My Study       
Benno Zuiddam

 

 

This is the editor! 

 

Hello everyone                                    from the Editor                                                                                              

Have you ever noticed in the Old Testament that when a godly man died, it is said that “he was gathered to his people”?(Genesis 25:8) This probably means that they would spiritually be with the other godly people who had died. 

This means that those with whom we have lived and are happy in their company, will be the ones that we will live with for ever in the life to come.  In this life we choose our company for eternity. 

Those who love God and love those who belong to Him, and look upon these people as our friends and brethren, will be those we will dwell with for eternity.  The same is true of those who love sin and evil, and feel at home with the ungodly, they will be their eternal companions. 

However, some people have nothing to do with God's people in this life and all their associates are ungodly people whom they enjoy to be with, yet they vainly hope that after this life they will be with the saints of God in heaven. 

If a sinner should go to heaven, everything would be strange to them, and everything that is done there would be foreign and hateful to them. How could they sing God's praises for the first time, or rejoice and delight in God, if they had never done so on earth?  Heaven would prove to be entirely contrary to their desires. 

The Lord will make sure that all those whom He has saved and changed their hearts to love and desire Him, will be with Himself and all other believers.  At death they are not spiritually separated from the Lord, nor from those who belong to Him. They are one family of God and will dwell with him forever. 

Who are our close friends with whom we will be with for eternity? 

 

Chu's Conversion 

Chu was a Chinese man who lived in northern China  He belonged to the Buddhist religion and had never heard of Christ or the Bible.  His friend Chang was the Buddhist priest who had recently returned from a trip abroad, and Chu went to visit him to welcome him home. 

As they sat and chatted, Chu happened to notice an unusual book lying on a dusty shelf.  “What have you here, Chang?” he asked  “It is a strange book I picked up on my journey; a foreign classic. You will not think much of it.” he replied. 

But Chu was interested.  There was very little to read where he lived.  Here was something new to him and he began to eagerly read it.  He soon became absorbed in the book. 

It was a little gospel of Mark. It seemed to him to be so simple, yet so sublime.  After that Chu came to visit his friend often and to read the  little book.  He now wanted to know  about the book and the person it spoke of.  Was the book true?  When did it happen?  Did Jesus live?  Was Jesus really alive? And many more questions, but Chang could not answer his questions. 

Chu then asked anyone he could find about the book, but no one knew anything about it. He longed to know where the book could be found, and whether there were any other books like it? 

After a year news reached him that a missionary had begun to work in a distant southern province of China, and had called his work, “The glad tidings about Jesus”. Chu longed to meet this man. Some months later a man was to visit that area and Chu asked him to visit the missionary, whose name was David Hill.  He returned with two books about the Bible and the address of the missionary.   

A year later the man went again to the south and returned with a complete New Testament. Chu was delighted and read it continuously.   

 

 

 

 

 

After two more years, Chu could stand it no longer and made his way to the missionary's address.  There he met some Chinese Christians as well as talking to the missionary.  He now understood the word of God better. 

Soon his brother became a Christian and later Chu became a pastor of a church in his home area.  His friend Chang, the Buddist priest, also was saved and became an elder of Chu's church. 

Chu's experience proved that “the entrance of Thy words bring light.” Psalm 119:130. He now had the light of salvation and faithfully served the Lord . 

 

A late conversion 

George Whitefield had a brother who was unsaved.  He prayed for him, and often spoke to him urging him to seek the Lord, but it was all in vain.  Then one Sunday morning he announced with joy and with tears, that a great change had been wrought in his heart by the Lord's grace.   

He then added that he had also received a letter which informed him that his brother had dropped dead as he was alighting from a coach.  Before this the brother had shown very clearly that he was a new man in Christ Jesus.  Whitefield added, “Therefore let us pray always for ourselves and those who are dear to us, and never faint.” 

 

 

 

 

 

 My dear neighbour...

 

 

Good out of evil 

Martin and Christine were a happy and prosperous couple in Northern Germany many years ago.  Martin had inherited a good farm from his father when he died.  He was a good farmer and cared well for his farm. 

 Best of all, they were a Christian family.  Every morning and night they read the Bible and prayed together with their children, and each Sunday they worshipped God at the local church. 

But there was one thing which caused much unhappiness to the family; that was their next-door neighbour.  This man was very well off, but there was no fear of God before his eyes.  He hated God and hated religion.  He did every mean thing he could to hurt Martin and his family, even though everyone knew these things were his doing, he would always deny it. Martin and his family prayed much for him, but nothing changed him. 

One day this farmer asked Martin whether he remembered his father borrowing a large sum of money from his father. Martin replied that he could vaguely remember him doing so.“I thought you father paid this money, but I have found this account and evidently it was never paid.”  “Of course he paid it back!” said Martin. “Then where is the receipt for the payment?” demanded the neighbour. “if you can produce the receipt, it will be all right, but if not you will have to pay the full amount and thirty years of interest as well.”   

