Posts by Bob Ganote


A SERMON…at the Memorial of Richard Freed – Itchey Pede The Little Swede

Rv 14:13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.

We are not to wrest any Scripture to our own hurt holding to the false notion that Christians do not physically die. Nonsense!

It is argued: “Well, what did Jesus mean when he said to Martha in Jn 11:25-26…I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: believest thou this?

Heb 9:27-28 –it is plainly stated that it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: 28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

In no case may the Scripture be broken, therefore both Scriptures,John 11 and Hebrews9 are true. Let Scripture say what it means to say. Never try to change the Scriptures and attempt make them subject to one’s own “private interpretation.” They are the inspired word of God.

The author of the Hebrew letter is correct: all men die, but not all men (people) die in the Lord! Some who die physically will stand before the White Throne Judgment and all who have rejected the Son of God will perish.

Jesus, following the raising of Lazarus and addressing the statement of Martha that had he come sooner Lazarus would not have died, took the opportunity to announce that the death of the body is certain for every man, but those who believe on Him, will never die. Is this a contradiction? No. Jesus was referring to the fact that while all men die physically, not all men will die spiritually.

When Richard died, for example, His soul and spirit, that is the person of Richard, went immediately to heaven.
The bodies of lost men remain in the earth from which they came awaiting the day of the Second Resurrection where they will stand awaiting, without an advocate, the execution pronounced of their judgment. At that time they will be separated from God for all eternity in Hell.

The bodies of just men soon to be made perfect, that is the remains of Christians who have died in the Lord await the first resurrection when they shall rise to meet the Lord and forever be with the Lord.

We know that Richard Freed indeed died. I personally carried his remains to the cemetery. I personally prayed over his grave. What we put into the ground was the tabernacle in which the person of Richard Freed lived for 90 years.

But, praise our Merciful God, I know that our beloved Richard according to his testimony, when he left his body he was at once in the presence of the Lord.

2 Co 5:6-9 says: Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: 7(For we walk by faith, not by sight:) 8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. 9 Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent , we may be accepted of him.

A Word concerning the preparation of Richard’s body
Richard’s body was cremated!

Why do I bring up a subject so abhorrent to so many good folks? Because I know that there may be some here who would wonder, “what of Richard?” Has cremation so spoiled and desecrated his body that it will never be raised and unite with his soul and spirit already in heaven? The answer is NO! Will he one day be whole in body, soul, and spirit? YES!

Is then, Cremation allowed for Christian families to consider? Absolutely. That decision is always up to the families of the departed. That is no up to me to say one way or the other.

In Richard’s case since it is not known if he had a will requesting that his body be buried in the traditional way, the Jackson County Court, since no family could be found, considered Richard as having died intestate, an impoverished indigent.

While many good people do not believe cremation is a Scriptural means of Christian burial, they will have a hard time proving their belief by Scripture text or verse. To many, cremation is simply too unpleasant a subject to bring up or to even consider.
The fact is that I can find no specific biblical doctrine opposing it. Even “The Old Testament law nowhere commands that a deceased human body not be burned, nor does it attach any curse or judgment on someone who is cremated.

The question of what happens to the body at death and how will it be raised on the day of resurrection? Paul shows surprising little patience in the question asked of him in 1 Cor. 15,: How are the dead raised up? And with what body do they come? Fool, that which thou sowest (buried), is not quickened (made alive), except it die. And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain…but God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body. Fool!

The atheistic philosophy must by default deny that even God (in whom they believe does not exist) must also deny any after life and certainly hold in disdain the idea of resurrection. That philosophy then reigns today as did in Paul’s day – he calls those who hold to this heresy fools for they ought to know better.

Paul expanding on the matter of the “body” says that there are many kinds of bodies and all differ from another. And concludes by saying: So is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown (buried) in corruption; it is raise in
in-corruption!

What kind of body will we be given? In verse 44 we are told it will be a spiritual body. Spiritual does not mean without substance. Was not Jesus raised with substance? What is meant by “spiritual?” I have not the time for a word study this morning, but I can say without question, according to Paul who under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit declared that the bodies of Christians shall be heavenly bodies, unlike the bare grain that they were when planted, they shall be raised in full and glorious fruit. Paul says our bodies will be like our Lord and Savior’s body… spiritual, heavenly! Changed! Immortal! Incorruptible.

