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Weekly Bulletin Article 2010

By Bro Jim Brasseal, Pastor Landmark MBC

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Dec 19, 2010 - Worthy is the Lamb to Receive Glory
Dec 12, 2010 - Some Who Lived at the Time Jesus was Born
Dec 05, 2010 - Bethlehem, Just the Right Town
Nov 28, 2010 - When Just the Right Time was Come
Nov 21, 2010 - Wherefore We Labor
Nov 14, 2010 - Stewards and Stewardship
Nov 07, 2010 - My Father’s Business
Oct 31, 2010 - Local Church Responsibility in the Commission of Christ
Oct 24, 2010 - Perilous Times
Oct 17, 2010 - Marvelous Grace of Our Loving Lord
Oct 10, 2010 - Biblical Examples of Problem Solving
Oct 03, 2010 - Promises with Conditions Attached
Sep 26, 2010 - Righteousness Dwells in the New Earth and New Heavens
Sep 19, 2010 - Fear Not Little Flock
Sep 12, 2010 - In the Image of God
Sep 05, 2010 - Ye Shall Die in Your Sins
Aug 29, 2010 - The Books were Opened
Aug 22, 2010 - Pray for Dennis and Charlotte Carrell
Aug 15, 2010 - The World is Crucified Unto Me
Aug 08, 2010 - What Have You Got to Lose?
Aug 01, 2010 - I Have Prayed for Thee
Jul 25, 2010 - Worship, Commerce, and Civil Government
Jul 18, 2010 - Then Shall the End Come
Jul 11, 2010 - According to the Scriptures
Jul 4, 2010 - The Battle for Freedom to Preach the Gospel
Jun 27, 2010 - Great Wonders by the Power of Satan
Jun 20, 2010 - Provoke not Your Children to Wrath
Jun 13, 2010 - Calvary
Jun 06, 2010 - Preparing the Soil
May 30, 2010 - Cost Benefit Ratio
May 23, 2010 - Where Sin Abounded, Grace did Much More Abound
May 16, 2010 - Little Foxes and a Little Ball Bearing
May 09, 2010 - The Family
May 02, 2010 - Come Boldly Unto the Throne of Grace
Apr 25, 2010 - The Terror of the Lord
Apr 18, 2010 - Jesus Pays a Special Tax
Apr 11, 2010 - Flee, Follow, and Fight
Apr 04, 2010 - Tell His Disciples that He is Risen from the Dead
Mar 28, 2010 - Finances and Biblical Principles
Mar 21, 2010 - Reconciliation: The Biblical Meaning
Mar 14, 2010 - Bible Translation in Mongolia
Feb 28, 2010 - Visit to Chingeltai
Feb 21, 2010 - Through the Snow to Ugiinoor
Feb 14, 2010 - "Yet have I made Myself Servant unto All"
Feb 07, 2010 - Blessed are the Merciful
Jan 31, 2010 - Good Seed and Bad Seed in the Same Field
Jan 24, 2010 - The Treasures and the Pearl of Great Price
Jan 17, 2010 - A Burden That We Cannot Handle
Jan 10, 2010 - Questions on the Kingdom of God
Jan 03, 2010 - David My Servant Shall be King Over Them


Worthy is the Lamb to Receive Glory

Revelation 5:12, Luke 2:14
Dec 19, 2010

“Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing” (Revelation 5:12). “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2:14).

The last verse of Revelation 4 and all of Revelation 5 show us reasons to give glory to God. It is no wonder that the multitude of the heavenly host praised God, saying, “Glory to God in the highest...”

The creation shows the glory of God. “ The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork” (Psalm 19:1). “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created” (Revelation 4:11). The scriptures show that all creation was “created by him [Jesus Christ], and for him” (Colossians 1:16).

Redemption through the blood of the Lamb is for the glory of God. The new song praises the Lamb who was slain and “redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation” (Revelation 5:9).

With this wonderful gift of eternal salvation purchased through the blood of the Lamb, each child of God has the privilege of bearing fruit for the glory of God. “Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples” (John 15:8). Jesus taught the real purpose of our Christian life. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).

