Sluice Box Adventures

Believing Bible Study in the 21st century

The Muckraker & Faith

Men always looking downward causes men in life to blow it and miss the boat to the most important things to obtain in life.

1 Thessalonians 2:13 "For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe."

The Muckraker & Faith

The Muckraker & Faith

Old Paths Baptist Mission © 2017 Richard St.James

3. Looking Downwards and Never Looking Upwards

 We need to see with our mind’s eye this picture from John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress:

“This done and after these things had been somewhat digested by Christiana and her company, the Interpreter takes them apart again, and has them first into a Room where was a Man that could look no way but downwards, with a Muck - rake in his hand.

There stood also one over his head with a Coelestial Crown in his hand, and proffered him that Crown for his Muck-rake; but the man did neither look up, nor regard, but raked to himself the straws, the small sticks and dust of the floor.

“Then said Christiana, I persuade myself that I know something of the meaning of this; for this is a figure of a Man of this World, is it not, good Sir?

“Inter. Thou hast said the right said he, and his Muck-rake doth shew his carnal mind. And whereas thou seest him rather give heed to rake up straws and sticks and the dust of the floor, than to what he says that calls to him from above with the Coelestial Crown in his hand, it is to shew that Heaven is but as a fable to some, and that things here are counted the only things substantial.

Now whereas it was also shewed thee that the man could look no way but downwards, it is to let thee know that earthly things when they are with power upon men's minds, quite carry their hearts away from God.

“Chris. Then said Christiana, O deliver me from this Muck-rake.”

With this reading we can thus formulate this following conclusion:

Men always looking downward causes men in life to blow it and miss the boat to the most important things to obtain in life.

This thing of always looking downward [earthward], and never looking upward … upward to Heaven will cause a person to lose their marbles, so to speak.

Now, how is that?

Well, they become so open, or vulnerable, to having a perverse spirit enter into them and cause them to be clouded in every decision they make from that point, and thereafter.

They become as drunken men staggering around everywhere in life.

 It is as the prophet says it is in the book of Isaiah: “The LORD hath mingled a perverse spirit in the midst thereof: and they have caused Egypt to err in every work thereof, as a drunken man staggereth in his vomit.” [Isaiah 19:14]

Looking downwards toward the ground and never looking upwards towards Heaven causes mankind to lose their marbles [their very senses] and to remain:

• crosswise with God,

• crosswise with God’s Book,

• crosswise with God’s people,

• and crosswise with God’s set plan

... for the nation of Israel in a future Kingdom [the Kingdom of Heaven].

Look and see the condition that will be for all mankind as we approach the end of this age. [And believe me, we are close!]

Turn to Isaiah, chapter twenty-nine and we will start with verse eight to show how men will fare when they persist in looking only downward to earth and never upward to God:

“It shall even be as when an hungry man dreameth, and, behold, he eateth; but he awaketh, and his soul is empty: or as when a thirsty man dreameth, and, behold, he drinketh; but he awaketh, and, behold, he is faint, and his soul hath appetite: so shall the multitude of all the nations be, that fight against mount Zion.

Stay yourselves, and wonder; cry ye out, and cry: they are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink. For the LORD hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered. And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed: And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned.

Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men: Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid. Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the LORD, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us? and who knoweth us?” [Isaiah 29:8-15]

By this prophecy it is shown that things will only get worse for mankind as we get closer to the end of this age ... to the time of the Great Tribulation that is soon to come upon this whole world. “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.” [Matthew 24:21]

This tendency of man [US!] ... always looking downward for man’s solutions and never looking upwards

• [for God’s solutions,

• for God’s direction,

• for God’s will]
… will finally bring US to our deserved end … to the sword.

To the sword we will go! For we have this prophecy located here in the book of Jeremiah which will soon be fulfilled: “Therefore thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Drink ye, and be drunken, and spue, and fall, and rise no more, because of the sword which I will send among you.”

For it is no surprise drunkenness and the sword go together![Jeremiah 25:27] “Babylon hath been a golden cup in the LORD'S hand, that made all the earth drunken: the nations have drunken of her wine; therefore the nations are mad.” [Jeremiah 51:7]

• The nations are indeed very mad!

• The nations are looking downward!