The fact that Richard’s body has been cremated does not make it any more difficult for God to resurrect his quickening body. His body, and the body of our loved ones are, as we speak, undergoing a change, a transformation, a quickening into a body suitable for heavenly residence.

How for example, should we wonder about the bodies of people who are buried at sea? Is there hope of resurrection for them? John writes in Rev. 20:12-13 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

The bodies of Christians who died ages ago have, by now, completely turned into dust. This will in no way prevent God from being able to resurrect their bodies. He created them in the first place; He will have no difficulty re-creating them. Solomon pens this: All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again. Ecclesiastes 3:20

We may, in good conscience think of cremation as “expediting” the process of turning a body into dust. God is equally able to raise a person’s remains that have been cremated as He is the remains of a person who was not cremated. The question of burial or cremation is within the realm of Christian freedom.

John Wycliffe, translator of the Bible in English. He was born in the hinterlands, on a sheep farm 200 miles from London. He left for Oxford University in 1346, but because of periodic eruptions of the Black Death, he was not able to earn his doctorate until 1372. Nonetheless, by then he was already considered Oxford’s leading philosopher and theologian. (By the way, those thousands who perished in that terrible plague were are cremated in order to destroy the bacteria that caused their deaths to keep it from spreading even further.)
Wycliffe, believing that every Christian should have access to Scripture (only Latin translations were available at the time), he began translating the Bible into English, with the help of his good friend John Purvey.

The Roman Catholic church bitterly opposed it stating: “By this translation, the Scriptures have become vulgar, and they are more available to lay, and even to women who can read, than they were to learned scholars, who have a high intelligence. So the pearl of the gospel is scattered and trodden underfoot by swine.”

Scattered, trodden, by swine? Really! How improper to say such a thing about people, especially when these words were uttered by a cleric of the church of Rome.

Wycliffe’s reply? “Englishmen learn Christ’s law best in English. Moses heard God’s law in his own tongue; so did Christ’s apostles.”

Wycliffe died before the translation was complete (and before authorities could convict him of heresy); his friend Purvey is considered responsible for the version of the “Wycliffe” Bible we have today. Though Wycliffe’s followers (who came to be called “Lollards”—referring to the region of their original strength) were driven underground, they remained a persistent irritant to English Catholic authorities until the English Reformation made their views the norm.

Forty three years after his death and burial his enemies dug up his remains, mainly by then merely bones, thinking that some people might find his bones and continue to follow his teachings. They gathered them and burnt them into ashes.

Then they fearing that someone might find his ashes and use them as a means of propagating his teachings, scooped them into a container, carried them to the River Avon and spilled them in the fast moving currents, satisfied that nothing of Wycliff remained.

Later, someone wrote: “Thus the brook hath conveyed his ashes into Avon; Avon into Severn; Severn into the narrow seas; and they into the main ocean. And thus the ashes of Wycliffe are the emblem of his doctrine which now is dispersed the world over.”

For the unsaved sinner death has an awful sting, The grave gains awful victory. However, for those who die in the Lord, there is no sting; the grave gains no victory!

All men at death no matter when or how their body was sown, all are sown to corruption, and for lost men, their bodies will be raised for final destruction, not annihilation but eternal suffering in hell. They will suffer what the Bible calls, the second death. All men are born once and die, but for some they will die twice.

But for the Christian body, no matter how it was sown, it too is sown to corruption but it shall be raised glorified, pure, strong and without infirmity, spiritual, with the heavenly image, never to die again. For Christians, they are born twice but die only once.

When Jesus returns, those who die in the Lord, will be raised to life. Their quickened bodies will be transformed to glorified, eternal bodies. This the Bible says will be the first resurrection – where they shall rise first, then as Paul says, those who are alive and remain will be “caught up” and will be together with risen saints and forever be with the Lord.

Richard Freed, died in the Lord and so we believe he is a happy soul! That’s what “blessed” means—‘happy’. But how can you say Brother Bob that Richard is happy? Well, it isn’t me that said it. So says the Holy Spirit. It is written, it is so! All Scripture is profitable to the believer! Richard is blessed, happy because, by his testimony, we believe he died in the Lord.

Richard is happy because he is at rest. That is he is no longer subject to pain, suffering, and debilitating physical and mental distress. Everyone on earth who truly knew Him, loved him.

