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When It Is Over, It Is Over By Philip North

Many of us “older heads” will recall the brief movie comedies of those young children known as “The Little Rascals.” They were also known as “Our Gang.” These “shorts,” as Hollywood called them back then, were aired in both the movie theatres and on television. They are available on video and DVD. The shows were filmed from the 1920’s through the early 1940’s, much of which constituted the Depression Years. They started out as silent films, (as sound was not yet brought about), periodically showing a very small portion of the dialogue in print on the screen. Later on, when sound come onto the scene, the public was able to enjoy the funny and zany words issuing from the mouths of those children. It was truly a more simpler and innocent time, although living was hard, especially when it came to surviving and supporting a family. No doubt, many a young person of today has also caught some or a lot of these shows.

Many a hearty and long, loud laugh was experienced from the characters: Darla, Mary Ann, Janice, Alfalfa, Spanky, Farina, Chubby, Buckwheat, Stymie, Porky, Mickey, Wheezer, and Jackie (Cooper), just to name a very few. These comedic shorts were clean, decent, and wholesome. I too enjoyed this series of movies, as did my parents. These films are visible proof that those in the acting world do not have to be foul and off-colored in order to be funny. Of course, nearly all of these “Rascals” are now deceased.

Upon watching a video containing the biography (a.k.a. “bio”) on many of the children, one quote I will give proceeded from the mouth of one of the actors, that being George “Spanky” McFarland. Then being an older adult, he said when interviewed about those comedy shorts, “As a kid, I had everything I wanted. We had a good life, but when it was over, it was over.” Spanky too is now deceased.

When hearing these words, I could not help but think that this man’s statement is all true of what makes up every part of the physical and materialistic world. All people and things come to a complete and everlasting halt. Even if every single one of “The Little Rascals” were still alive today, not any of them could step back in time and redo so much as one small moment of those films, though perhaps a great many of them would have liked to do so. These individuals would all look so different, for they would not only be adults, they would also be very aged. Hence, all of these one time “children” would be too old to act out the characters they portrayed many years back, considering a lot of the physical activity shown in those episodes. What is more, the adults who starred in these films with the “Our Gang” children (remember Miss Crabtree, one of the lovely school teachers played by June Marlow? Oh yes! I admired her too!) would be deceased. Truly, as Spanky declared of his years of child acting with his fellow “Rascals,” “When it was over, it was over.” 

In Ecclesiastes 1:4, King Solomon declared, “One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth forever.” The first part of chapter 3:2 teaches us that there is “A time to be born, and a time to die;…” That little “dash” we see between the year of someone’s birth and the year of someone’s death represents the span of how how short life is while residing on earth. Whether of natural or unnatural causes, all people and things grow old and wear out. All people and things become history. Therefore, all people and things become only memories. This cycle is constant with everything, not just humanity. It is birth, lifespan, death; birth, lifespan, death; etc. Too, the length of life varies for each of us. Some live on the earth a long while, some a moderate while, and some either barely get stared, or else never really get started. This remark of “you have your whole life ahead of you” has not applied, and does not apply today, to all people. When the time arrives on this planet for each individual person, animal, foul, sea creature, and all vegetation to cease living, this will be forever. The phrase, “and that’s final” would likewise apply here. When it is over, it is over!

Whatever we plan on doing while still alive, we need to do it ASAP, if at all possible. If what we wish to do will take awhile, all the more reason for getting started now! Ecclesiastes 9:10 says, “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might; for there is no work, no device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.” You and I will not always have the same strength we presently have. In the next life, all opportunities to do good, accomplish what we wish, make our lives right with God, and correct any sins, will be gone eternally,. Both life and death are a one way trip. All plans and amends will be too late to do, period! Countless, precious souls have found that out the hard way, and many continue to do so. When it is over, it is over!

Hebrews 9:27 says, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” We live but only once. We physically die but only once. Not one single, minute hint is mentioned in God’s holy Word concerning the doctrine of “reincarnation.” We experience but one lifetime. One breath. One body. When it is over, it is over!

Sadly, then, such is also this way with everything and everyone whom we all wish we could cling to, and thus, never let go. All is over that once was. Many people are gone who once were. Untold numbers and friends have departed this physical life, never to live on earth again. At times, we use the term of their having “gone on to their final reward.” “The Little Rascals,” “Our Gang,” can never be revived. These adventures can only be seen on film. Much of the scenery used in those comedy shorts stand no more. Either new buildings have been erected in those places, or else the scenery and buildings have been torn down, thus, only empty lots’ now being there. This is the constant cycle of life, since sin came into the world back at the Creation in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3).

