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Ten Tools

for

Christian Carpenters

or, A word to the wise.

by

R. B. Ainslie

 

"And the LORD showed me four carpenters.

Then said I, What come these to do?

And He spoke, saying,

These [horns] are the horns which have scattered Judah,

so that no man did lift up his head:

but these [carpenters] are come to fray [or overcome] them,

to cast out the horns of the Gentiles,

which lifted up their horn over the land of Judah to scatter it".

Zechariah 1:20-21.

COPYRIGHT

The terms of the copyright are quite simple. You may use this book in any way you wish. You may copy and distribute it without restraint. There is freedom in God's word - this is to be sought after and upheld in every generation.

The Bible text is from the Authorised King James version unless otherwise specified, with alterations to some old-fashioned words to make it more understandable to modern readers. Some extra punctuation has been included also. All emphasis, and the words in square brackets have been added by the compilers.

 

Christian Carpenters

 

The next section is originally from Desire of Ages page 324 but has been modified to suit our needs.

 

A supernatural beginning

When we surrendered ourselves to Christ, a change was made by Jesus which no man or woman could ever accomplish for themselves. It was a supernatural work, bringing a supernatural element into human nature. Then a new Power offered to take possession of our new heart and guide us. The mind that accepts this Power and is yielded to Christ becomes His own fortress, which He holds in a revolted world, and He intends that no authority shall be known in it but His own. See Romans 6:13-14.

A person thus kept in possession by the heavenly Agencies is impregnable to the assaults of Satan.

But unless we do yield ourselves continually to the control of Christ through His Spirit, we shall be dominated by the wicked one. We must inevitably be under the control of the one or the other of the two great powers that are contending for the supremacy of the world.

It is not necessary for us deliberately to choose the service of the kingdom of darkness in order to come under its dominion. We have only to neglect to ally ourselves with the kingdom of light. If we do not continually co-operate with the heavenly Agencies, sin will take repossession of our heart, making it its abiding place and we will not even notice what has happened!

Jesus said, "When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walks through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. Then he says, I will return into my house from where I came out; and when he is come, he finds it empty, swept, and garnished. Then goes he, and takes with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first". Matthew 12:43-45.

The only defence against evil is the continual indwelling of Christ in the heart through faith in His gift of righteousness. Unless we remain vitally connected with the Spirit of God, we can never resist the unhallowed effects of self-love, self-indulgence, and temptation to sin. We may leave off many bad habits, for the time we may even part company with Satan; but without a vital connection with God, through the surrender of ourselves to Him moment by moment, we shall eventually be overcome again. Without a personal acquaintance with Christ, and a continual communion, we are at the mercy of the enemy, and shall do his bidding in the end.

This next section is also from Desire of Ages page 327 - again modified.

We have a great Guide

But those who accept Christ as their personal Saviour are not left as orphans, to bear the trials of life alone. He receives us as members of the heavenly family; He bids us call His Father our Father. We are His "little ones," dear to the heart of God, bound to Him by the most tender and abiding ties. He has toward us an exceeding tenderness, as far surpassing what our earthly father or mother has felt toward us in our helplessness as the divine is above the human.

There is a beautiful illustration of Christ's relation to His people in the laws given to Israel. When through poverty a Hebrew had been forced to part with his inheritance, and to sell himself as a bondservant, the duty of redeeming him and his inheritance fell to the one who was nearest of kin. See Leviticus 25:25, 47-49; Ruth 2:20. So the work of redeeming us and our inheritance, lost through sin, fell upon Him who is "near of kin" to us.

It was to redeem us that He became our kinsman. Closer than father, mother, brother, friend, or lover is the Lord our Saviour.

"Fear not," He says, "for I have redeemed you, I have called you by your name; you are Mine.... Since you were precious in My sight, you have been honourable, and I have loved you: therefore will I give men for you, and people for your life". Isaiah 43:1,4.

