The Power of Preservation
by Tom Stewart
October 21, 1999
In modern food processing, any number of chemical additives, e.g.,
calcium propionate, sorbic acid, and BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene), are used to
prevent or retard food spoilage. Traditionally, salt (sodium chloride) has been used
both to flavor and preserve food; but, the Almighty wisely uses His Saints as preservatives
for the planet. "Ye are the Salt of the
Earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is
thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under
foot of men" (Matthew 5:13). When margarine oxidizes,
it becomes rancid, while rust is the oxidation of metals. The LORD Jesus, in warning
about rust, counseled us to preserve or treasure up our riches in Heaven, i.e., to
be "rich in faith"
(James 2:5), "rich in good works" (1Timothy 6:18), and "rich toward
God" (Luke 12:21). "19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures
upon Earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and
steal: 20 But lay up
for yourselves treasures in Heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and
where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also"
Though the Saints are Jehovah's preservative for the world, the LORD Jesus is the Preserver of His Saints. "And the LORD shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto His heavenly Kingdom: to Whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen" (2Timothy 4:18). In both the Old and New Testaments, the LORD has covenanted to preserve His Saints. "7 The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: He shall preserve thy soul. 8 The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore" (Psalm 121:7-8). Those most in need of deliverance, will best appreciate Heaven Sent Preservation. "He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a Rock, and established my goings" (40:2). It is a sanctifying thought that the LORD preserves us, i.e., "the LORD preserveth the Faithful" (Psalm 31:23), "the LORD preserveth all them that love Him" (145:20), and "[He] preserveth the way of His Saints" (Proverbs 2:8).
Not surprisingly, the Pre-Tribulational Rapture will demonstrate that the Power of Preservation for this planet has resided in large measure in the Godly influence of Spirit Indwelt Saints. "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?" (1Corinthians 3:16). Since the purpose of the upcoming Tribulation Week is judgment of sin in the Professed Church, judgment of sin in the world, and judgment of sin in Unbelieving Israel, i.e., "even so, LORD God Almighty, true and righteous are Thy Judgments" (Revelation 16:7), the Judge of All the Earth will manifest especial attention to how He preserves and delivers the Faithful. Before the Tribulation Week begins, the LORD Jesus delivers "from The Hour of Temptation" (3:10) those who are "accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass" (Luke 21:36) because they are "those servants, whom the LORD when He cometh shall find watching" (12:37). Contrary to the common belief that the Scriptural Salvation of "being justified by faith" (Romans 5:1) allows for our calling ourselves "children of God" (8:16), even when "we continue in sin" (6:1); only those that "walk worthy" (Ephesians 4:1; Colossians 1:10; 1Thessalonians 2:12) of Christ, have the privilege of calling themselves Christians. "He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His Commandments, is a liar, and the Truth is not in Him" (1John 2:4). And, this is proper, because we understand that "it is God which worketh in [us] both to will and to do of His good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13). "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, Who loved me, and gave Himself for me" (Galatians 2:20).
It is a great mistake to underestimate how the Almighty uses His Spirit Indwelt Saints as the "Salt of the Earth" (Matthew 5:13). It goes well with the world because of the presence of the Saints. "And Laban said unto [Jacob], I pray thee, if I have found favour in thine eyes, tarry: for I have learned by experience that the LORD hath blessed me for thy sake" (Genesis 30:27). God was even willing to hold off the Judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah, if there were enough Righteous therein. "25 That be far from Thee to do after this manner, to slay the Righteous with the Wicked: and that the Righteous should be as the Wicked, that be far from Thee: Shall not the Judge of all the Earth do right? 26 And the LORD said, If I find in Sodom fifty Righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes" (Genesis 18:25-26). In the time of Jeremiah the prophet, the "Ever Merciful" (Psalm 37:26) God was willing to spare Jerusalem from its well deserved punishment, if only one Right Doer could have been found. "Run ye to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, and see now, and know, and seek in the broad places thereof, if ye can find a man, if there be any that executeth Judgment, that seeketh the Truth; and I will pardon it" (Jeremiah 5:1).
Ungodly men flatter themselves that their prosperity and preservation come from their own hand. "But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?" (Luke 12:20). God preserves secular governments because of the intercession of the Saints. "[Pray] for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all Godliness and honesty" (1Timothy 2:2). As with Abraham, "who is the father of us all" (Romans 4:16), so with us, which are of the "faith of Abraham" (4:16), the "Promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the Law, but through the righteousness of faith" (4:13). But, particularly, "all the nations of the Earth shall be blessed in him" (Genesis 18:18) and through us. Thus, the Living God has revealed that we who also receive the Abrahamic Covenant of Faith, are responsible for the world being blessed by God. "And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the Earth be blessed" (12:3).
As with sin, it takes only a small number or amount to affect the whole, i.e., "a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump" (Galatians 5:9), so it is with righteousness. The Wisdom of God does not need to Pre-Tribulationally Rapture enormous numbers of people to make the world feel the effect of the Holy Spirit's restraining influence "taken out of the way" (2Thessalonians 2:7), when the Spirit Indwelt Saints are "caught up to the Third Heaven" (2Corinthians 12:2). The world will then know the terror, agony, and judgment of what it is to be without the Power of Preservation, which they had been benefited by the former presence of the Saints of God. "10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the Love of the Truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the Truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness" (2Thessalonians 2:10-12).
And, for all those that "love His appearing" (2Timothy 4:8), remember these Promises for Preservation at the Pre-Tribulational Rapture. "For the LORD loveth Judgment, and forsaketh not His Saints; they are preserved for ever" (Psalm 37:28). "Ye that love the LORD, hate evil: He preserveth the souls of His Saints; He delivereth them out of the hand of the Wicked" (Psalm 97:10).
An Urgent Call to Christian Perfection ---New Window
An Exposition of the Doctrine of Christian Perfection
by Tom Stewart
Call it perfection. Call it sanctification. Call it holiness.
The issue isn't what you call it.What's important is that you do it.
Charles G. Finney on Christian Perfection ---New Window
From the Editor's Desktop / August 25, 1999
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