Christ’s Rising

To the fearful disciples, gathered in the upper room, having the doors “fastened,” as the word means, Jesus showed His hands and His side. Luke notices that our Lord showed His hands and feet; John, His hands and side. His hands of power, His side of pity.

The hands and the heart of Christ are for His own fearful ones. His hands to provide, His heart to care. The rich of earth have hands that could provide for our need, but they have no heart to do so. Our well-meaning friends have hearts to sympathize, but not the means to supply our need. In the resurrection, blessed be His Name, our Lord has both.

Are we afraid? Do our sins like a mountain tower above us, or like a heavy burden, are they too heavy for us? Then let His pierced hands and side speak peace to us. He was wounded for our transgressions, He was
bruised for our iniquities. De we have no fear for eternal issues, but strangely enough, harbor fears about present possible eventualities? Fear of ill health, unemployment, bereavement, loneliness? These specters haunt us and disturb our rest.

The risen Christ is the cure. He would show us afresh His hands and side. None shall pluck us out of His hands. These powerful hands can hold and help and heal. His heart is touched with the feeling of our infirmities.

“We have not an high priest who cannot sympathize” (Heb. 4:14, RV). “The heart of the Eternal is most wonderfully kind.” “Is not the life more than meat and the body than raiment?” (Mt. 6:25) Will He who has given the life—the eternal things—not see to the food and the raiment? We betray the anomalous position of a people who, having no fear of our future transportation to heaven and of an amazing transformation even while we journey there, yet have fears of our daily sustenance while we wait for this glorious redemption.

To read more about Christ’s Death, you can find a list of books featured here.

Excerpt from The Glory of His Rising

Christ’s Resurrection

A more marvelous unfolding of the power of Christ’s resur­rection, both in Him and in us, could not be found than that in the first chapter of Ephesians. That declaration of the exceeding greatness of God’s power will be seen in heaven forever. It was far more stupendous than the work of creation.

There are references to the resurrection of Christ in the epis­tles to the Colossians and to the Philippians that might well exercise our hearts. To the Colossians, Paul wrote: “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth” (Col. 3:1-2).

In his letter to the Philippians, Paul writes his own ambition in these stirring words: “That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death” (Phil. 3:10).

Everything that Saul of Tarsus as a zealous Jew would have died for, he counted but refuse for Christ. The soul of Saul had once burned with a zeal for the traditions of his fathers. When he considered that Jesus of Nazareth and His disciples were con­trary to these traditions, he was “exceedingly mad against them.” Before he was saved, he would not allow himself to con­sider for one moment any testimony to the resurrection of Christ. No witness of men or of miracle had the slightest weight with him. It seemed that after Stephen’s death, nothing whatev­er could penetrate the armor of blinded bigotry with which he was encompassed. Saul of Tarsus was as great an enemy to Christ as ever breathed. When God by His miracles and signs, with the testimony of His servants, goaded Saul, as a master would a stubborn ox, then Saul kicked against the pricks. Nothing reached his perverted conscience until the Lord Himself appeared to Saul and spoke to him with a voice that could not be mistaken. He answered, “Who art Thou, Lord?” What a question for a praying Pharisee! What a confession for a “Hebrew of the Hebrews!”

That sight of Christ in resurrection, that revelation of Jesus of Nazareth in the excellent glory, that declaration that Jesus was Jehovah, turned the world of Saul of Tarsus completely upside down. Such a perfect reversal of all that made up a bigot’s life had seldom been seen. Inside and out, Saul of Tarsus was now the very opposite of all that he had been before. The resurrection of Christ that he had rejected with all the bitter hatred of his pas­sionate soul, now he accepted with a repentance and devotion that was as deep as his flaming opposition had been before.

Who could account for this radical and complete change in a man like Saul of Tarsus apart from the confession that what Saul said of himself was true? Who could find a reason to explain the fact of the adherence of Paul to his confession of Christ’s resur­rection, in the face of a whole life of loss, and shame, and suffer­ing, and isolation, and death, for that testimony, without the acknowledgement that the astute and honest Paul knew that Christ’s resurrection was a reality?

Paul’s inspired testimony and undaunted life are proofs of the fact of Christ’s resurrection from the dead. Men like Lord Lyttleton and Gilbert West with giant intellects but honest hearts have faced the problem of the conversion of Saul of Tarsus and, losing their infidelity as Saul did his blind religion at the feet of Christ, have risen to proclaim that Jesus who was crucified rose again the third day and is Lord. Millions have done what Paul by the Spirit says every man should do. I stop with Paul’s imperishable testimony: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved” (Rom. 10:9).

To read more about Christ’s Resurrection, you can find a list of books featured here.