Martin and his wife searched their house carefully, but no receipt could be found,  They were compelled to sell their farm to the highest bidder, who was the troublesome neighbour, and pay the money.  They now had just enough money to buy a little cottage with a small block of land. 

But worse was to come: A band of defeated soldiers who were fleeing from Napoleon the French General, ,raided the area seeking for money. The neighbour told them that Martin had money.. They forced their way into Martin's house, pushed him aside and searched the house. They scattered furniture and items everywhere, but finding none, they then rode away. 

 

 

 

Martin and his family were terrified, but thankful to the Lord that none of them had been seriously hurt.  They then began to clean up all the mess.  Suddenly Martin picked up a small piece of folded paper and to his amazement it was the receipt for the full payment of the money his father had borrowed. 

The hostile neighbour was forced to return the farm to Martin and repay him the money he had given him. 

Martin and his family were filled with thanks to the Lord and the people in the village recognised the hand of God in this matter. The hostile neighbour was put to shame and his evil deeds exposed. 

Martin and his family knew that Psalm 146:5 belonged to himself and his family,“Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help;, whose hope is in the Lord his God.” 

 

 Puzzling?

Scripture Puzzle 

Using the first letter of the answer to each of the ten questions below, find the name of a book in the New Testament. 

 

1. Samuel told Saul he would find two men by her sepulchre ? 1 Sam 10:2. 

2. All those invited to the supper began to make these ? Luke 14. 

3. Gideon had a small army, “lest Israel ??? themselves.” ? Judges 7. 

4. Peter says that he and others were what “?? of His majesty”? 2 Peter 1. 

5. Bethel's former name? Genesis 28:19. 

6. The name of the King who judged Paul. Acts 26. 

7. Third word in the writing on the wall?  Daniel 5. 

8. The country Acquila had recently come from?  Acts 18. 

9. Your neighbour's ?? is not to be coveted. Exodus. 20. 

10. About this time Paul neared Damascus?  Acts 22. 

 

“The two Testaments are the two lips by which God has spoken to us”  Thomas Watson. 

 

A difficult decision 

Gisbert vanKoerten was a Dutch carpenter.  When war was declared in 1940, he was called up to serve in the army.  One evening a number of men in his platoon invited him to go to church with them.  There he heard the message of the gospel and was wonderfully saved. 

When he returned home, his wife realised that he was different.  She asked was he sick? He replied, “No, I am very well, but I have been converted!”  She was very angry with him and mocked his faith in Christ.  However, her attitude did not drive him from the Lord, but made him more determined to live for Him. 

When the German army occupied Holland, Gisbert and many others were employed in building the Soesterberg Airport. 

On one Saturday evening when the men were about to knock off, a large black car drove up, and an Officer  stepped out. He shouted, “Let all the workers gather here! I have an announcement for them!” All the construction workers gathered quietly before him. “Listen!, on Monday the General is coming here to inspect everything.  A lot has still to be done, so you must work tomorrow as well!” 

The men were silent and looked at each other. “Who will refuse to do this?” he demanded.  A few men walked to the front to show that they would not work the next day.  When the German Officer asked why they would not work, they said that the next day was the Lord's day. 

The Officer took out his pistol, then he said, “I will give you a few seconds to reconsider  If you do not work, there are two options, either you will be taken to work in Germany or I will make an example of you here with my pistol.  If I do that, then you won't have any more Sundays to live.” 

 All of the men drew back and only Gisbert remained.  He said quietly, “Tomorrow is the Lord's Day, Sir, I will not work on it.” “I have the authority to execute you right here and now.  Do you realise that?” roared the Officer. “I know that, Sir, and if God allows it, you can do that, but I would rather have that than profane God's Day.” 

The Officer paused for a moment. He had failed to change Gisbert by threatening, also he  respected  his courage. Then he said, “You are free this one time.” However, pointing to the others, he commanded, “But make sure you all come to work tomorrow!” 

Gisbert had remained true to God and the Lord had protected him. 

 

The puzzle of the pronouns 

Many people are puzzled about the pronouns, thee, thou, thine and ye in the King James Bible. 

How do we know which is singular – speaking of only one person, and which is plural?  Well, there is a simple method of knowing this. 

If the pronoun begins with a 't' it is singular = 'thee' or, 'thou'. If the pronoun refers to something a person possesses, the pronouns are 'thy' or 'thine'.   

But if the pronoun begins with a 'y' then it is plural = 'ye' or 'you'. If the  pronoun refers to something a person possesses, it is 'your'. 

 

Bible languages were slightly different from present day English.  We can use the pronoun 'you' to refer to one person or an hundred people. 

When the King James Bible was translated in 1611, singular and plural pronouns were used.  So when we read any text in the Bible we can immediately see whether it is speaking to one person or many.  If we read 'thee' it is speaking to one person, if it has 'ye' it is speaking to a number of people. 

