has ever happened on this planet throughout history, has happened for one singular purpose - that Christ’s name will be above all.

Rev 7:9-12 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.

Col 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

By Ray Bennetts