Those who knew that Richard, in his infirmity of age, knew that he had somewhat dissipated in good judgment, and some while pretending to love him, took advantage of him, used him, and made him miserable and financially troubled.

Everyone in heaven loves Richard for who he is, Richard is safe in the arms of the Lord. He is happy. He is at rest.

Finally, Richard is blessed, happy because he can stand before the Lord virtually unashamed, not prideful mind you, but with a full assurances that his good works followed him.

Others who know not the Lord will stand before the Judgment throne, ashamed but without excused, having all their works burned up, and they themselves in body, soul, and spirit cast into a Lake of fire reserved originally for the devil. There they shall remain without hope and without God.

As to the passing of our Beloved brother in Christ let us consider again this great encouraging text found in Rv 14:13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.

Finally, in closing, It is vital that we understand that the works that follow a Christian have nothing to do with his salvation. Work’s following are works rewarded; crowns given or in some cases, removed. These are good works one does as unto the Lord.

But in and of themselves works are not works that save. I ask you to recall a portion of one of our favorite hymns,

August Toplady’s great work, Rock of Ages…
Not the labors of my hands
can fulfill thy law’s commands;
could my zeal no respite know,
could my tears forever flow,
all for sin could not atone;
thou must save, and thou alone.
Nothing in my hand I bring,
simply to the cross I cling;
naked, come to thee for dress;
helpless, look to thee for grace;
foul, I to the fountain fly;
wash me, Savior, or I die.

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To My Beloved Grandson, Jacob


Posted By on Apr 21, 2016

TO ALL WHO READ THIS NOTE, PLEASE PRAY FOR JACOB BARRETT…

Jake, you have indicated that you wanted to be saved and baptized–what great news! I intend to sit down with you very soon and address your wishes. First, I want to ask you a few questions.

Why do you want to be saved?

Have you sensed that God is leading you to this point in your life?

What or who do you think is motivating you to come to this point in your life?

Have you come to the awareness that you have sinned and are in need of forgiveness? Are you prepared to give your life to Him and find ways to serve Him.

Do you realize that if you answer these simple questions in the affirmative that it is Jesus speaking to your heart telling you that He loves you and not for who or what you are now, but so that He can make you what He wants you to become?

You must understand that it is He that is pursuing you and not you pursuing Him. Also, you must know that he loved you from before He made the world, the heavens, yes, even before He created all things that are created.

You do not have to make a decision to be saved because if it is His voice you are hearing know that it is His decision to save you and all the demons of Hell cannot not prevent it.

If you answered the above questions honestly, then it is probable that He is calling you to Himself — If this is the case then You do not accept Him, He has already accepted you! What you must do is found in Romans 10:9-11 which says:That if you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God hath raised him from the dead, you shall be saved. 10 For with the heart man believes unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the scripture says, Whosoever believes on him shall not be ashamed.

Ask your Dad and Mother to read these verses to you. Ask them to explain these verses to you. After they both agree to do so, then listen to what the Word of God says…then call or text me and then we will sit down and talk more and pray together. Until then, I will be praying for you and know that I am eager to get together with you. I love you, Jake…Jesus loves you too.

I await your call,
Grandpa Bob

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Surely, we should all admit that as Paul, we do not always know what we should pray for as we ought. Paul is not saying that we know not that we should pray — we are told always to pray and to do so without ceasing, meaning we should never stop praying. He does not say how we are to pray. He is saying we know not WHAT we should pray for as we should.

We know the mechanics of praying: kneeling, on our face, looking up, hands folded, hands folded under the chin, eyes closed, eyes open, silently, vocally, Choose number one or all of the above?

When we pray for the sick, for example, or for someone to get saved, we know we should pray that someone gets well or that someone gets saved. What if it is God’s will that one not get well, or if it is not in God’s purpose that someone get saved. God may have a reason for allowing sickness and for not responding to our prayers for someone to get saved.

Scripture encourages us and confirms that we should know up front that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are the called according to his purpose.

QUESTION: When you pray do you ever wonder why your prayers are so shallow and lack fervency? Or why the content seems to be missing something? Do you ask yourself, ‘why can I not pray like Brother Jim or sister Joan?’ Why is there no apparent and sensible content in my prayers? Why is the quality of my prayers are so infantile and immature sounding. Why are my prayers are so short in duration when some people say they pray for an hour or two? Or why does the content seem to me to be missing something? Why, is the quality of my prayers so infantile and immature sounding to me. You are probably like most of us!