Now let us apply the first section of the above paragraph to you and I, along with the present day world. All will be over one day that now is. All of us who are now will one day no longer be. We will continue to see, as we have seen, many buildings and places that will cease before our eyes. We have lost family and friends, and there are family members and friends who will lose us. These things happen every second that time stands. It is one consistent rollover and revolving door after another. There will be no turning back. Death is “once and for all.” When it is over, it is over!

Unless God sees fit to end time before you and I pass from this life, we too will pass from this life! Because of the killjoy nature of sin, we will all become part of that cycle of life, as was the case with every living thing and event of bygone days. All that was present becomes a memory, as will all persons who ever lived. Scenery. Objects. Events. Celebrations. Shows. Concerts. Recreation. Employment. Marriage. Everything in life and everyone’s life must be surrendered for good by either reason of age, or some abnormal means.

Are we truly prepared to meet our Creator? After our death, what then for you and I? I believe the words of the Apostle Peter will suffice in the ending of this article: “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night: in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat; the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless, we according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that we may be found of him in peace, without spot and blameless” (II Peter 3:10-14).

When it is over, it is over!

Freedom In Christ By Philip North

Freedom in Christ,
There is none better
Than to be loosed from sin,
And its every fetter

Freedom in Christ,
No greater can be
The load fully lifted!
That feeling of glee!

Freedom in Christ,
Saved from your wrongs
Should make each Christian
Sing a most happy song

Freedom in Christ, 
‘Tis truly THE joy 
For each baptized man,
Girl, woman, and boy 

Freedom in Christ,
A great peace of mind
Knowing your life
Is the best of its kind

Freedom in Christ,
Belonging to HIM!
Those owned by the Devil
Contain life too grim

Freedom in Christ,
Coming to God,
Causes earthly life worth
Each step and place trod

Freedom in Christ,
Relief from sin’s weight,
Preparing one’s self
For Judgment’s sure date

Freedom in Christ,
Purity of soul
The spirit is floating,
The broken made whole

Freedom in Christ
Must be maintained
If Heaven would be
Your eternal gain

When The Soul Spoke To The Body By Philip North

I am your soul. I make up the reason you are alive, and thus currently in motion. You have life and breath in you this very moment as a result of my existence within you. I follow you everywhere you go, on each thing you do, and on all that you say, without exception. I am even aware of every last one of your thoughts. When you move, I move. When you are still, I am still .Therefore, I stand, sit, and lie down with you through thick and thin, love and hatred, good and bad, happy and sad, angry and glad, joy and mourning, speech and quiet, awake and sleep, along with all other opposites constituting this earthly life. You name the persons, places, things, and happenings, and I have always been there with you through all these, whatever the outcome. We have been totally inseparable. 

However, there will come a time when I will NOT dwell in you anymore. One day, you, unable to control the situation, will depart this life from natural causes or unnatural causes. You will either grow aged and wear out, or else meet a premature end. Whichever way and day you will pass from your existence, that will be the way and day you and I part company. Our severing will be forever; eternal. So, we both must realize, coupled with accepting, that our relationship, our contact, will eventually and permanently end, hence, never, ever to be again. All those things which presently compose your structure, that is to say, each of your parts and their functions, will no longer operate. They will cease, and you will be perfectly STILL from then on, my dear companion. I will then be history, where you are concerned. Then after a time, all of your remains will return to the dust, being as that is where you were formed.

So as you can well see, when you cease to exist is the time that I will have no other choice but to permanently exit your presence. How you conduct yourself while I now dwell in you here on earth will determine where I myself will dwell in all of eternity. Please give your utmost, considerable thoughts to this definite truth. Live as our everlasting God would have you so do. Remember that He united me with you. Therefore, He will, somewhere along down through the stream of time, receive me back to Himself. If your walk on earth was foreign to the way our Maker directs in His Bible, I will helplessly go into eternal damnation. However, if you behaved as His Bible instructs, my future will be that of eternal life. I am depending, must depend, and can solely depend, upon YOU to see that I arrive at becoming an eternally happy being, not an eternally miserable one. Please live responsibly. Please live carefully. Please live righteously. Please live in sober concern of me. God holds you responsible for my eternal interest. In whatever way you live daily, I am afffected.

At the end of time, when this old earth finally reaches its end, the Creator will clothe me inside a different residence, regardless of where I dwell eternally. This particular residence will not age, ebb, or cease to be, unlike you eventually will.

I remind you also that my place of abode after I leave you will be eternal. So, though you will be forever gone, MY life will perennially continue. My never-ending future is all up to you. Where will I go? Will such be Heaven, or will you condiuct send me to Hell? I am your soul.

