Tag Archives: Jesus

The Apple of the Bible’s Eye

from Pastor Dan Parton | Timberline Baptist Church | Originally presented January 30, 2011 |

Psalm 118:1-9

Introduction:  What could I possibly mean by “the apple of the Bible’s eye”?  The Word of God refers to the apple of the eye only five times:

 

– Deuteronomy 32:10, “He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye.”

– Psalm 17:8, “Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings.”

– Proverbs 7:2, “Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye.”

– Lamentations 2:18, “Their heart cried unto the Lord, O wall of the daughter of Zion, let tears run down like a river day and night: give thyself no rest; let not the apple of thine eye cease.”

– Zechariah 2:8, “For thus saith the LORD of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye.”

 

The “apple of the eye” is the centermost part of it.  To be the apple of God’s eye, we must be the centermost focus of His eye.  Along those same lines, we know that the central theme of God’s Word is Jesus.  But what is the apple of the Bible’s eye, the centermost focus of His Word?

 

Psalm 118:8-9 are said to be the centermost verses in the Bible and contain the centermost focus of the 66 books of the Bible, “It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes.” (Psalm 118:8-9)

 

It is also said that the two centermost words in the Bible are the seventh and eighth words of Psalm 118:8, “the LORD.”  All these statistics are up for grabs as there are many opinions surrounding them.  Nevertheless, it makes an interesting study!

 

Please note that “LORD” is all capital letters in your Bible in these verses.  It is the Hebrew word “Jehovah,” God’s personal name describing His power to save.

 

“Jehovah” is the Old Testament descriptive of Jesus.

– What DOES this verse tell us we are to do with Jesus?  TRUST HIM!

 

What can the central theme of the centermost verse in the Bible teach us?

 

1.            It tells of the only two religions in the world.

 

Do, works and confidence in man; and done, faith, trusting in the Lord plus and minus nothing.

– How to get to Heaven is only taught two ways:

 

* It is either dependent on what YOU do.

* Or it is dependent on what Jesus has done.

 

– It can’t be both!  Romans 11:6 makes it even clearer, “And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.”

– Jesus made it abundantly clear in John 14:6 that there is only one way to Heaven when He clearly said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

– Psalm 118:8-9 say it all, “It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man [any man including yourself]. It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes.”

 

2.            What you believe about Jesus determines many things.

 

– It determines what and how you believe about the rest of the Bible.  This is very important!

– Either Jesus is the Saviour of the world, or He is not.

– You can be totally wrong about many subjects in the Word of God and still be saved and get to Heaven.

– If you are wrong about Jesus, you miss Heaven altogether!

 

  • It is not your Bible knowledge.
  • It is not your church membership.
  • It is not your church name.
  • It is not your good works.
  • It is not your baptism.
  • It is not your communion.
  • It is not your good feeling.
  • It is not your anything.

 

– In order to get to Heaven, you cannot trust in the Lord plus or minus anything.  It is Jesus alone, or nothing at all!

– I have grown to love Acts 4:12 so much over the years, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

 

3.            Everything in Psalm 118:8-9 point to Jesus!

– Trust in the Lord!

– Religious groups today point to everything BUT Jesus:

 

  • The Holy Ghost and the gifts of the Spirit.
  • Healing.
  • The church.
  • Baptism.
  • Numerology.
  • Bible codes and hidden messages.
  • Prophecy and prosperity.
  • The virgin Mary.
  • Saints and sacraments.

 

– All these things should point to Jesus, but not be a substitute for Him!

 

Conclusion:  What is the apple of the Bible’s eye, that is, the centermost focus of His Word?

 

Psalm 118:8-9 are said to be the centermost verses in the Bible and contain the centermost focus of the 66 books of the Bible, “It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes.” (Psalm 118:8-9)

 

It is also said that the two centermost words in the Bible are the seventh and eighth words of Psalm 118:8, “the LORD.”  “LORD” is all capital letters in your Bible and is the Hebrew word “Jehovah,” God’s personal name describing His power to save. “Jehovah” is the Old Testament descriptive of Jesus.  What can the central theme of the centermost verse in the Bible teach us?

