Thursday, December 8, 2016

God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen



God rest ye merry, gentlemen
Let nothing you dismay
Remember, Christ, our Saviour
Was born on Christmas day
To save us all from Satan's power
When we were gone astray
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

In Bethlehem, in Israel,
This blessed Babe was born
And laid within a manger
Upon this blessed morn
The which His Mother Mary
Did nothing take in scorn
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

From God our Heavenly Father
A blessed Angel came;
And unto certain Shepherds
Brought tidings of the same:
How that in Bethlehem was born
The Son of God by Name.
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

"Fear not then," said the Angel,
"Let nothing you affright,
This day is born a Saviour
Of a pure Virgin bright,
To free all those who trust in Him
From Satan's power and might."
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

The shepherds at those tidings
Rejoiced much in mind,
And left their flocks a-feeding
In tempest, storm and wind:
And went to Bethlehem straightway
The Son of God to find.
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

And when they came to Bethlehem
Where our dear Saviour lay,
They found Him in a manger,
Where oxen feed on hay;
His Mother Mary kneeling down,
Unto the Lord did pray.
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

Now to the Lord sing praises,
All you within this place,
And with true love and brotherhood
Each other now embrace;
This holy tide of Christmas
All other doth deface.
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy


God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen is a traditional English Christmas carol. It is also known as Tidings of Comfort and Joy, and as Come All You Worthy Gentlemen; God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen; God Rest Ye, Merry Christians; or God Rest You Merry People All. It is one of the oldest existing carols, dating back to at least the 16th century. The earliest known printed edition of the carol is in a broadsheet dated to c. 1760. The traditional English melody is in the minor mode.

Rest is a verb meaning "to keep, cause to continue, to remain". So, "God rest ye merry, gentlemen" means, "God keep you joyful, cheerful".

Sing away! Sing all day!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

The Second Coming and Them Which Sleep

Advent 2016 - Second Coming in 1 & 2 Thessalonians

The Second Coming and Them Which Sleep

For the introduction to this series click here. This will explain why I am on chapter four for the second week of Advent!


1 Thessalonians 4
13  But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
14  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
15  For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive [and] remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
16  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
18  Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

This is a wonderful passage full of truth and comfort in which he answers the question from chapter 3, “When Jesus comes, and all his saints with him, what about us who are alive and remain to that day? Where will we be?”

13  But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
It would seem that Paul’s emphasis on the soon coming of Christ was so strong that when some of the brethren died, the Thessalonians were perplexed, bewildered, confused, even disconcerted.
concerning them which are asleep – notice how the gospel softens even death, when a believer dies he merely falls asleep, awaiting the day when he shall be awaken in resurrection.
that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope – when you have no hope, death is the end, they’re gone and that’s it. But the gospel speaks of life, life after death; there is a resurrection from the dead, so we are not to sorrow because we have this hope...

14  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
Amen. I know brothers and sisters in Christ who have fallen asleep, well, here’s the promise - when Jesus comes again they will come with him! They will be among the saints accompanying Jesus when he returns.

15  For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
His teaching on the soon coming of Christ was so strong that they were convinced that the living were in a better position than the dead, which was a misunderstanding.
unto the coming of the Lord – coming is our word parousia, coming, arrival, advent, resulting in his presence with us
shall not prevent them which are asleep – today, prevent means hinder, so this looks like a terrible translation, but the word prevent comes from a Latin word which means “come before” and originally meant “act in anticipation of or go before”


So, we who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not precede them which are asleep. Actually, it is quite the opposite!

16   For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
Amen! Here is an actual description of the parousia of Jesus. What a day!
the Lord himself shall descend from heaven – he will appear in the sky and descend to the earth. Who? The Lord himself. This same Jesus who was born of a virgin, walked among men, healed the sick, preached the sermon on the mount, crucified, dead, raised from the dead, ascended into heaven, this same Jesus shall descend from heaven!
with a shout – what will he shout? "Come forth"? I’m not sure but it will raise the dead!!
with the voice of the archangel – probably crying, “Behold the Lord!”
with the trump of God – is this not awesome!
Listen, people have tried to tell us that this will be a secret coming, but this looks loud enough to wake the dead...
and the dead in Christ shall rise first – which is exactly what happens! The resurrection of the dead takes place first. Jesus is coming and the dead will be raised to life. What a day that will be!