NOTE: In all honesty to the reader, I must say that not ALL of this article is original. I attempted to find it on the Internet, after losing it a number of years ago. When unable to recover the article, I decided to write one of my own on this subject. I assure you, God being my witness, that there has been no plagiarism committed here. 

Let Him Become A Fool By Philip North

In I Corinthians 3:18, the beloved Apostle Paul writes, “Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.” Corinth, like any other part of Greece, especially Athens, was deeply involved into philosophy. Hence, such a thing a powerful thing as this would surely make its way into the church there, unless Paul, as the saying goes, “nipped it in the bud.”

Self-deceit is prevalent among many people, and is the worst of all deceptions. To the world, one who follows the Bible is a fool, and one who follows his own heart, thoughts, philosophy, is a wise person. Quite an irony on both sides, to be sure. Also, much an accent on “self.”

Those who would ponder following Jehovah God and Jesus Christ, as well as those who actually do so, are warned of such backward thinking numerous times in God’s Word. We may label this as “self versus God.” Being a “fool” appeals to one’s pride, as does being “wise.”

To quote Brother Mike Willis in “Truth Commentaries”, he says in his own commentary on I Corinthians that the sentence under consideration should be paraphrased as, “Let him become a fool according to this world’s standards, that he may be wise in the sight of God” (page 98). So, I will place this question to the reader: Would you not rather look the “fool” in the eyes of the world, or would you rather look the “fool” before God on Judgment Day? Please think about this. 

Paul deals with this ironic verse not only when writing to Corinth, but in some of his other epistles, as well. I Corinthians 1:20-25 reads, “Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this world? Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom. But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness. But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” 

Man is quite the delicate creature: Pat him on the back, and he gets a swelled head. Like all other things in life, thinking for one’s own self, (while good and necessary in much of daily living), has gone to many extremes. We are known as the “ME”generation. Man is a natural born hunter. He is always after something new to learn—-but so often, his desires constitute that of a worldly nature. That was the problem with the philosophers in Athens Greece, when Paul spoke his famous sermon to them on Mark Hill: “(For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear something new)” (Acts 17:21). The term “get a life” would certainly apply here.

In Colossians 2:8, Paul warns the brethren there, “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the traditions of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” “Rudiment” is from the Greek word STOICHEION, and is defined as, “One of a row or series” (“Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words”, page 978). Vine then says to see the word “elements.” Indeed, the whole of philosophy has its own “one, two, threes.” Another way put, philosophy also contains its own foundation, skeletal structure, and body parts. Philosophy feeds the ego and vanity, both of which fall under “pride.” This is the main reason this is a menace to Christianity, thus, pulling many people away from God.

You and I need to be a “fool” in order to become “wise.” We need to drop our pride and ego, drop our self-will, drop being parrots to other people’s beliefs, drop being in bondage to man-made traditions and customs, drop having anyone’s personal opinions and consciences forced on us, and drop any desire to only read and abide by certain “pet passages.” Isolating Bible verses to one’s own benefit and personal satisfaction does nothing for one’s soul in eternity. After all, II Timothy 2:15 says, “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (Emphasis mine, PN). Furthermore, be like the Bereans back in the book of Acts, and not like those in Thessalonica: “And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea, who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so” (Acts 17:10-11). 

Then, James instructs us, “Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? Let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthy, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy, and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace” (James 3:13-18).

So, gentle reader, which really makes for being “noble” and “wise?” Is true, godly nobility obtained by allowing one’s pride and vanity to rule in all areas of life, or by reading and following the precious pages of God’s Holy Writ? Answer that with all of Heaven watching you right this very second, and you have settled the issue.

Created In His Image By Philip North

Created by Jehovah God
Is how we came to be, 
But comes to mind a question good 
That fits both you and me 

This question should be what we call 
As one that’s “food for thought” 
So I will ask it soberly, 
Answer as you ought 

What have we DONE to this great image? 
How have we lived on earth? 
Does what we say, do, feel, and think 
Bring our life span real worth? 

Because we came from God the Father, 
Made by His Divine love 
Just how well have we walked that road 
For our Creator above? 

Do our lives COMPLIMENT that One 
Who gave our very breath? 
Do we shine bright as life itself, 
Or dark as eternal death? 

Does God delight in what our conduct 
Shows to those around? 
Or does He sadden when He sees us 
In the way we’re found? 

We should remember that our Lord 
Is all right, fair, and good 
Hence, do we represent this Being 
As we really should? 