 

 

 

 

A Jewish Doctor saved 

A Christian minister became a friend of a Jewish doctor and had opportunities to speak to him about the sayings and teachings of Christ. The doctor seemed to appreciate the Lord's wisdom and grace in His teachings. 

One day the minister decided to show the doctor some of the Old Testament prophecies of Christ and the promises that He would come.  The doctor seemed to be interested in what he was saying.  Then the minister shook his hand and said, “Why, then doctor, will you not believe that Jesus is the Messiah?” 

The doctor became very offended by these words and told him that it was needless for him to try to convert him because he would not succeed. 

From that time the doctor sought to avoid the minister and had very little to do with him. Then a new minister came to that town and told his congregation that they should pray for the Jews and speak to them about Christ whenever they had an opportunity to do so. 

One Christian lady who worked in a laundry tried to do as the minister had said.  Shortly after she became very ill and was treated by the Jewish doctor. 

He knew that she was in great pain, but she never complained  or murmured; only praised and thanked God for His great mercy in forgiving her sins and washing her from all uncleanness. This lady died and was buried and was soon forgotten by many, but there was one who could not forget her - that was the Jewish doctor.   

Before she died she gave her Bible as a special gift to him, and asked him to diligently read it.  Then she prayed that God would take away the veil of Moses from his heart and give him the Holy Spirit. 

Some time later the doctor came to the minister asking him to baptise him. He said, “Now I am sure that Jesus is the Messiah and we need not look for another.” The minister asked him how this change had  taken place? 

 

 

  He replied, “You remember the old washer woman!  Well I never saw anyone die as she did.  She died rejoicing in Christ, as if she was going to a feast.  Her death was a victory indeed!  From that moment I have no other wish than that I might die like she did.  I took her Bible home with me and read it and read it again, and am still reading it.  It seemed to me  as if scales fell from my eyes, I am now sure that the Lord Jesus is the promised Messiah, and I wish to confess His Name, and after proper instruction from you, to be baptised.” 

 

Here is trouble...

Smile a-while 

Sure diet:  A doctor placed a very fat man on a strict diet.  He said, “I want you to eat regularly for two days, then skip one day. Repeat this pattern for two weeks and you should have lost 2 kilograms. 

After two weeks, the doctor was shocked to learn that he had lost 20 kilograms.  “Did you follow my instructions?” he asked. The man nodded, “But I found it extremely strenuous.” “From hunger you mean?” “No, from  skipping  every two days!” 

 

Farmer's Computer:A farmer who had bought his first computer, tried to make sense of the computer language.  He thought of what it meant in farmer's language. 

Log on: what you put on the fire to make it burn. 

Download: taking the wood off the truck. 

Hard Drive:  how you drive when you are in a hurry. 

Modem:  what you do to 'dem lawns' when the grass grows. 

Cursor:  what the farmer says when things go wrong. 

Mouse:  the pest on every farm. 

Byte:  what the mossies do. 

Screen: what is used to shut the mossies out. 

Laptop:  where the cat loves to sleep. 

Microchip:  what is left in the bag after the chips are eaten. 

Web:  what the spiders make. 

Online: where the washing is hung out to dry. 

Upgrade: a steep hill that is hard to climb. 

Search Engine:  where a farmer looks when it won't go. 

Yahoo: what the farmer says when the motor starts. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“It is well with my soul” 

Horatio Spafford was a very successful Christian business man and a lawyer, who owned much property in Chicago, Illinois in 1850.  Suddenly a tragic fire swept through that city in 1851, 300 people were killed in the fire and 100,000 were left homeless. 

Over night Mr. Spafford lost almost everything he had in the fire, and was near financial ruin.  To add to his tragedy, his only son died at this time.  For the next two years Mr. Spafford stayed in Chicago to help those who were in need. He worked hard to assist those who were  homeless and poor. 

At last he was exhausted and decided to sail to England and Europe for a holiday.  However, he was delayed from travelling with his wife and four daughters, who he put on the luxury French liner, the Ville Du Havre,  He promised to meet them on the other side of the Atlantic as soon as possible.  However, the ship never reached its destination;  It collided with an English ship, the Loch Earn, and sank almost immediately.  Mr. Spafford's four daughters were lost, but his wife was saved with forty six other people.  Two hundred and twenty six lives were lost. 

The ship carrying Mrs. Spafford arrived in Cardiff, Wales, nine days later.  She sent a telegram to her husband saying, “Saved alone.”  He then boarded the next available ship to join his wife. 

On the way, the Ship sailed close to the place where his four daughter had lost their lives .  Amidst his deep sorrow and grief, he began to write the words of a famous hymn, 

 

       “When peace, like a river, attendeth my soul, 

                When sorrows, like sea billows roll, 

            Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, 

                It is well, it is well with my soul.”    

 

          “Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come , 

                 Let this blessed assurance control, 

           That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate, 

                 And has shed His own blood for my soul.”     

 

Prof. Dr. Benno A. Zuiddam