• The nations are muckrakers!

Being overcome is the last state for mankind! The Devil [and his cohorts] overcome all those who stagger at the promises of God. “While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.” [2 Peter 2:19]

The end of all men who do not believe God’s words ... is to stagger in drunkenness:

• To be overtaken

• To be Stupefied

• To be kept in Bondage

• To be held captive to DEATH.

4. The Solution is FAITH:

Are you ready for the solution to the muckraking problem? Instead of being overcome a person can choose to be an overcomer through faith [by being “born of God”]: “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” [1 John 5:4]

Now faith cometh by hearing the words of God. “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” [Romans 10:17]

These words of God reveal those things that God wants all of us to have. These are things that belong to us. “The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.” [Deuteronomy 29:29]

Bottom line:

We need to know those things which have been revealed through God’s words.

According to the book of Revelation, chapter one, verse one, God gives us a partial revelation of future things through John the Apostle. Note: This revelation was signified through the angel of God [“… and signified it by his angel unto his servant John”].

Now, we that live today in the 21st century can see these very same things which have been revealed to us by God through the reading of the words of God.


Now read with me these words of God that are in the book of Revelation chapter one, verses twelve through nineteen, to see “one like unto the Son of man”:

“And I turned to see the voice that spake with me.

And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.

His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.

And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead.

And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;” [Revelation 1:12-19].

Can you see what I see? Believing [the words of God] is seeing the invisible things. “Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.” [1 Timothy 1:17]

Thus, the “eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God” is seen through the word of God.

Now hear me!!!

This is my testimony.

I simply believe the Bible. I believe the Bible is God’s word to man. I simply believe the Bible is God’s word to me.

Now, I am a man approaching the great threescore and ten, and I am often reminded of what it says in the book of Psalms [Psalm ninety]:

“The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.” [Psalm 90:10]

 I am soon to fly away.

I believe the BOOK! What about you?

For instance, when God says in the Bible that the people of God went through the midst of the sea [the Red Sea] on dry ground, I believe it! I believe what the BOOK says. I simply believe not one of the people got their toes wet that day!

When I read of these supernatural events … the words of God sink down into my heart. I believe.
[“Till I come, give attendance to reading …” [1 Timothy 4:13a].

The reading will connect God’s words to the heart.]

Now, read it for yourself in the book of Exodus: “And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.” [Exodus 14:22] Do you see the dry ground? I do!
Further, while I believe the BOOK, I find I need deliverance from men who do not believe the BOOK. Not all men believe the BOOK. “That I may be delivered from them that do not believe in Judaea; and that my service which I have for Jerusalem may be accepted of the saints;” [Romans 15:31].
For those who do believe the words of God, they are given light. “The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.” [Psalm 119:130]

But for those who do not believe God’s words, they will be left to grope in the darkness.

This very thing is said of them in the book of Job: “They grope in the dark without light, and he maketh them to stagger like a drunken man.” [Job 12:25]

Now those who grope in the darkness of unbelief accuse those that do believe God’s words to be quite mad.

Isn’t that something?

One of them [one who did not believe God’s words] is a man who has been forever recorded so saying in the BIBLE, which is in the book of the Acts, and this man’s name is Festus. “And as he thus spake for himself, Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad.” [Acts 26:24]


What is the real difference between Paul and Festus? There is really … not much. They are both men with roughly the same mental faculties who lived on this earth about the same time, and they were both schooled and educated to the highest level as measured by the standards of man.

Then, why is it that one man [Festus] judged the other man [Paul] mad?


 Someone who has been declared mad … has at the same time been called crazy!

Festus called Paul a crazy man — a true nut case!


There then must be something basically different between these two men.

What is this difference? Can we find this thing out? Yes, we certainly can!

The answer is found in a BOOK. This BOOK is the BIBLE. This Bible tells us what this most important difference is between men.


One of these men has something within him that is called “faith”. The other man has not faith.

Not all men have faith!

The BOOK tells us this clearly in the Apostle Paul’s second epistle to the Thessalonians in chapter three, verse two: “And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith.” [2 Thessalonians 3:2]

[Final Conclusion:

Not every person in this world has faith!]


Next  5. Faith Looks Upwards to Heaven