Can others SEE God inside us? 
Can people KNOW He’s there? 
Can mankind SURELY see Him shine? 
Can they BELIEVE we care? 

In home, church, and society, 
How does our God see thus? 
Does He view truth and honesty? 
Can He note these in us? 

Do we regard the Golden Rule 
Toward our fellow-man? 
In watching us, hence, would God say, 
“You do as should and can?” 

It all boils down to what’s WITHIN! 
Is it promise? Is it breach? 
Aware that God knows and sees all, 
Do we practice what we preach? 

Indeed, what have we DONE with God, 
In reference to His image? 
Have we sought peace and harmony, 
Or carved out much, much scrimmage? 

Let us live right, so we can say, 
While on this earth we trod 
That our lives have reflected GOOD, 
Made in the image of God 

(NOTE: I wish to thank Harold Underwood, a brother of mine in Christ, and a 
preacher of the Gospel, for inspiring me to compose this poem)

The Humility of Samuel

In I Samuel 3, we note where God first called Samuel directly. Samuel was still a young boy at this time, and thought that it was his mentor, the prophet Eli, who called him. In fact, three times he thought that Eli called him. However, it was Eli, in his old age and experiencing dimness of eye sight, who knew that it was God who was calling Samuel.

Note verses 8-10: “And the Lord called unto Samuel again the third time, And he arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call me. And Eli perceived that the Lord had called the child. Therefore Eli said unto Samuel, Go, lie down: and it shall be, if he call thee, that thou shalt say, Speak, Lord; for thy servant heareth. So Samuel went and lay down in his place. And the Lord came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth.”

How so very wonderful it would be if a lot more of mankind had young Samuel’s attitude: “Speak; for thy servant heareth.” Of course, Samuel is just one of many examples that manifest to us the attitude of most young children. Mark’s account of what Jesus said on this matter reads as follows: “And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them. But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them” (Mark 10:13-16).

While there are plenty of verses in God’s Word to teach us the necessary practicing of maturity, nonetheless, one is not pleasing to God, nor is allowed entrance into Heaven by Him, without having the meek and submissive attitude of a little child. This is why many refuse to become N. T. Christians. Being submissive enough to be baptized for the remission of their sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; Romans 6:4; I Peter 3:21) is beneath them, to be sure. Some snub their nose down at baptism. A lot of people see not the serious need to fully obey God. In John 3, after the young Pharasaic ruler,Nicodemus, asked the Saviour how it was possible to be “born again,” we note Jesus’ reply in verse 5: “Jesus answered, Very, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” To many, baptism is just stepping into the water and getting all wet. Well, if that is the attitude, then such is right! You see, to think in such a way as this is merely getting all wet.

Baptism shows humility, acceptance, and submissiveness all combined. To reject baptism, while claiming to accept all of the other commands of God is to still “miss the boat.” This is going to be so sad for many when that “rude awakening” takes place at death and on the final Judgment of God. Paul wrote of Christ’s second coming, “In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day” (2 Thessalonians 1:8-10).

However, due to the plethora of methods utilized by Satan, many individuals, even after going so far as to be baptized, do not maintain that child-like attitude. They do not grow in Christ, or else they grow in Christ only so far, then remain a spiritual stalemate. Still yet, they “pick and choose” what to obey. Such attitudes as the aforementioned are not possessing the disposition of a little child. Meekness, humility, and willingness to continually desire to please God are not there.

May we not become so set in our ways that we brush aside the proper and godly thinking of the young lad Samuel, who said, as Eli instructed him to say, “Speak; for thy servant heareth.”

I personally cannot think of any sin that will cause more precious souls to be lost than that of pride! King Solomon stated in Proverbs 11:2, “When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom.” Solomon further teaches in chapter 16:18, “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” Read I Samuel 15-31. Pride was a major downfall of King Saul.

We need many more Samuels and a lot less Sauls. How is it with you, gentle reader? Is your attitude of being fully submissive to God like that of King Saul, or of the prophet Samuel?

God’s Creation By Philip North

The wondrous works of the only God,
Are manifest where e’er we trod
And not just trod, but viewed afar
In outer space—-each planet and star

God’s majestic, omniscient mind
Is verily that “one of a kind”
For who can make a world so greatly,
So beautifully, and magistratically?

All that which constitutes celestial,
Everything composing the terrestrial,
Each creature domestic, great, and small
Comes from our God—-HE made the call!

Humanity and all other flesh,
The air breathed in, created so fresh
Our food and drink, the clothes we wear,
The Creator designed, who is everywhere

But then, is that we cannot touch,
Like conscience, faith, hope, love, and such
How could mere MAN produce such things,
Along with angels and their wings?