17  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
we which are alive and remainBehold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed.
shall be caught up together with them in the clouds - caught up; believe it or not this is where the word rapture comes from. But not from English (caught up), or Greek (αρπαζω arpazo). No, it is from the Latin translation which reads:
deinde nos qui vivimus qui relinquimur simul rapiemur
Then we who are alive, who are left, shall be caught up together at the same time

That word rapiemur, the first person, plural, future form of rapere, which means to ‘snatch, grab, take away’, is the source for rapture. However, caught up is not a separate coming, it is one part of the resurrection at the parousia: when the Lord comes, the dead are raised, and the living are caught up with them to
meet the Lord in the air – Jesus appears in the sky, the dead are raised and the living are caught up with them to meet the Lord, to appear with him in his glory, and to return in glory with him. How long will all this take? Not long, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

This is a public event. The Lord is not going to slink back in and steal us away. He’s not ashamed of us. He will come back boldly, personally, in power, with glory, and claim us as his own.

and so shall we ever be with the Lord – no more faith, no more valleys of despair, or the valley of the shadow of death, we shall see him and ever be with him! Amen!

18  Wherefore comfort one another with these words – these are comforting words indeed. Jesus endured the cross thinking of us. When he ascended to heaven he didn’t forget us, no, he ever liveth to make intercession for us. When he comes again in power and glory, he won’t forget us then either, He is coming so that we may ever be with him!
“This entire passage contains the most comforting and tender picture of the Lord’s coming in the Scriptures.” (A.B. Simpson)

He who testifies these things says, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Yes, come, Lord Jesus.

So, when will all this happen? On to chapter 5...

Monday, December 5, 2016

Of The Father's Love Begotten


This is my favorite song of Christmas and one that I have never sung publicly! You can hear it here.
The words in this version are hard (for me) to understand but you can hear the tune. I find the variation of both the order and translation of the lyrics in the different versions a little frustrating. But here is the entire hymn, followed by the Latin original.

1. Of the Father's love begotten,
    Ere the worlds began to be,
He is Alpha and Omega,
    He the source, the ending He,
Of the things that are, that have been,
    And that future years shall see,
        Evermore and evermore!

2. At His Word the worlds were framèd;
    He commanded; it was done:
Heaven and earth and depths of ocean
    In their threefold order one;
All that grows beneath the shining
    Of the moon and burning sun,
        Evermore and evermore!

3. He is found in human fashion,
    Death and sorrow here to know,
That the race of Adam's children
    Doomed by law to endless woe,
May not henceforth die and perish
    In the dreadful gulf below,
        Evermore and evermore!

4. O that birth forever blessèd,
    When the Virgin, full of grace,
By the Holy Ghost conceiving,
    Bare the Savior of our race;
And the Babe, the world's Redeemer,
    First revealed His sacred face,
        Evermore and evermore!

5. This is He Whom seers in old time
    Chanted of with one accord;
Whom the voices of the prophets
    Promised in their faithful word;
Now He shines, the long expected,
    Let creation praise its Lord,
        Evermore and evermore!

6. O ye heights of heaven adore Him;
    Angel hosts, His praises sing;
Powers, dominions, bow before Him,
    And extol our God and King!
Let no tongue on earth be silent,
    Every voice in concert sing,
        Evermore and evermore!

7. Righteous judge of souls departed,
    Righteous King of them that live,
On the Father's throne exalted
    None in might with Thee may strive;
Who at last in vengeance coming
    Sinners from Thy face shalt drive,
        Evermore and evermore!

8. Thee let old men, thee let young men,
    Thee let boys in chorus sing;
Matrons, virgins, little maidens,
    With glad voices answering:
Let their guileless songs re-echo,
    And the heart its music bring,
        Evermore and evermore!

9. Christ, to Thee with God the Father,
    And, O Holy Ghost, to Thee,
Hymn and chant with high thanksgiving,
    And unwearied praises be:
Honor, glory, and dominion,
    And eternal victory,
        Evermore and evermore!

Aurelius Clemens Prudentius (348-405)
Translated into English by John M. Neale 1851
edited and extended by Henry W. Baker 1854
Tune: Divinum Mysterium


1. Corde natus ex parentis ante mundi exordium
A et O cognominatus, ipse fons et clausula
Omnium quae sunt, fuerunt, quaeque post futura sunt.
Saeculorum saeculis.

