Verse of the Day

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is an act of worship. It is found in every part of the Bible. In the Old Testament the Hebrew word for “thanksgiving” is used 32 times. It is in the Law, the Prophets, the historical books, and the Psalms.

“And this is the law of the sacrifice of peace offerings, which he shall offer unto the LORD. If he offer it for a thanksgiving, then he shall offer with the sacrifice of thanksgiving unleavened cakes mingled with oil, and unleavened wafers anointed with oil, and cakes mingled with oil, of fine flour, fried. Besides the cakes, he shall offer for his offering leavened bread with the sacrifice of thanksgiving of his peace offerings. And of it he shall offer one out of the whole oblation for an heave offering unto the LORD, and it shall be the priest's that sprinkleth the blood of the peace offerings. And the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offerings for thanksgiving shall be eaten the same day that it is offered; he shall not leave any of it until the morning.”
— Leviticus 7:11–15

“When my soul fainted within me I remembered the LORD: and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple. They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy. But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD.”
— Jonah 2:7–9

“And at the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem they sought the Levites out of all their places, to bring them to Jerusalem, to keep the dedication with gladness, both with thanksgivings, and with singing, with cymbals, psalteries, and with harps.”
— Nehemiah 12:27

“Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.
Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.”
— Psalm 100

In the New Testament the verb “to give thanks” is found 39 times, and the noun “thanksgiving” 15 times. It is woven throughout the Gospels and Epistles, and occurs in Acts and the Revelation.

“And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;”
— Matthew 26:27

“…be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
— Ephesians 5:18b–20

“And from thence, when the brethren heard of us, they came to meet us as far as Appii forum, and The three taverns: whom when Paul saw, he thanked God, and took courage.”
— Acts 28:15

“After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.”
— Revelation 7:9–12

Finally, Michael Farris posted the following today on his Facebook page:

“Our nation is teetering on the brink.
Our God is steadfast and unmovable.

Our nation is divided.
Our God loves the world so much that He gave us His Son so that we may be united in Him.

Our nation is bound up in fear.
God’s perfect love casts out fear.

Our nation has great natural beauty.
This is the handiwork of God.

Our nation has plentiful resources.
God is Jehovah Jireh, the one who supplies all of our needs.

Our nation has a great heritage.
This is the cumulative blessing of God on those who followed Him.

Our nation weeps.
Our God comforts.

Our nation rejoices.
Our God is joy.

Today is a national holiday. We call it Thanksgiving. We can and should give thanks for our nation, our families, our friends, and our abundance.

But the holiday is aimed at something larger and far more profound. We may give thanks FOR all these things but we give thanks TO God because in good times and in bad, He provides, He protects, and He loves.

Thanks be to God.”

[Note: Michael Farris is CEO of Alliance Defending Freedom, Chancellor Emeritus of Patrick Henry College, and Chairman of the Home School Legal Defense Association. He successfully defended my family in a precedent setting home schooling case in Federal District court in 1988.]

We have more to be thankful for than we know.

“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.”
— Ephesians 3:20–21

To God be the glory!

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Wayside Gospel Chapel returning to normal worship service schedule

 Wayside Gospel Chapel is returning to our normal worship service schedule as of today 22 NOV 2020.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

The will of God who reigns and the mindset of His people

If God is going to continue to give our nation what it deserves in judgment we will “Amen!” His will.
If so, our responsibilities will not change.
If God bares His holy arm in mercy and humbles the proud and foolish among the low and high in our nation unto repentance we will “Amen!” His will.
If so, our responsibilities will not change.
Our mindset cannot be determined by the ebb and flow of an insane culture or the uncertainties in the events around us as if there was no God on a throne high and lifted up.
We must view everything through the “spectacles of Scripture” (see below), and press on to worship and testify about the God who is there, and who is not silent.

Read Psalms 1–4, 93–99, 110; Isaiah 6, 40; Matthew 28:16–20; Romans 8:31–39; 13; Ephesians 1, 3; 1 Timothy 2:1–8; Hebrews 12:1–3.

“Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.”
— Psalm 2:1–6

“The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth. The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek. The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath. He shall judge among the heathen, he shall fill the places with the dead bodies; he shall wound the heads over many countries. He shall drink of the brook in the way: therefore shall he lift up the head.”
— Psalm 110

“Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing….All nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity….Have ye not known? have ye not heard? hath it not been told you from the beginning? have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in: That bringeth the princes to nothing; he maketh the judges of the earth as vanity. Yea, they shall not be planted; yea, they shall not be sown: yea, their stock shall not take root in the earth: and he shall also blow upon them, and they shall wither, and the whirlwind shall take them away as stubble. To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth. Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel, My way is hid from the LORD, and my judgment is passed over from my God? Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”
— Isaiah 40:15, 17, 21–31

“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.”
— Hebrews 12:1–3

Sola Scriptura, Soli Deo Gloria,

John T. “Jack” Jeffery
Pastor, Wayside Gospel Chapel
Greentown, PA

On the “spectacles of Scripture”:

“That brightness which is borne in upon the eyes of all men both in heaven and on earth is more than enough to withdraw all support from men’s ingratitude—just as God, to involve the human race in the same guilt, sets forth to all without exception his presence portrayed in his creatures. Despite this, it is needful that another and better help be added to direct us aright to the very Creator of the universe. It was not in vain, then, that he added the light of his Word by which to become known unto salvation; and he regarded as worthy of this privilege those whom he pleased to gather more closely and intimately to himself. For because he saw the minds of all men tossed and agitated, after he chose the Jews as his very own flock, he fenced them about that they might not sink into oblivion as others had. With good reason he holds us by the same means in the pure knowledge of himself, since otherwise even those who seem to stand firm before all others would soon melt away. Just as old or bleary-eyed men and those with weak vision, if you thrust before them a most beautiful volume, even if they recognize it to be some sort of writing, yet can scarcely construe two words, but with the aid of spectacles will begin to read distinctly; so Scripture, gathering up the otherwise confused knowledge of God in our minds, having dispersed our dullness, clearly shows us the true God. This, therefore, is a special gift, bwhere God, to instruct the church, not merely uses mute teachers but also opens his own most hallowed lips. Not only does he teach the elect to look upon a god, but also shows himself as the God upon whom they are to look. He has from the beginning maintained this plan for his church, so that besides these common proofs he also put forth his Word, which is a more direct and more certain mark whereby he is to be recognized.”
— John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, 2 volumes, ed. John T. McNeill, trans. Ford Lewis Battles, The Library of Christian Classics, eds. John Baillie, John T. McNeill, and Henry P. Van Dusen, Vols. XX-XXI (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1960), I:70 (I:VI:1). “This simile, repeated in I. xiv. 1, in Comm. Gen. “Argument,” and elsewhere, is probably Calvin’s decisive utterance on the role of Scripture as related to the revelation of the Creator in creation.” Calvin, op. cit., footnote 1.

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Worship service cancelled for Sunday 15 NOV 2020

The service at Wayside Gospel Chapel for tomorrow is cancelled. This is due to the possible exposure of three of our families including my wife and I  on Tuesday to COVID-19 when with other family members. Since there is a great increase in cases especially in Lackawanna County and elsewhere in NEPA we need to err on the side of caution again until certain that none of us developed symptoms, and the results from tests already done for those involved have been received. 

As in the past the live stream from Faith Baptist Fellowship Church is an option. Their web site is at http://fbf.church/, their Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/pg/faithbaptistfellowshipchurch/posts/?ref=page_internal, and their YouTube page is at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC549l7ytlW3MSUWIZtzPmCg. They are “scheduled to broadcast 11/15/20 10:00am - 11/15/20 11:30am.”


John T. “Jack” Jeffery
Pastor, Wayside Gospel Chapel
Greentown, PA

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Gathering once again at Wayside!