 

– It tells of the only two religions in the world:  do and done.

– What you believe about Jesus determines what and how you believe about the rest of the Bible.

– Everything in Psalm 118:8-9 point to Jesus.

 

What are you trusting right now?  Are you trusting in Jesus alone to save you and take you to Heaven when you die, or is your confidence in man?

The Trials of the Third Church of China

The Trials of the Third Church of China

November 4, 2010 | Da Yong –

Little to no knowledge of the Bible

The growth explosion in the Third Church of China is causing a great deal of stress and trials.  Even though the TC is made up of intellectuals there is a great void in solid biblical teaching.  Remember that China has been essentially a spiritual vacuum for over 60 years.  China is officially atheistic to it’s core even though there is a State run church.  From schools to home Chinese learn from day one that there is no God.  There is no understanding of basic Bible stories let alone deep theological issues.  Kids in the USA have a greater understanding of the Bible than most TC Christians.  This causes many false teaching and cults to grow out of this lack of understanding of the harder theological issues.  One of the strongest cults in China is known as ”Lightning from the East” lead by a woman who says she is Jesus.

Lack of Full-Time Workers

Even though all these TC fellowships are popping up all over the urban centers of China there is a lack of leadership (pastoral and lay leaders) among them.  Member care is falling short because there are large numbers coming to the Lord and very few people to disciple, guide and ground these new Believers.  There is a real need for pastoral/lay leadership training to help build up and strengthen the new coverts and to keep out false doctrines, teachings and the cults.  It is unfortunate that many of the new Believers are not receiving the milk they need as ”baby Believers” and end up falling away.  One church that we helped plant was being lead by a pediatric heart surgeon.  This Brother was working 60 plus hours a week as a doctor, he is married and has a newborn.  On top of all of that he needed to be ministering to his flock.  In reality this Brother should be a lay leader not the pastor, but, there was no one else that could take his place.

Intellectuals and Continued Learning

The intellectuals that make up the TC fellowships pursue knowledge and wisdom continuously.  The Chinese have a real love for reading and expanding their knowledge on a wide variety of subjects.  In the past most Christian literature was written to the uneducated masses in the country-side.  These books are intellectually inferior to the TC Believers.  They find these books and materials too simplistic.  Some big cities in China now have Christian book store with a wide variety of Western Christian books translated into Chinese, but, the supply for the demand simply does not make the cut.  The need for more resources is staggering.  The Chinese Christians here in the West need to help meet this need by translating more Christian resources.

Living Daily for Christ

In our work among the Chinese we saw a real disconnect between “my Sunday life as a Christian and my weekly life as a citizen”.  The mentality was that they were two separate lives that did not merge together.  One brother explained as most Chinese look at their faith as a “hobby”, something they did on the weekends.  The TC Believers need relevant and practical training for every day life.  They need to understand that their faith is not a “hobby”, but, a radical life changing event that goes everywhere with them.  Whether it is the home, the
office, on the street or in church they exist for the glory of God and therefore they need to live their new life out in front of everyone.  The Chinese are faced with more and more social problems as the country as a whole gains wealth, power and influence.  Divorce, abortions, homosexuality, immorality and many more sin issues are coming to the surface and the TC Believers need to be grounded so they can resist these sins as well as help unbelievers out of these troubles to Christ.  Training the TC Believers is a huge task, but, it will be well worth the effort when we see the TC making a godly influence at all levels of life.

How Can You Help

Prayer of course is the first step in helping our fellow Brothers and Sisters in China.  Pray for the need for more full-time workers, literature and training materials to be translated and that their Biblical knowledge will be increased and deepened.  We are all called to SEND and to GO, so, which of these two are you doing?  There is no in between!  If you want to know more about how you can help send or go contact the author of this article.

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Da Yong
American serving the Lord in China
Contributor – Baptist.org

Featuring : The Trials of the Third Church of China
email: btw4ayear@yahoo.com