2. Ipse iussit et creata, dixit ipse et facta sunt,
Terra, caelum, fossa ponti, trina rerum machina,
Quaeque in his vigent sub alto solis et lunae globo.
Saeculorum saeculis.

3. Corporis formam caduci, membra morti obnoxia
Induit, ne gens periret primoplasti ex germine,
Merserat quem lex profundo noxialis tartaro.
Saeculorum saeculis.

4. O beatus ortus ille, virgo cum puerpera
Edidit nostram salutem, feta Sancto Spiritu,
Et puer redemptor orbis os sacratum protulit.
Saeculorum saeculis.

5. Psallat altitudo caeli, psallite omnes angeli,
Quidquid est virtutis usquam psallat in laudem Dei,
Nulla linguarum silescat, vox et omnis consonet.
Saeculorum saeculis.

6. Ecce, quem vates vetustis concinebant saeculis,
Quem prophetarum fideles paginae spoponderant,
Emicat promissus olim; cuncta conlaudent eum.
Saeculorum saeculis.

7. Macte iudex mortuorum, macte rex viventium,
Dexter in Parentis arce qui cluis virtutibus,
Omnium venturus inde iustus ultor criminum.
Saeculorum saeculis.

8. Te senes et te iuventus, parvulorum te chorus,
Turba matrum, virginumque, simplices puellulae,
Voce concordes pudicis perstrepant concentibus.
Saeculorum saeculis.

9. Tibi, Christe, sit cum Patre hagioque Pneumate
Hymnus, decus, laus perennis, gratiarum actio,
Honor, virtus, victoria, regnum aeternaliter.
Saeculorum saeculis.




Thursday, December 1, 2016

O Come, All Ye Faithful

Adeste Fideles is a Christmas carol attributed to John Francis Wade (1711–1786), the earliest copies of the hymn all bearing his signature. The music was written by John Reading. The English Catholic priest Frederick Oakeley translated it into English as O Come, All Ye Faithful in 1841. An original manuscript of the oldest known version, dating from 1751, is held by Stonyhurst College in Lancashire. These are the four original verses.

O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant!
O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem;
Come and behold him
Born the King of Angels:
O come, let us adore Him, (3×)
Christ the Lord.

God of God, light of light,
Lo, he abhors not the Virgin's womb;
Very God, begotten, not created:
O come, let us adore Him, (3×)
Christ the Lord.

Sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation,
Sing, all ye citizens of Heaven above!
Glory to God in the highest:
O come, let us adore Him, (3×)
Christ the Lord.

Yea, Lord, we greet thee, born this happy morning;
Jesus, to thee be all glory given!
Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing!
O come, let us adore Him, (3×)
Christ the Lord.

I love reading and singing this in the original Latin!

Adeste fideles læti triumphantes,
Venite, venite in Bethlehem.
Natum videte
Regem angelorum:
Venite adoremus (3×)
Dominum.

Deum de Deo, lumen de lumine
Gestant puellæ viscera
Deum verum, genitum non factum.
Venite adoremus (3×)
Dominum.

Cantet nunc io, chorus angelorum;
Cantet nunc aula cælestium,
Gloria, gloria in excelsis Deo,
Venite adoremus (3×)
Dominum.

Ergo qui natus die hodierna.
Jesu, tibi sit gloria,
Patris æterni Verbum caro factum.
Venite adoremus (3×)
Dominum.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Second Coming and Sanctification

Advent 2016 - Second Coming in 1 & 2 Thessalonians

The Second Coming and Sanctification

For the introduction to this series see. This will explain why this is my third post yet this is only the first week in Advent!


And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all, even as we toward you:
and the Lord make you to - just as salvation is the work of God received by faith, so this is also the work of God received by faith
increase and abound in love – they had begun their Christian life with love for one another and Paul prays that this love would increase and abound.
one toward another – for brothers and sisters, the church
and toward all – it is not “love your brother and hate your enemy” with us, no, we love the brethren and we love those outside the family as well.
even as we toward you – they would no doubt remember Paul’s love for them, which he reminded them of in chapter 2:
7 But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children:  8 So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us.  9 For ye remember, brethren, our labour and travail: for labouring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God.  10 Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe:  11 As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children,  12 That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.