Christ loves the heavenly beings that surround His throne; but what shall account for the great love wherewith He has loved us? We cannot understand it, but we can know it true in our own experience.

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Now the booklet

Toolbox righteousness

"... His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that has called us to glory and virtue:

"By [that knowledge] are given to us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these [promises] you might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

"And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith [in the gift of the divine nature]..." 2 Peter 1:3-5.

Another version puts it this way:

"He has by his own action given us everything that is necessary for living the truly good life, in allowing us to know the one who has called us to him, through his own glorious goodness. It is through him that God’s greatest and most precious promises have become available to us men, making it possible for you to escape the inevitable disintegration that lust produces in the world and to share in God’s essential nature.

"For this very reason you must do your utmost from your side, and see that your faith carries with it real goodness of life. Your goodness must be accompanied by knowledge, your knowledge by self-control, your self-control by the ability to endure. Your endurance too must always be accompanied by a real trust in God; that in turn must have in it the quality of brotherliness; and your brotherliness must lead on to Christian love.

"If you have these qualities existing and growing in you then it means that knowing our Lord Jesus Christ has not made your lives either complacent or unproductive. The man [or woman] whose life fails to exhibit these qualities is short-sighted - he [or she] can no longer see the reason why he was cleansed from his former sins.

"Set your minds, then, on endorsing by your conduct the fact that God has called and chosen you.

"If you go along the lines I have indicated above, there is no reason why you should stumble, and if you have lived the sort of life I have recommended God will open wide to you the gates of the eternal kingdom of our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ".

2 Peter 1:3-11, The New Testament in Modern English, J B Phillips.

When we found and believed these promises, we first asked God to remove our "old nature", and then put in us the "divine nature", which was a new "heart" to replace the old. 2 Corinthians 5:17; Colossians 3:9-10. This meant that we made a request to be saved from our old selves, our helplessness or selfishness. A creator God did this immediately, without delay, for this was His will. John 6:40; 1 Thessalonians 4:4. [See "The Science of Redemption" for greater detail].

Then, since only he that "does righteousness is righteous", God has expected of us deeds in accordance with the gift. 1 John 3:7. So, as part of the new heart He also gave us ten "tools" in a "toolbox", called the righteousness of Jesus Christ, which are the "all things" mentioned by Peter. These ten "tools" are the instruments to be used by the Christian to overcome temptation and problems. They are not ordinary tools, in that they are "power" tools given to us with His "divine power".

Therefore each one comes complete with its own power Source outside of and away from our strength. They are called the Ten Commandments, but are really Ten Promises. All we have to do to use them is to hold each one correctly and pull the trigger or push the switch.

Today we might compare them to a carpenter’s tools, such as a bench saw for cutting large pieces of wood; a skilsaw for on-the-job work; a band saw for doing intricate pattern work; and jig saw for fancy work on material too big to take to the band saw.

To these we may add a concrete mixer for laying the foundation, a nail gun for joining the pieces, a drill to make holes for bolts, plus a grinder for smoothing out the rough bits. Finish with a planer to bring out the grain and a sander to give a high polish, and we have ten.

All of them require an amount of expertise and energy in their use. Some require quite a lot of energy like the concrete mixer! But the worker is only required to supply a minimum amount compared to the result.

The Christian is therefore expected to ask for, and enjoy the use of, these "power tools". Your ability to use them may be imperfect at first, but practice will make perfect. However, be careful - you will get temptations and trials, for the use of the tools requires that you ask for jobs and the problems that belong to a construction! An earthly carpenter needs work to grow in experience and so does the Christian one.

Consider the question Saul the destroyer asked Jesus when he met Him while on his way to Damascus to kill Christians, and there became Paul the restorer.

"... he said, Who are you, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom you persecute: it is hard for you to kick against the pricks [of the Holy Spirit]. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what will You have me to do? And the Lord said to him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told you what you must do". Acts 9:5-6.