However, let us not forget
That GOD’S love is the greatest yet!
Such love—-so rich, so fervent, so deep,
Should make our hearts do one big leap

For only such a love as this,
Can create perfectly, not amiss
God did ALL right the very FIRST time,
With His impeccable reason and rhyme

The colors displayed in vast variety,
The clouds of white and gray propriety
The sun, too bright for our naked eye,
That lights up every inch of sky

“Tis but the fool who won’t believe
In God’s existence; he can’t conceive!
This type of fool does argue, “chance!”
“It all was done by circumstance!”

But every product, any it be,
Could not come from humanity
As raw materials first needs be made,
Only GOD could know “the tricks of the trade”

The bodies of water gracefully flow,
The mountains, the hills, the valleys we know
The innocence of babes so pure and sweet,
Could only come from the most Discreet

Rain, lightning, hail, and snow
Come from One all things does know
The laws of nature, its boundaries thereof,
Received decree from Him above

So everything our eyes do view,
Tangible, intangible, old and new,
Originated with our God,
Who brought about the rocks and sod

So all that you have seen and heard,
Should cause us to OBEY God’s Word
We ought not just to READ and close,
For all past, present, and future, God knows

“There is a God,” as goes the hymn,
Both seen and unseen stem from Him
So let me end with this sure “seal,”
Jehovah God is God for REAL!

Pleasing Men Or God? By Philip North

Unlike all the rest of the Apostle Paul’s epistles, the book of Galatians was not written to just one person, nor to merely one group of Christians. Galatians was written to a number of churches in Galatia, (1: 2), a territory located in north central Asia Minor. Paul wrote this letter, among other reasons, to remind the Christians in that area that they are spiritual heirs of God, and thus, are His own children, having been baptized into Christ (3:27). Paul immediately starts rebuking Galatia by declaring in verse 6 that he is quite surprised they are already being led away into false doctrine, seeing they are still babes in Christ. This false teaching declared that each Gentile Christian must be converted to Judaism, and so, follow strict observances of the Mosaical law, as Paul gradually reveals throughout the book.

In chapter 1:10, there is a serious message for all who claim to be gospel preachers; a message that should be heeded by all such men, including this writer. Paul says, “For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.” Another such passage that bolsters this verse is also said by Paul in I Thessalonians 2: 4: “But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God which trieth our hearts.”

Unlike many who seek to preach the unsearchable riches of Christ with the wrong attitude, hence, seeing how many followers they can amass, this writer declares without any reservation whatsoever that preaching was never meant to be a popularity contest. If one seeks to be a true proclaimer of God’s Holy Word, he will pay close and strict attention to what Paul said when writing to the young preacher Timothy: “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry” (2 Timothy 4: 1-5).

From these verses, we can clearly see that one who preaches had better “preach the word.” In other words, as the oath goes in the courts of our land, what is declared from the podium should most assuredly be, to the absolute best of the speaker’s ability, “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.” Many preachers, both in the denominational world, as well as those claiming to be a part of the church of our Lord, declare, as Paul said, “fables!” They might as well be reading or quoting from “Aesop’s Fables” or “Grimm’s Fairy Tales.” Fiction is voiced, instead of non-fiction. Opinions are expressed much more than facts. “I say” takes dominance over “Thus saith the Lord.” Reading things into many Bible passages that are not there are done, instead of declaring straight from that book’s holy pages. A partial gospel is declared, rather than “all the counsel of God” (Acts 20:27). It has been my personal observance that many who embrace Neo-Calvinism dish out the same spiritual diet to their audiences in sermon after sermon. Itching ears out to hear only the positive side of the Bible are scratched, when anybody with a truly open mind and receptive heart will read, see, and accept the fact that the Bible has both negative and positive teaching in its contents. Neither one is to be neglected for the other. That’s the way Jehovah God intended preaching to be, or He would have instructed the Holy Spirit to do nothing else in the way of guiding the writers, except to “accentuate the positive.” Read all of I Corinthians 2.

To all preachers reading this: Are you out to please men, or to please God? Is it your aim to merely preach what people desire to hear, or what they actually need to hear for the sake of their precious souls? To continually work at rubbing someone’s fur in a way that causes a good sensation is not to convict the alien sinner of his sins, thus, persuading him to become a New Testament Christian (Acts 2:36-41). To scratch that itching ear is not to net much maturity in Christ. Such reminds this writer of Jeremiah 5:30-31, where it says, “A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land; The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?” Likewise in Micah 2:11: “If a man walking in the Spirit and falsehood do lie, saying, I will prophesy unto thee of wine and of strong drink, he shall even be the prophet of this people.”