In v 13 we find what this prayer for increased and abounding love is aiming at
To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.
To the end – this is the purpose, this is the goal of this prayer
he may stablish your hearts – establish, strengthen, make firm
unblameable in holiness before God - Holiness is not talked about much these days, but Paul was clearly a holiness preacher. He speaks of it often in both epistles.
First, we have to admit that unblameable in holiness before God is a possibility. After all, this was Paul’s inspired prayer for them.
Second, the holiness in view here is not that stuffy, starchy, sanctimonious caricature so often portrayed. No, this is a person who is increased and abounding in love. Love suffers long and is kind; does not envy; does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love is not hateful or ugly or mean-spirited. He is not saying such are without fault or error, but that such a person is unblameable in holiness with a love like this. If Paul prayed for them to have this kind of love, surely we can pray this for ourselves. When we notice something unkind, ugly, or mean-spirited in our hearts or attitudes, then we should pray that he would make us to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all so that we might be found unblameable in holiness...

at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints – here is our goal, to be unblameable in holiness before God at the coming of Christ. Coming is that word parousia. Have you noticed how Paul is painting a picture of the coming of the Lord? In chapter 1 it is merely, his Son from heaven. Chapter 2 it is, in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming. And here it is, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints. He keeps adding details. And the detail added in chapter 3 is this, when Jesus comes he will be accompanied by all his saints. When he sallies forth in that great day, all his saints, from all the ages, will appear with him. This is no secret, this is not something hidden. The parousia of Christ will be visible, personal, in power, and with great glory! and what a retinue will accompany him! What an entourage! His glorious train will be all his saints! Hallelujah! Maranatha!

When Jesus comes, and all his saints with him, what about us who are alive and remain to that day? Where will we be? Ah, chapter 4 adds that detail!


Monday, November 28, 2016

Perspective


I thought it would be interesting t take photos of my backyard from three different windows. They were all taken Saturday at 9:20 in the morning. The distance from the window on the right to the window on the left is 30 feet.

When you look out each window you see a different part of the backyard. It is interesting how the yard looks different in each view. And you have a different feel for it when viewing from the different windows. That is perspective.

Which view is the truth?























They are all true because they all look out on the back yard. Not every look will be true - If you are looking at the front yard you simply are not looking at the backyard, no matter how sincerely you believe you are. But no matter which window you choose, if it is looking out on the backyard, you will see the backyard. Your view is true, but incomplete. That is perspective.

Is there a point to this? I’m sure one could be made, but I don’t have one. Friday night I was sitting out by the fire, pondering different things, and this was one of them. Saturday morning I took these photos. I just thought it was cool.

Friday, November 25, 2016

How would I be described politically?

We just had a presidential election and everyone had an opinion. The election is over yet people are still talking. Where do I stand in all this? How would I be described politically?


I'm so Progressive it will blow your mind - I believe Jesus is coming again to be King of all nations and He will reign in righteousness

2 Peter 3:13  we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

Psalm 72
2 He shall judge thy people with righteousness, and thy poor with judgment.  
3 The mountains shall bring peace to the people, and the little hills, by righteousness.  
4 He shall judge the poor of the people, he shall save the children of the needy, and shall break in pieces the oppressor.  
7 In his days shall the righteous flourish; and abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth.  
8 He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth. 
11 Yea, all kings shall fall down before him: all nations shall serve him.  
12 For he shall deliver the needy when he crieth; the poor also, and him that hath no helper.  
13 He shall spare the poor and needy, and shall save the souls of the needy.  
14 He shall redeem their soul from deceit and violence: and precious shall their blood be in his sight.


I'm incredibly Liberal - I love the saints, I love my neighbor, I love my enemies

Matthew 5:43-48  
43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.  
44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;  
45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.  
46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?  
47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?  
48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. 

Matthew 7:12  Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets. 

Matthew 22:36-40
Master, which is the great commandment in the law?  
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.  
This is the first and great commandment.  
And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.  
On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. 

Galatians 6:10  As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.


I'm an arch-Conservative - I believe the Bible is the Word of God from cover to cover.

Isaiah 40:8   The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.

Matthew 24:35  Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

1 Peter 1:23-25   
23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.  
24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:  
25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you. 

2 Peter 1:16-19  
16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.  
17 For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.  
18 And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. 
19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 


I’m very political. Jesus is King. The kingdom of God is my thing!