The plan, Deo volente, for tomorrow, June 14th, is to gather again at Wayside Gospel Chapel beginning at 10:30 AM. Based on a consensus of the members contacted we will meet indoors while maintaining social distancing. The service will be kept simple, and limited to one hour to make it easier on the children. Doors will be kept open so they only need to be handled once. Door knobs, the piano, light fixtures, and bathroom fixtures will be sanitized, and disinfectant wipes will be available. Words for the hymns and choruses can be displayed on the front wall using the projector so the handling of hymnals and song books can be minimized. Mask wear is at the individual family’s discretion, and singing and preaching with masks is understood to be problematic. Anyone currently experiencing symptoms like a fever, coughing or sneezing is asked not to attend until the symptoms pass. 

John T. "Jack" Jeffery
Pastor, Wayside Gospel Chapel
Greentown, PA

Saturday, May 23, 2020

What should be the “Top Ten” Bible texts that must always be kept in mind when studying the Bible?


What should be the “Top Ten” Bible texts that must always be kept in mind when studying the Bible?

Here are the most important verses in the Bible to bear in mind when studying the Bible:

1. Neither the Divine source nor the ultimate purpose of the Scriptures are open to question!

2 Timothy 3:14–17 —14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; 15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

2. The ultimate standard of truth has been maintained from beginning to end in God’s Word, the certainty of which is beyond any doubt, and the remembrance of which is our solemn task!

2 Peter 1:12–21 — 12 Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth. 13 Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance; 14 Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me. 15 Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance. 16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. 18 And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. 19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

3. The Scriptural chain of blessing is learning, then patience and comfort, and finally, hope.

Romans 15:4 — For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

4. The Lessons of Biblical History must not be missed!

1 Corinthians 10:6–12 — 6 Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. 7 Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. 8 Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. 9 Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. 10 Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. 11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. 12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

5. There is an inescapable reality of what is to be expected when exposing yourself to God’s Word!

Hebrews 4:12 — For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

6. The progressive nature of God’s communications with mankind has a past, a present and a future!

Hebrews 1:1–4 — 1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; 3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
4 Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.

7. The Lord Jesus Christ as the Logos of God is the subject and central focus of the Scriptures!

Luke 24:27 — And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.

8. The seriousness of absolute submission to God and His Word in Bible study!

Rev. 22:18–19 — 18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 19  And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

9. The spiritual nature of the Scriptures in both their origin and content are beyond the natural abilities of unregenerate humans to comprehend. The divine author, the Holy Spirit of God, is the only interpreter of the Word of God! Our dependency on the Spirit of God for any right understanding of the Bible is absolute.

1 Corinthians 2:11–16 — 11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

10. Finally, here is a question that we must be able to give either a negative or a positive answer to! This question has been whispered down through the ages, and haunts the human race to this day, sometimes from the most trusted sources. We must have an accurate answer to it for our own sake, and those we communicate God’s Word to. Those who would cast doubt and confusion on God’s Word surround us, and will not cease to attack with increasing subtlety until the Lord returns to this earth to conquer and judge them. This question will not go away until then. Its devastating effects must not be forgotten.

Genesis 3:1 — Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made.  And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

If we ever lose sight of any of the truths revealed in these passages of Scripture while we submit to the study of God’s Word we will be in danger of misunderstanding the Scriptures, or worse, of dishonoring the Lord Jesus Christ.

Sola Scriptura, Solo Christo, Soli Deo Gloria,

John T. “Jack” Jeffery
Pastor, Wayside Gospel Chapel
Greentown, PA

20 MAY 2019

Types of Literature in the Bible


Types of Literature in the Bible

How many different kinds of literature are included in the Bible, and what are they?

Hebrew 1:1-2a — 1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son…

Many types of literature: There are three major types in Old Testament — Law, prophets and writings, and three major types in the New Testament — Gospels and Acts, Epistles, and Revelation. Within each of these major types may be found examples of one or more of the following types of literature: history/historical narrative, discourse, legal/legislation, poetry, proverbs, prophecy, parable, type, allegory, discourse, diatribe, treatise, apocalypse, etc. [1]

I. Old Testament

1. Law (Torah): While the books of the Law (Gen.–Dt.) include primarily historical narratives and discourse, prophecy and poetry are also to be observed, e.g., The Protoevangelium in Genesis 3:15; Jacob’s “Final Blessings” on his twelve sons in Genesis 49; The Song of Moses in Deuteronomy 32; and Moses’ “Final Blessing” to Israel in Deuteronomy 33.