Excerpt from A Plant of Renown

Christ’s Death

On the cross our Lord sustained God’s wrath against sin; on the tree, He “was made a curse for us” (Gal. 3:13); in those hours of Calvary’s darkness, the Christ of God was forsaken (Mt. 27:46). Hear the words of Scripture: “Thy wrath lieth hard upon Me, and Thou hast afflicted Me with all Thy waves” (Ps. 88:7). “Thy fierce wrath goeth over Me; Thy terrors have cut Me off” (Ps. 88:16). “Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by? Behold and see if there be any sorrow like unto My sorrow, which is done unto Me, wherewith the Lord hath afflicted Me in the day of His fierce anger. From above hath He sent fire into My bones and it pre­vaileth against them” (Lam. 1:12-13).

This is what death meant to the Lord Jesus Christ: made a curse; visited with the wrath of God against sin; in darkness, forsaken, and alone, He died for us. As another has said, “Utterly solitary He died that none of us might have to face death alone.” Or as we often sing,

“Crowned with thorns upon the tree;
Silent in Thine agony;
Dying crushed beneath the load,
Of the wrath and curse of God.”

This was the heart-breaking anguish of His death. God left Him alone in the hour of His deepest suffering. Never in his day had David seen the righteous forsaken. The sorrowing One of Psalm 22 pleaded, “Our fathers trusted in Thee: they trusted and Thou didst deliver them. They cried unto Thee and were deliv­ered: they trusted in Thee and were not confounded. But I am a worm and no man; a reproach of men and despised of the peo­ple” (Ps. 22:4-6). The One who was the most faithful and the most beloved was the first to know the bitter sorrow of being left alone by God in the hour of His deep distress.

The honor of Christ’s Person gave infinite value to His suffer­ings. The pain of His obedience made the preciousness of that loving surrender to the will of God of supremely greater worth and richer fragrance. When He who became a servant, of His own unfettered will showed His love and submission to God’s word and at such tremendous cost to Himself as He did at Calvary, how gloriously precious it was! The death of God’s saints had always been precious in His sight (Ps. 116:15), but never had there been a death that so filled the heart of God with unspeakable satisfaction as the death of Him who hung in blood and shame on the cross at Golgotha.

To read more about Christ’s Death, you can find a list of books featured here.

Excerpt from A Plant of Renown

Christ’s Burial

Is there an illustration of the burial of Christ in the Old Testament teaching concerning the offerings? “And the priest shall put on his linen garment, and his linen breeches shall he put upon his flesh, and take up the ashes which the fire hath consumed with the burnt offering on the altar, and he shall put them beside the altar. And he shall put off his garments, and put on other garments, and carry forth the ashes without the camp unto a clean place” (Lev. 6:10-11).

The solemn care of the ashes of the burnt offering tells the story of how precious the object was which they represented. The burnt offering was wholly burnt. It was all for God, a sweet savor to the Lord. The garments the priest wore when he took the ashes from the altar and placed them beside it were not the garments he wore when he took them from beside the altar and carried them outside the camp. There is here a suggestion of the end of one priesthood when the ashes were taken from the altar, and the commencement of a new priesthood when they were carried to a clean place outside the camp.

When Nicodemus and Joseph took the body of our Lord from the cross, they broke every tie that bound them to the temple and its service. Were they of the priestly family of Aaron or of the consecrated tribe of Levi, they violated every link with the old order at Jerusalem when they deliberately handled a dead body on the eve of the Passover. They lost every claim to the privileges or service of the temple; they had completely broken with the old order.

But when they carried that body to a clean place outside the camp they were priests of a new order. They were members of that royal priesthood that is a “chosen generation, a holy nation, a peculiar people,” ordained to show forth the praises of Him who hath called us out of darkness into his marvelous light (1 Pet. 2:9). They were of that “spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ” (1 Pet. 2:5).

Joseph and Nicodemus carried the ashes of the Burnt Offering to a clean place outside the camp. That Burnt Offering was Christ, who was in every word and deed, in every motive and desire, a sweet savor to the Lord. He came of His own vol­untary will; He glorified God on earth and finished the work God gave Him to do.

Joseph and Nicodemus not only as new priests reverently car­ried and deposited the ashes of the Burnt Offering in that clean tomb, but when they came to the cross to do this honor for Christ, they went forth unto Him without the camp, bearing His reproach (Heb. 13:13). None other of the Lord’s disciples had so much to lose as they, and they gladly sacrificed all they had. May devotion to Christ cause us also to go forth unto Him out­side this world’s approval and honors, bearing His reproach.

Excerpt from Plant of Renown.

To read more about Christ’s Burial and Resurrection, you can find a list of books featured here.

God’s Love For You is Revolutionary

“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.”  – Ephesians 2:4-5

God’s love is revolutionary. Jesus said, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:44).

The world tells us to love those who love us and hate those who hate us. But, this is not how God works.

Jesus told us to love our enemies. He could command this because He died for His enemies. We were dead in transgressions, and yet God still loved us with a great love and made us alive!

Do you love your enemies like Christ loved us? Turn the world upside-down and love your neighbours like Christ.