Such an individual may as well be saying what is cited in Isaiah 30:8-11: “Now go, write it before them in a tablet, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever: That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the Lord: Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits: Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us.”

Preachers are not to be restricted—-fenced in—-confined—-controlled like a puppet on a string. While the panoply of God’s truth must be preached “in love,” (Ephesians 4:15), by the same token, this panoply must be preached! Otherwise, such doesn’t constitute a “panoply.” When such takes place, toes will be stepped on at times, yes! However, God is the one to be pleased here, not man! It is truly sad and tragic that in many congregations of God’s people, there will be one or more persons who will try and dictate to a preacher what to preach and not preach, when to preach it and not preach it, how to preach it and not preach it, etc. This kind of tolerated conduct deprives those members who genuinely wish to be spiritually fed with the complete, rich, and necessary “Bread of Life” (John 6: 25-66). Jesus said in Matthew 5: 6, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” Gentle reader, enjoy a full spiritual meal, not a constant diet.

Preacher, you preach that full Word! Stay solely with that Bible! Make it your main objective, in the spirit of love, to not be harnessed by anybody, any place, at any time! Of course, live what you preach (I Corinthians 9:27). Only then will you please God, and so, not only have a place reserved in Heaven for you, but for those truly honest of heart who are receptive to what the whole Bible says. “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine: continue in them, for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee” (I Timothy 4:16).

Come what may, preach the word, preacher!

The End Of The World By Philip North

No more exists the vegetation,
Gone are all the rocks and hills
The planets and the stars have vanished,
For this is what Jehovah wills

The mountains and the valleys shot out,
As did each individual resident
Plains, plateaus, animals, and fouls
Oceans, sea creatures, however hesitant

Away eternally went all flowing
Of seas, rivers, oceans, all water
Extinct is also each intention
Of things not said and done as “oughter”

A halt has come to every program,
Stopped is life right in its tracks
Both businesses and pleasures ended,
Fulfilled, near done, or that which lacks

Bright glory from the sun and moon,
Are now a part of all the past
The heavens and the earth have melted,
The end of time has come at last!

Not one ground stands on which to walk,
No further talking will take place
Nor anything solid is there to view,
We see no skin of any race

Each music piece and song are halted,
As are earth’s sounds and noises too
Somehow, this day seems so unreal,
But there is just no more we’ll do!

Cooking, cleaning, driving, and flying,
Leisure, projects, hobbies, and employment
Can’t be detected anymore, anywhere,
There isn’t any remaining fun or enjoyment

Sports, dating, traveling, and marriage,
Entertainment, phoning, or being emailed
Have all been cancelled forevermore,
All efforts to continue life have failed

Meetings, engagements, and invitations,
Planning, scheduling, along with pace
Will eternally not take place again,
As is written NOW on every face!

Taken away is every last chance
To change what should have been
There’ll be, for sure, no turning back
Like there for so long had been

Families, friends, and groups who met,
Will no more longer together so be
No dining out in restaurants,
Nor meals at home for you and me

The picnics and amusements parks,
And all such places like them will
Have acted out their final moment, Not ever again in life will they fill

Weddings, funerals, and family reunions,
Vacations, sight-seeing, and the like
Have now completed all their courses,
This goes for the swim, camping, hunting, and hike

Finally, always, and forever it is,
Nature’s cycle became so silent
Likewise, the same applies to sin,
From the most quiet, to the extreme violent

Some folks prepared for this great day,
But for a good many, such was not so
However, being ready or not,
From fleshly life—-we ALL did have to go!

Mankind won’t continue to hate and groan,
We can’t again say, “I love you”
Since now we’ve quit the walks of men,
Just life your head up—-look straight above you

The skies are raging hot ablaze!
The elements are there no more!
The material and physical beauties are gone,
Right on down to the minutest pore!

The human race from Adam to now,
My! Who could EVER picture this scene,
With ALL assembled in one large group!
Yes! EVERYONE who’s righteous, innocent, and mean!

For countless ages, many couldn’t imagine
That this occasion would REALLY arise
Howbeit, Jesus DID come again
From directly out of those blue skies

Christ brought His angels as company,
To right forever the many errors
God’s punishment for sin began,
With all its consequences and terrors

Too late it was for any correction,
It’s now past time for repenting
Because after what took place in Eden,
God since has all sin been resenting

Every precious soul stood before God’s bar,
The Creator who furnished us all things
Not one escaped that day of days,
There was no fleeing from on wings

Humanity was judged most fairly,
As the way each lived one’s earthly days
Their tongues and bodies played a part
On how they set their routine ways

Once God’s decision came down per soul,
No altering He ever permitted
The judging, hence, was “once and for all”
Committed, fitted, and never acquitted

What was each destiny to be?
Where did each person go?
Well, such was decided INDIVIDUALLY
By how that body behaved here below!