DO YOU EVER WONDER What is the meaning of Romans 8:26, 27, 28?

READING: Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought : but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

I know for sure what these verses do not mean. They do not mean as I have wrongly and often stated that when we pray the Holy Spirit translates our prayers after he has cleaned them up a bit and added to our weak content an arbitrary and deeper meaning. And that He has given us the ability to ‘groan’ in words that we simply cannot articulate in spiritual manner. (this idea has led to much confusion especially on the subject of glossolalia).

QUESTION: Must we know God’s will and purposes in advance before we pray? Are we to remain silent and not say anything until we know what his will and purpose is? The answer is, we may never be privy to God’s will or purpose therefore we should pray as we are able and leave the rest to Him.

Let’s open this container of grace and drink of its contents knowing that the Holy Spirit will help us. After all His ministry is to “guide us into all truth.”

I. What is prayer?

A.T. Robertson, in my opinion the best source for word meanings in the New Testament says this in regards to prayer: He says that the word ‘pray’ in Romans 26 is an “Articular clause object of oidamen (we know) and indirect question with the deliberative aorist middle subjunctive proseuxōmetha, retained in the indirect question.”

My response to this is, HUH? Really? If you have the same reaction to this definition let’s together try to put the definition of ‘pray’ in words and in a framework that we may understand.

II. What is meant by infirmities? Example: Lk 13:11-there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself. 12 And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity. 13 And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.

She suffered evidently from a genetic weakness – something she was born with. The woman suffered a spinal infirmity. She could not straighten up. But when the Lord touched her she “was made straight.” She, in herself could do nothing about her condition – the Lord “helped” her in her “weakness.”

As a side note this reminds us that spiritually we are all born in a bent position, and we can do nothing about it in ourselves. The Lord must and will “straighten” us out. It is not by our works of righteousness that we become saved but by the precious efficacious blood of Christ and His righteousness. Moving on…

Though we are born with a ‘spirit of bondage (infirmity), as Christians we have a renewed (always renewing) mind, but we remain genetically and spiritually infirmed requiring the constant help and attention of the Holy Spirit to ‘heal’ us of this ‘spirit.’

Though the infirmities of Christians are many and great so that they would be overpowered if left to themselves, yet the Holy Spirit supports them. The Spirit, as an enlightening Spirit, teaches us what to pray for.

III. The generally accepted explanation is: The Holy Spirit as a sanctifying Spirit works in us and stirs up our mind, purifying it. The Holy Spirit is a comforting Spirit, strengthening us to deal with our infirmities and discouragements. Zech 12:10 He is called: the spirit of grace and of supplications:

1.The Holy Spirit increases our love of God.

2.The Holy Spirit understands our infirmities and searches into our renewed mind to discover the desire of our hearts which we are unable to articulate.

3.The Holy Spirit makes intercession to Jehovah God in our behalf, acting as an advocate, helping our inability to articulate our prayers. While these things are true we are not totally satisfied in understanding.

Another explanation: As Christians we have a ‘renewed mind’ (Romans 12:2) but it is a mind under construction. This means that while our mind is renewed it still has a way to go. My thought on this is that our renewed minds are ‘under construction’ that this requires a consistent work of building up something until it is completed. Only The Holy Spirit can do this for us.

2 Co 10:17-18 — he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. 18 For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth.

Pride is an awful thing when found in anyone but especially heinous when discovered in a Christian. Pride in a Christian is usually evident by a lack of spiritual growth which is obtained only through a growing understanding of God’s word. They harbor the false thought that “once saved always saved” gives them the notion that they need no further improvement.

When born again, salvation is assured but what egregious thinking it is to think that as ‘babes’ in Christ there is no need to grow in Grace and in the Knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. This kind of thinking insures nothing less than spiritual ignorance and stunted spiritual growth.

This thinking stresses that not only do we not know what to pray for as we ought but that we never will if we remain static in our spiritual growth.

2 Ti 2:15-17 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. 17 And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus.

Notice 8:27. And he (that is the Holy Spirit) that searcheth the hearts (no distinction here between ‘hearts’ and minds) knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit.

