Gleanings from the Diary of William Fetler (Basil Malof)
2. DEDICATION & FAITH
3. REPENTANCE & RESTORATION
5. COMMUNION TIME
...as compiled by James Alexander Stewart
REPENTANCE AND RESTORATION"When once thou hast turned again, establish thy brethren." — Luke 22:32 (ARV).
Only a restored Christian can strengthen and establish his brethren. And only a truly repentant Christian can "turn again" and be restored.
One look from the Master rebuked Peter of his backsliding. "He went out and wept bitterly" (Luke 22: 62). We can safely assume that his weeping bitterly was not simply a passing momentary experience to be soon forgotten. No! No! Peter wept — and kept on weeping, both with the eyes of his flesh and with the eyes of his heart — for forty days and forty nights. He wept in great contrition, feeling himself to be unworthy to be an apostle any more.
"I go a fishing," he said to the other disciples. What he was really saying was, "I am no longer worthy to be a disciple. How could I be?" he wept, "I, who have denied my Lord?" And so he continued to weep day and night, and he did not know that God had gathered up his tears in the heavenly bottle (Psalm 56:8). He wept until the comforting time when his Redeemer restored him. How tenderly the Saviour probed him; "Simon Peter — Simon, son of Jonas — lovest thou me more than these?" How his whole body shook with trembling as he could say through his blinding tears, "THOU KNOWEST that I love Thee."
No, indeed, there is no restoration from backsliding except through a deep consciousness of our sin and through a whole-hearted repentance of our sin, with much bitter weeping before the Lord. There must be humiliation, also, even in dust and ashes, as preparation for the outpouring of the Spirit in the restoring experience. But with what gratitude does he hear the words, sweeter than the songs of angels, "Feed my lambs. Feed my sheep. Be my disciple again." Glory to God for the restoration! Glory to God for the "turning again" which restored him to the ministry of strengthening his brethren!
WAITING"He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might, he increaseth strength .. . But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength." (Isaiah 40:29—31)
This waiting upon God is an absolute neccessity to true service. This waiting means "expectation of realization for something promised." This "waiting" must continue until the fulfillment. Elijah prayed seven times "UNTIL" ... the little raincloud appeared. (I Kings 18:44). We must wait upon God "Until" true fellowship is restored and contact between His Spirit and our spirit is reached. Only then can we be ready to work for God. Only then does He endue us for divine power to do His work.
Now this waiting upon God "until" He comes must result in deep heart-searching and elimination from our lives of anything that would neutralize the Divine and prevent God's revealing Himself to us. "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me" (Psalm 66:18). Again, "THOU hast loved righteousness and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows" (Heb. 1:9). The anointing of the Spirit has as its prerequisite abhorrence and hate of all iniquity.
The way unto God is the way of purity and holiness and love. David describes the people that seek God in the following striking words, "Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who shall stand in His holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation. This is the generation of them that seek Thy face, O Jacob. Selah" (Psalm 23: 3—6).
How precious is this Scripture. Here is an unqualified promise of blessing for those of us who seek His face in genuine repentance. As we wait upon the Lord, His holy searchlight scrutinizes us, and shows us the things which are wrong in our lives.
The positive blessings from the Lord neutralize all negative forces of evil. One open door from the Lord makes up for all the closed doors of the enemy. Have you received the blessing from the Lord? Are you among the generation that seek him?
REST"Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls." "For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."( Matt. 11:29,30).
Rest of the soul is the foundation of all Christian activity. These outwardly simple words have the profoundest meaning in our day. The Lord Jesus reveals Himself here as the Great Philosopher; an expert of the fundamental secrets of the human mind. He is the" master Psychiatrist.
To the soul which comes to Him, Christ does not offer in the first place health, or wisdom, or riches; He offers peace. Oh, the matchless wisdom of Christ! For if He had offered riches, no one could truly enjoy prosperity without a peaceful conscience. If He had offered wisdom, that, too, would be futile, for unless the mind is calm, wisdom will fail. Even if He had promised good health, that, too, would not be enough, because the best health would eventually go to pieces for lack of peace of mind.
When the heart is at rest and condemns us not, true riches, wisdom, and health can be the result. Peace is essential to activity. The minds that are calm produce more. Action and more action will follow peace and more peace. So Christ, in offering peace to a troubled humanity, offers the true philosophical tonic and elixir of life, which alchemists and inventors have sought in vain for years. Perpetual mobility begins with perpetual rest. The first thing, therefore, under all circumstances and in all times is to obtain peace of conscience and of heart which Christ alone can give. Only then will we be ready to do the work of God.
Mary, sitting in perfect tranquility at the feet of Jesus, did a more abiding work than Martha with her ceaseless activity.
The Lord Who calms the wind and storms,
Seek God's kingdom and His will, All other things will added be; Yes, all your problems He will solve — The Lord, Who calmed the stormy sea.
HOLINESSLife without holiness is death.
To dedicate our life to God — what can it mean but to dedicate our life to holiness.
When we pray to be restored to God, we are praying to be restored to a life of holiness. We must be practical as well as theoretical.
Ye shall receive power, first to live a holy life and then, second, to witness for Christ. (Acts 1: 8)
God is not interested in a man's cleverness; He is interested in his Godliness. When holiness is gone, nothing is left over but burnt-up ashes and Ichabod.
"But mine own vineyard have I not kept." (Songs of Songs 1: 6) There are those who have been mighty workers and have fought great battles, but who, on account of much business, have failed to keep the vineyard of their own souls. They have not developed within themselves the personality of His divine nature because they have not sufficiently grown in grace.
In the heart of every born-again child of God there is the constant cry "Not to sin! not to sin!" This is ever my cry day and night. O, to be holy and pleasing to God in everything! I have prayed many times in Europe and here in America — "Any price for holiness. No price too great just to become holy." I reiterate, this is my greatest longing, cost what it may. Cause me, O Lord, to be truly holy! Let everything and everyone go, if Thou alone remaineth. O Love, that wilt not let me go!"
Enoch walked with God. You walk with your friend, but do you walk with God? Husbands walk with their wives and children walk with their mothers, but do you walk with God?
To walk in the light means to walk in holiness. We can have fellowship with God only if our life is holy and blameless. All fellowship with others which is not based on walking in the light is sinful; for whatever is not light is sin.
There is no real Scriptural preaching unless the negative center of it is the definite preaching against sin, and the positive center, holiness through the Saviour cleansing from sin.
Published by The Russsian Bible Society