Being Incontinent By Philip North

This adjective can be found in the KJV of God’s Word where the Apostle Paul wrote his second epistle to the young preacher Timothy, warning him of the “perilous times” this man of God would face (2 Timothy 3:1-9). The word “incontinent” is found in verse 3. Let’s notice two specific sources describing and defining this word.

Incontinent is from the Greek word AKRATES, and is defined by W.E. Vine as, “denotes powerless, impotent; in a moral sense, unrestrained, “without self control,” 2 Tim. 3:3, R.V.” Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines the word as follows: “lacking self control; not being under control.” The noun form of the word can be found in I Corinthians 7:5, where Paul speaks to the husbands and wives, “Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.”

Being incontinent does not apply to simply being angry. The Bible has much to say on anger, stating that not ALL of such is sinful, no matter what some folks may argue. This can especially be seen in the book of Proverbs, along with a few of the epistles written in the New Testament. The four Gospel books even record times, though few and far between, when our own Saviour Jesus Christ showed anger. Instead, especially based on what Paul wrote to Timothy, being incontinent means to perpetually, or almost perpetually, be out of control—-overly temperamental—-hotheaded—-extremely mean and nasty—almost constantly angry—-raging—-on a daily basis. Such a disposition as this was only one of a number of things Timothy would have to face as an evangelist.

Thus, the individual who is incontinent is a lot of the time dangerous! The curse words flow ever so easily, rudeness and insults are hurled which produce hurt feelings and resentment, the exploitation of both offender and victim manifests itself on a moment’s notice, the fist flies most powerfully and often, the knife slashes easily and hard, the weapon fires from a trigger-happy finger, the objects(s) are thrown impromptu, and well, the reader no doubt grasps the scenario. Physical and verbal abuse both come into the picture, as does (at times) premature death of the victim(s). Even the one(s) who are products of incontinent behavior who survive physically, frequently suffer both physical and emotional scars as a result. Many people couldn’t control their incontinency if their very soul depended on it, let alone their life!

This particular sin is a shame and a disgrace to anybody of any age who is of an accountable mind. He/she who is incontinent will be oft impossible to correct, tend to make a scene both publicly and privately, won’t have many friends, and will (in a manner of speaking) burst open every inch of their intestines if they don’t get their way most or all of the time! Of course, the other person is at fault (and always!) in the eyes of the person guilty of being incontinent. A combination of physical and mental health will many times be the aftermath, and many have met an early grave legally, as well as on their own, due to this Satanic conduct known as being ‘incontinent.” It’s no wonder that some of those who have this bad of a behavioral problem are on some form of medication. If they can’t or won’t control themselves, they need to be on it! What’s more, professional help is usually needed, is it not? This leads us to the next point.

In order to see both sides of this situation, there are many individuals who are incontinent because of physical and verbal abuse they unfortunately experienced in the home while growing up. This is not always just the fault of one or both parents, but also when “sibling rivalry” gets out of hand. Sadly too, if even one parent is incontinent, there is always the chance that one or more of the children will turn out the same way. This is well known as being “a victim of one’s own environment.” Then, there are the persistent, agitating bullies from school and in the neighborhood who may have aided to someone’s becoming incontinent. Sexual abuse, whether inside or outside of the home, can as well be a contributing factor. These in turn will many times transfer over into one when leaving home to start a new life, then specifically when one marries and starts one’s own family. Consequently, the cycle of physical, verbal, and/or sexual abuse may continue with the innocent—-the spouse and children, in the latter of which especially can plant the seed of incontinency.

On the subject of incontinency in the home, let it be known here that we are all creatures of choice; individuals of our own thing and abilities; and thus, one reared in such a situation should do their best to “rise above their raising.” I admire those who have accomplished this, and feel a mixture of both compassion and pity for those who have not. That is to say, pity for those who don’t even try, and compassion for those who have fought to get themselves out of being incontinent, but are having great difficulty in shaking this situation. To any of you reading this who have this problem, don’t quit trying! Ever! My hat goes off to you, and my heart goes out to you. Seek God’s help on this, and pray, pray, pray! Never, ever give in to Satan!