From that moment on his life was a life of righteousness and missionary work for others, educating and teaching about his Saviour with words and actions.

Consider also the case of Caleb and his entrance into the promised land. He came to Joshua and said,

"And now, behold, the LORD has kept me alive, as He said, these forty-five years, even since the LORD spoke this word to Moses, while the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness.

"And now, lo, I am this day eighty-five years old. As yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me. As my strength was then, even so is my strength now, for war, both to go out, and to come in. Now therefore give me this mountain, of which the LORD spoke in that day, for you heard in that day how the Anakims [the giants] were there, and that the cities were great and fenced. [Deuteronomy 1:28; 2:10-11]. If so be [because] the LORD will be with me, then I shall be able to drive them out, as the LORD said.

"And Joshua blessed him, and gave to Caleb the son of Jephunneh, Hebron for an inheritance. Hebron therefore became the inheritance of Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite to this day, because that he wholly followed the LORD God of Israel". Numbers 14:24 and Joshua 14:11-14.

Jesus said, "Take hold of My strength..." and both Paul and Caleb did and therefore became "more than conquerors". Romans 8:37.

Telling lies or half-truths is a common human experience, even for Christians. For example, see Genesis 12:10-13. (Misbehaving in other ways can be a problem too. Consider Samson's life in Judges, chapters 13-16. Yet God calls him a Christian in Hebrews 11:32.) When you face this temptation ask for a demo on the power tool of "truthfulness" - you may be surprised how easy it is to use it, for it is powered by His strength, not yours. If it doesn’t work then you may know that you want the sin (or fear the consequences) more than you want righteousness and He can’t help you against your will. Maybe you are being too lazy to press the button or having "smoko"? Change your request (prayer) to one that asks God to show you how to "hate" that sin and love righteousness and you will soon find it working.

Read the Bible, especially read the story of Jesus and His temptations in Matthew chapter 4, slowly, and you will see how He did it.

Next paragraph is again from Desire of Ages page 319 (adapted)

He who stood beside the sorrowing mother at the gate of Nain, watches with every mourning one beside the coffin of righteousness. Luke 7:11-16. He is touched with sympathy for our grief at our lack of goodness. His heart, that loved and pitied then, is a heart of unchangeable tenderness. His word, that called the dead to life then, is no less effective now than when spoken to the young man of Nain. He said, "All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth". Matthew 28:18. That power is not diminished by the lapse of years, nor exhausted by the ceaseless activity of His overflowing grace. To all who believe on Him He is still a living, a life-giving Saviour.

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All the "power" tools were included with the gift of the new heart and are there for your use whenever you desire to use them. Don’t ask God to give them to you when you are faced with temptation - ask Him to show you how to use that which you already have - ask Him to show you which one to use and how to use it correctly.

It is written,

"There has no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that you are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that you may be able to bear it". 1 Corinthians 10:13.

These are the "works" of sanctification.

Consider Revelation 2:2-3; 2:9-10; 2:13; 2:19; 3:8; 3:15 and 22:11-12.

 

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The ten "power" tools

Exodus 20:1-17

1. To have no other god requires

the tool of loyalty - the bench saw.

2. Not to bow down to images requires

the tool of worship - the skilsaw.

3. Not to take the name of the Lord in vain requires

the tool of reverence - the band saw.

4. To keep the Sabbath holy requires

the tool of benevolence - the jig saw.

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5. To honour all authority requires

the tool of respect - the nail gun.

6. Not to kill another creature requires

the tool of love for your neighbour - the drill.

7. Not to commit adultery requires

the tool of purity - the planer.

8. Not to steal requires

the tool of honesty - the sander.

9. Not to tell lies requires

the tool of truthfulness - the grinder.

10. Not to covet another’s possessions requires

the tool of contentment - the concrete mixer.

 

 

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Jonah The reluctant prophet c. 810BC
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