Audio Video Library
General Beliefs Site Search Time Line
E-Mail Us Web Links Home

Most of the articles on these WebPages have been written by godly men with a central belief in the Lord Jesus Christ. However as with most of us, they may have different beliefs concerning some particular doctrines. These articles have been made available for the purpose of “gleaning the good” where good can be found. I do not necessarily endorse all that is written by others, anymore than I expect others to endorse all that I write.

   Morning Thoughts by Elder Philip Conley

Psalm 75:6-7, "For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God
is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another."

This morning, people always desire credit for things. When they perceive that people "do not appreciate them," they become put out and heated. As disciples of Christ, we need to avoid this tendency and overcome this temptation, for our Lord has commanded us to be selfless not selfish. (Mark 8:34-35) One of the things that ministers should pray for is that the message outlive the messenger. As my late father once said, "If when I am dead and gone all you can remember is the doctrines of Christ that I preached, that is fine with me. Maybe in years to come folks will say, 'Who was that old preacher that taught us about election, predestination, total depravity, eternal security, and the noble sacrifice of Christ for His people? I don't know, but we sure learned about the goodness of the Lord.' That is just fine with me." May we all desire the accolades be given to the cause we serve and not to we ourselves.

The Psalmist tells us much in telling us what things are not. Promotion does not come from three places.  So, we learn where it does come from as the three places mentioned (south, east, and west) comprise three parts of a known four-part group (quadrant directionality). The position of north is left out of the discussion to signify to us that promotion comes from the north. There is, I believe, a significant reason that the Holy Spirit moved the Psalmist to pen the structure in this way. Had the verse read that promotion comes from the north (positive mood), we might conclude that one of the ways promotion comes is from the north, but by structuring the thought in this negative way, the other positions are excluded from the realm of possibility. For example, if I said that a certain bank was offering a specific type of loan, you might conclude that others might offer the same loan type as well. If I say that all the banks in town but one do not offer a specific loan type, then it becomes obvious that it can be found in only one place.

Our Lord is the giver of all the good gifts and perfect gifts in this world. (James 1:17) There is no other place where they can be found. When one looks to give others what only God can put in (such as regeneration), the effort will fail miserably every time. Paul tells the Ephesians that ALL spiritual blessings in heavenly places are in Christ. (Ephesians 1:3) Let us say, for example, that a particular bank held all the money and assets there were in this old world. Yet, they offered accounts with the bank for a $50 service fee. Obviously, no one would be able to pay the entrance or service fee because the bank isholding all the money and collateral assets. No one would have an account. In the sight of God, we are, by nature, bankrupt and unable to pay the smallest of service fees to receive His good graces. Since all the spiritual blessings are in His Son, the promotion comes from Him and not us.

What is the significance of the northward position being the source of promotion? There is an abundance
of Scripture to show that this position is where God sits and dwells. While we many times point up to reference heaven, the thought is that God is above us. Likewise, the northward position is typically shown
above the other directional points on a map or compass. The Great King sits in His mountain of Zion on the sides of the north. (Psalm 48:1-2) Lucifer, king of Babylon, aspired to sit upon the mount of the congregation in the sides of the north. (Isaiah 14:12-13) North is where the King dwells, and it is where the enemies of the King desire to rule. While I believe that the devil knows that He is no match for God (Revelation 12:12), he still desires to sit in God's place with that power and rule.

There are others today that desire that glory that rightfully is God's. The greatest blasphemies ever perpetrated by man (in my opinion) are these: 1. We must save what God did/could not, 2. God is responsible for my shortcomings. In both instances, the ultimate promotion that God gives is lessened. In the first instance, God is robbed from the glory of promotion in the saving of His people from their sins. (Matthew 1:21) In the second instance, God's salvation is not really that matchless since He is responsible for putting us in that shape to begin with. Such blasphemies should be spurned from the slightest consideration.

The preacher cannot save anyone to heaven. Parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, brothers, sisters, and cousins are incapable of placing someone within the love of God. Promotion from depravity and ruin to
grace and glory alone cometh from the north where the Great King dwells. The forms of promotion that we
experience in the kingdom when the sense of glory seems to enshroud us while in service can only come from the blowing of the Holy Spirit from the north upon the garden of the Lord. (Song of Solomon 4:16) While the north wind blows upon the garden in conjunction with our efforts of service and labours of love (planting and watering) the promotion comes when the Spirit is in attendance (God giving the increase). He has promised us that by exalting ourselves (self-promoting) we will be abased, but by abasing ourselves, we will be exalted (true promotion). (Luke 14:11)

We must state here that all perceived forms of promotion cannot be attributed to the Great King. As the two blasphemies we touched on above bear out, some attribute wicked things to God. While we have Scripture that shows us the exaltation of a wicked man for the glory of God (Romans 9:17), we cannot conclusively declare that all forms of "earthly" promotion come from the Lord. When people are promoted to offices above us (perhaps at work) that gain that position by shady deals and underhanded ethics, we ought not say that God is in the matter.

The promotion of the Lord is not abased or shaken as His church will continue in this world till time shall
be no more, and His people will all be delivered up to the Father for all eternity. The earthly promotions
come to nothing as the Lord abases kings and kingdoms. (Isaiah 40:15-25)

We need to take great care to specifically identify (with plain speeches) what area of consideration we are dealing with as the same applied principles do not always go across the board identically. For example, the Lord promotes His people in a redemptive way with all the work being on His end, and His people completely passive in the equation. The Lord promotes His people in the kingdom (specifically in the church service) when we actively engage ourselves. Indeed, the promotion still comes from above (north), but He requires us to walk humbly with our God to see and experience it.

Let us therefore seek His face and counsel and come boldly before His throne of grace. He has promised to
exalt us in due time. (I Peter 5:6) That is not our motivation for being humble, but He has promised to exalt us in our humility. Therefore, when we feel the exaltation of the King, let us recognize from whence all blessings flow. Promotion belongs to Him. When people promote themselves, the Lord puts that one down to set up another. He is not being capricious, but rather, He is exercising His authority to exalt whom He will based on the good pleasure of His good will. Let us seek His and not our own so that if promotion comes in the kingdom we can praise Him for that goodness and let those spices and pleasant fruits flow out to be a blessing to those around us for the ultimate praise and glory of His Matchless Name.

In Hope,

Bro Philip