To learn more about God’s love and our practical part to play in spreading it throughout the world, check out some of the books on sale.

Are You Spreading God’s Love?

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” – John 13:34

We have looked at different aspects of God’s love over the month of February. God’s love is great. God’s love is unwavering. God’s love is revolutionary.

Jesus commands us to love one another as He has loved us. We talked about the great act of love displayed on the cross of Calvary. Are you willing to die for your brothers and sisters?

The world is hard for a Christian. Let’s make sure that when we gather together as Christians we provide a safe place where we know we will find God’s love manifested in a practical way through our brothers and sisters.

Take a look at Gospel Folio Press’ selection of books on sale covering God’s love and how we can live this out in our lives today.

God’s Love For You is Unwavering

“I the LORD do not change.” – Malachi 3:6a

Happy Valentine’s Day! Today is the day that you celebrate with your loved ones. Let’s also take a few minutes to thank God for His amazing love for each one of us!

God’s love is so much more unique than the love we see portrayed in our world. Love in our world is seen as a physical relationship that can come and go based on feelings.

But, God’s love is very different. God’s love is unwavering because God is unchanging. We can be confident in our hope of eternal life because God’s love never changes. There is nothing you can do or say to change God’s love for you.

Learn more about God’s unwavering love for you by reading some of the books on sale this month.

God’s Love For You in Salvation

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” – John 15:13

On February 14th, we will celebrate Valentine’s Day. In our culture, Valentine’s Day represents love and this is shown through boxes of chocolates and roses.

This month, we at Gospel Folio Press want to focus on God’s love. God’s love is not shown through chocolates and roses, but through action.

In fact, God’s love was best seen on the cross at Calvary. Paul, in Ephesians, tells us that God made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in sins. Why would God do that? God gave up His own Son because of his great love for us.

God’s love is magnified by our transgressions. When one of our loved ones hurts us, we sometimes withhold our love. But, God saw our transgressions and he still loved us!

Check out some of the books Gospel Folio Press has on sale this month as we celebrate God’s Love!

Halloween: Opportunity Knocks

halloween-steps-to-peace
Halloween Steps to Peace with God

Every year in North America on October 31, complete strangers come knocking at your door.  Instead of trying to sell you something, they are asking you for something and will receive whatever you hand out to them.  There’s no question that Christians are divided as to whether or not to celebrate Halloween.  This often comes down to personal conviction.  Each person needs to decide before the Lord about how to participate, if at all.

Even if you do not want to dress up or go trick-or-treating, you can still use this opportunity for evangelism.  There are many gospel tracts available for Halloween that are fun and kid-friendly while having a clear message about how to be saved from sin.  They talk about the need for a Savior and how a child can have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

If you are hesitant about handing out a tract, a great option is to include a tract inside a small ziploc bag of candy.  This way the tract will not end up on the ground and can be found later when the child is going through her loot. She will come across the tract and perhaps read it or save it for later.

This opportunity only comes knocking once a year.  We have a good selection of Halloween tracts and would love to help you reach out to kids this Halloween.  You can browse our tract selection on our webstore: Halloween Tracts

Book Review: Precious Seed 70th Anniversary Edition

Precious Seed 70th Anniversary Edition of Volume 1Precious Seed 70th Anniversary Edition

“This well presented book incorporates scanned copies of the Precious Seed Magazines from their inception in September 1945 to the May-June 1948 issue. It is attractively bound and the front cover is a copy of the 1945 original, meticulously reproduced in colour by artist Katie Piper (nee Smith).

The names of committee members and contributors will no doubt stir many memories for older readers who remember the ministry of men such as W. E. Vine, W. Trew and J. M. Davies. The Readers’ Questions in each issue are answered by E. W. Rogers, with many most appropriate to the present day. The reports of Gospel Work are particularly interesting. The numbers attending tent meetings and other outreach work are at times quite staggering, when compared with the relatively few who show any interest in the gospel in our day, despite genuine effort and prayerful concern on the part of many believers. A further point of interest to note is the number of assemblies mentioned, and apparently thriving, just seventy years ago, but which are now no longer in existence or greatly reduced numerically.

The March-April 1947 issue highlights the decline of sound biblical teaching in schools. To seek in some way to address this problem, a magazine page was dedicated to teaching for children. The trustees enlisted the help of two public school teachers to undertake this responsibility. With teaching for younger children and those through teenage years, this has developed into the Young Precious Seed published in the current magazines.

The articles reproduced cover a wide range of teaching from both Old and New Testaments, remaining consistently faithful to the stated purpose of Precious Seed as being to encourage the study of the scriptures, the practice of New Testament church principles and interest in gospel work.

Whether reading through or just ‘dipping in’, this book is far more than a window on a bygone age, more an encouragement to all believers that we have before us in our day an open door.”

~ This book review was originally published in Precious Seed (2016, Vol. 71, Issue 3), written by John Scarsbrook.