A difficulty arises when the ‘he’ that searches the hearts is the same he that knows the mind of the Spirit and ‘he’is the same he that makes intercession for us. This appears to be the same person! What is the meaning?

The meaning is that the one who searches the hearts and the who knows the mind of the Spirit and the one who makes intercession according to the will of God IS God Notice that the ‘will of’ God is in parenthesis. Parenthesis means that the “will of”has been added by the translators. This then could and perhaps should, be read as he maketh intercession according to GOD!

Also see in verse 28 we read “according to his purpose”. The pronoun ‘His’ is coming before purpose. It is also in parenthesis, and in the original language it must read, ‘according to purpose’. So in 27 and 28 we have to determine whose ‘will’ belongs too and to whose purpose it is meant to be.

My take on this is that in both cases these statements refer to God and since the Holy Spirit is God then both agree as One God, and since God and the Spirit are persons of the Trinity the are in essence the same God. It makes sense then that the Spirit would know the mind of Himself! Havn’t you heard it said of a person who “knows not his own mind”. Meaning double minded. Surely the Holy Spirit “knows His own mind.”

Anyone who has a commentary and the ability to read the sentence structure in this verse as it is written in the Greek interlinear edition, will readily see that the word ‘will’ is not there, neither is the pronoun ‘his’.
IV. The conclusion of the matter, until proven otherwise is…

1.The Spirit help us in our weaknesses in prayer.

2. We know not what to pray for as we ought.

3.The Spirit knows his own mind for he has the mind of God because He is God.

4.The Spirit searches and knows the hearts of each one of us.

5.The Spirit makes intercession for us according to the will of God, that is his own will.

6. We know that in spite of our weakness in prayer that all things do work together for good and we should leave it at that.

7. We are of those who love God and called according to His purpose!

Knowing these things we should do our part and study to show ourselves approved as workman unto God and not end up shamed for our pride thinking we alone know the mind, will, and purpose of God, for we do not always know these things. We should go on in the exercise of daily praying and know that as we grow by the help and guidance of the Holy Spirit our prayers will be acceptable to God. God will always do right.
James 5:16 The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
So Be It!

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The notion of free-grace may make persons dissolute, but a sense of it restrains from sin.
The goodness of God respects our emptiness, the grace of God our sinfulness, and the mercy of God our unworthiness. What sin is there which grace cannot pardon? What heart if there that grace cannot soften? What soul is there that grace cannot save?

All grace flows from Christ united to the soul, as all life flows from the soul united to the body.
the more God’s justice was declared toward His Son, the more was His mercy towards the sinner.
God humbled His Son to exalt His Grace. John Mason in Apples of Gold.

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Praise and Prayer — F. B. Meyer


Posted By on Apr 19, 2016

PRAISE AND PRAYER
“Praise waiteth for Thee, O God, in Zion; and unto Thee shall the vow be performed. O Thou that hearest prayer, unto Thee shall all flesh come.”– Psa_65:1-2.

WHAT RAPTURES there is here! It reminds one of a lark at dawn filling regions of air with music which threatens to rend its tiny throat. The Psalmist is in fellowship with God. He is enjoying his prayer and praise so much that it seemed to him as though all flesh must wake up to enjoy it also. His iniquities and transgressions are purged away. He feels that God is causing him to approach into His secret place, and all nature takes on a new radiance and beauty.

The personal pronouns for God–Thou, Thee, Thy, occur at least twenty times in thirteen verses! We remember that Wordsworth speaks of a Presence that rolls through all things: “A sense sublime of something deeply interfused, whose dwelling is the light of setting suns, and the round ocean, and the living air, and the blue sky–a motion and a spirit.” The poet was a lover of the meadows, and the woods, and mountains!
To many of us, also, Nature seems but the slight covering or garment, which only partially, conceals the glory and beauty of God’s Presence. The bush still burns with fire. The mountain-heights are filled with the horses and chariots of angelic guardians. “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament sheweth His handiwork.” There is no voice or language that the ordinary sense of man can detect, but when our hearts are clean, and our ears open, we realize that we are in touch with Him whom some day we shall see face to face, but who even now reveals Himself to the pure in heart (Mat_5:8).

PRAYER
O God our Heavenly Father, renew in us the sense of Thy gracious Presence, and let it be a constant impulse within us to peace, trustfulness, and courage on our pilgrimage. AMEN.

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