Losing control of self happens to the very best of people, even if merely once in a great while. It all comes with being human. Everybody has that “breaking point,” to be sure. The reader and this writer are no different, and no one need pretend otherwise. God Himself showed anger more than just a few times at the Israelite nation, due to their constant problem of going into idolatry in generation after generation after generation, as so much of the Old Testament records.

However, if one’s temper is not kept in check as much as possible, incontinency results. Too, some people are so incontinent, it’s enough to drive anybody to the point of anger and disgust with them—-and I say without the least reservation, anybody! If the incontinent person so much as thinks—-or even imagines—-that someone is raising their voice at them, even if this raising is just slightly, and this raising of the voice may be even justifiably so, whether slightly or greatly, watch how suddenly that seemingly meek, little “lamb” becomes a Bengal tiger! But of course, that incontinent person can do as he/she pleases in their treatment of others! Oh yes!

Along with far out of control anger, the sins of unbridled sexual desire, unnatural sexual desire, all forms of moral looseness, and apostasy, are also fruits of being incontinent. This means that lusts and certain temperamental “hang-ups” are present as well. The two sexual problems just mentioned were ever so present and evident with; (1) King David when committing adultery with Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11), (2) The incestuous rape of Tamar by her half-brother Amnon (2 Samuel 13: 1-19), and (3) When Cain’s killed his brother Abel (Genesis 4:1-8). Being incontinent just isn’t normal or worth it, is it?

Let’s notice a number of verses from King Solomon’s pen where the subject of excessive anger is concerned: Proverbs 14:17 says, ‘He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly: and a man of wicked devices is hated.” Chapter 15:1: “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.” Verse 18: “A wrathful man stirreth up strife: but he that is slow to anger appeaseth strife.” Chapter 16:32: “He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.” Chapter 19:11: “The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression.” Chapter 21:19: “It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and angry woman.” Verse 23: “Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles.” Chapter 22:24: “Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go.” Chapter 27:15: “A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike.” Chapter 29:22: “An angry man stirreth up strife, and a furious man aboundeth in transgression.” Solomon also declared in Ecclesiastes 7: 9,” Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.” Be incontinent, especially in much day to day living,, and you will make many enemies, along with looking the fool in the form of a statue the size of the Washington Monument!

Next, we note what the beloved Kind David wrote about constant and uncontrolled anger: Psalm 37:8 says, “Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.” Living incontinent does nothing for body, soul,, or spirit. How about for any of our fellowman, too? It’s a lose-lose situation, no matter how you examine it!

Where the Christian is concerned, Paul wrote to the brethren at Ephesus, “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath” (Ephesians 4:26). Concerning one of the qualifications of an elder, he told the young preacher Titus, “not soon angry” (Titus 1:7). Because a person may feel that he/she has a perfectly scriptural right to be angry at an individual or situation, having taken all that one can possibly take, still, that doesn’t give anyone the right to use profanity, rail, insult, be rude, throw things, threaten someone(s) with death or bodily injury, shoot, stab, or hit somebody! Some commit arson, slander, gossip, unlawfully sue, and pull other dirty tricks, due to their incontinency. I speak not of an unavoidable case of self-defense. I speak of “throwing the first punch.” I speak of starting a fight or an argument “at the drop of a hat.” For the church member who falls under this category of being incontinent, it’s that age-old adage of “losing your religion.” The way some incontinent people carry on, you’re lucky if you get one plug sentence out in trying to correct, calm down, reason, teach, state your case, or explain anything to them in full. More times than not, you will be interrupted; cut off; forbidden to say another word, unless you know what’s good for you! Completely perish the thought that you will be treated just and fairly by someone who is often or always incontinent!

Prisons and jails are full, (ever hear of “contempt of court” and “a hostile witness?”) many homes broken, untold number of marriages dissolved, businesses and business partnerships ceased, friendships parted, siblings estranged, and churches divided, some churches have ceased to be—-even if farther on down the road, due to one or more persons having behaved in some form of an incontinent way. There have even been brethren to curse and threaten non-Christians other brethren, along with threatening to call the civil authorities and/or threaten lawsuits, if so much as one question of disagreement is heard in their ears about the way they believe, practice, preach, and teach. Then there is that incontinent person in a church business meeting! (WHEW!) How sad and pitiful! This is Christianity? This is how Jesus would do? This is how He acted?

Needless to say, incontinency won’t make for anybody a home in Heaven. This sin is yet another means used by the Devil and his cohorts—-with always some type of “justification” (?) given for someone’s incontinency. I beg of you, gentle reader, to not live in an incontinent way. To do so means to suffer, both in this life and eternally. May we all strive to avoid this awful sin, like we would the wildest and meanest beast.