2. Prophets (Nebhiim): Major and Minor (the Twelve) — Distinct sections of these prophetic books are obviously poetic, e.g., the Servant Songs in Isaiah (Is. 42:1–4; 49:1–6; 50:4–9; and 52:13–52:12), and the psalm of Habakkuk 3. Other sections in the writings of the prophets are historical narrative including discourse. See especially Isaiah 36–39.

3. Writings (Kethubhim): 1) Poetry — Psalms, Proverbs and Job; 2) Five Rolls (Megilloth) — Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Esther, and Ecclesiastes; and 3) Historical — Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Chronicles. Some of these books are obviously poetic, but there can be no doubt about the prophecies to be found especially in the book of Psalms. Other books in the Writings are classed as Wisdom literature: Job, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes, while the remainder of the Writings are historical. Daniel is unique in the Old Testament just as Revelation is in the New. It is unmistakable within the book when there is movement from historical narrative and discourse to prophecy, and at times to poetry.

II. New Testament

1. Gospels and Acts: These generally historical books include historical narratives and discourses, and also prophecies, and poetic portions such as Luke 1:46–55, 68–79; 2:29–32 (AKA the Magnificat, Benedictus, and Nunc dimittis). [2]

2. Epistles: Pauline, and General (Hebrews, James, Petrine, Johannine, Jude) — Diatribes are included, as in Romans 1–11, and poetry, as in the “hymns” of Philippians 2:6–11, and Colossians 1:15–20, 1 Timothy 3:16, Hebrews 1:1–3, and 1 Peter 2:21–25. [3]

Hebrews is in a class of its own. There are earmarks in the book of an epistle especially in ch. 13, but the bulk of the book is more along the lines of a treatise than a letter.

The Pauline epistles are often sub-sub-categorized into the four Prison and three Pastoral epistles, but ecclesiastical and personal may also be considered. The four epistles referred to as “prison epistles” are Colossians, Philemon, Ephesians and Philippians. Epistles written to individuals are Philemon, the three “Pastorals” (1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, and Titus), and 2 and 3 John. That is, if “the elect lady” in 2nd John is understood as an individual, and not a figurative expression for the church. On this issue the comments in The MacArthur Study Bible in favor of the “normal, plain sense,” and “the more natural understanding in context,” as opposed to the “non-literal,” or metaphorical are recommended. [4] What these sub-sub-categories bring into consideration are the circumstances of the author at the time of writing, the general nature of the contents, and the intended original recipients.

3. Revelation: This is in a category of its own. The closest resemblance to the book of Revelation to be found elsewhere in the Scriptures are the prophets of the Old Testament, but none of them compare to this “close of the Canon” book. Notice also that very distinctive letters or epistles are also included in chs. 2–3, and poetry is found in the worship utterances or “hymns” in 4:8; 5:9–10, 12–14; 15:3–4.




[1] From The Study of the Scriptures, Session 6 (WED 8 APR 2015), presented at Faith Baptist Fellowship Church, Lake Ariel, PA, by John T. “Jack” Jeffery, Pastor, Wayside Gospel Chapel (Greentown, PA).
[2] See on these and others Ruth Ellis Messenger, “New Testament Hymns,” on Bible Hub at https://biblehub.com/library/messenger/christian_hymns_of_the_first_three_centuries/iii_new_testament_hymns.htm [accessed 20 MAY 2020]; from Ruth Ellis Messenger, Christian Hymns of the First Three Centuries, The Papers of the Hymn Society IX, ed. Carl F. Price (New York: The Hymn Society of America, 1942), Ch. III; also on Project Gutenberg at https://www.gutenberg.org/files/33160/33160-h/33160-h.htm  [accessed 20 MAY 2020].
[3] Joshua W. Jipp, “Hymns in the New Testament,” on Bible Odyssey at  https://www.bibleodyssey.org/en/passages/related-articles/hymns-in-the-new-testament [accessed 20 MAY 2020].
[4] gen. ed. John MacArthur (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1997), pp. 1976, 1977.