The purpose of the Lord’s churches is to give glory to God. The New Testament teaches us so much about the Lord’s church. The first church body was established when Jesus called out the disciples to work under his direction. That body was given a world-wide commission and then empowered by the Holy Spirit to fulfill that commission. For all the years of the church age and in every nation, congregations of born-again, baptized, Bible-loving faithful servants have been established.

We can appreciate the sacrifice and suffering of his people through the ages. We can be thankful for God’s faithful church saints, but the glory is not for his servants. Please note carefully the words of Ephesians 3:21: “Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.”

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Some Who Lived at the Time Jesus was Born

Text
Dec 12, 2010

This article will give a brief description of some of the people shown to us in the first few chapters of Matthew and Luke.

The priest, Zacharias, and his wife, Elisabeth. “And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless” (Luke 1:6).

John, born to Elisabeth in her old age. “For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, ...And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God” (Luke 15-16).

Joseph, of the house of David through Solomon, espoused to Mary. He was a “just man,” and his actions described in Matthew 1:18-25 and Luke 2 show Joseph to be a faithful husband, following the commands of the Lord.

Mary, of the house of David through Nathan. She is described as “a virgin” (Luke 1:27) and “highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women” (Luke 1:28).

Shepherds who heard the joyful news from the angel. “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10-11). After they went into Bethlehem, they “returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them” (Luke 2:20).

Simeon at the temple in Jerusalem. Simeon was in the temple when Jesus was brought there by Mary and Joseph. Simeon took the child in his arms and said, “Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel” (Luke 2:29-32).

Anna, also at the temple. She “served God with fastings and prayers night and day. And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem” (Luke 2:27-38).

As you read these verses, please consider this wonderful truth: God’s salvation and God’s truth had not perished from the face of the earth during those dark days of Roman occupation and Roman paganism in Judea. We find some people who had true faith and true love in their heart for the Lord. The coming of Jesus Christ did not begin God’s message of grace and redemption, but his coming did fulfill God’s promises and made the message much clearer. When Jesus began his earthly ministry, “The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up” (Matthew 4:16).

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Bethlehem, Just the Right Town

Micah 5:2
Dec 05, 2010

“But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting” (Micah 5:2).

About 700 to 740 years before Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem, Micah wrote this message describing Him as the future ruler of Israel, the ruler who is from everlasting. Micah's message was written near the same time that Isaiah wrote about the sacrificial death of the Messiah (Isaiah 53).

Bethlehem (the name in Hebrew means the city of bread) is first named in the Old Testament when Rachel, the beloved wife of Jacob and mother of Joseph, gave birth to Benjamin as they came to the edge of the town on their journey from Bethel. “And it came to pass, as her soul was in departing, (for she died) that she called his name Benoni: but his father called him Benjamin. And Rachel died, and was buried in the way to Ephrath, which is Bethlehem” (Genesis 35:18-19).

The Moabitess widow, Ruth, gleaned grain in the field of Boaz, who lived in Bethlehem. By God’s wonderful leadership, a beautiful romance grew between Ruth and Boaz. He became Ruth’s kinsman redeemer and faithful husband. This family was blessed with a son, Obed, the father of Jesse, and grandfather of David the king (Ruth 4:13-17). Bethlehem is called “the city of David” (Luke 2:4, John 7:42). Samuel, the prophet, was sent by the LORD to Bethlehem to anoint David as king (I Samuel 16:1-13).

Jesus Christ, born in the city of bread, is the “Bread of Life” (John 6:47-51).

Jesus Christ, born in the city of Boaz, is the “Kinsman Redeemer” (Leviticus 25:47-49). He has redeemed us with His own precious blood. “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (I Peter 1:18-19).

Jesus Christ, born in the city of David, is the “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS” (Revelation 19:16). Christ will fulfill the words of the angel who spoke to Mary. “He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end” (Luke 1:32-33).

Glory to God in the Highest for the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem of Judah.

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When Just the Right Time was Come

Galatians 4:4
Nov 28, 2010

“But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law” (Galatians 4:4). “Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times” (Daniel 9:25). (Note: the word “weeks” in this verse is the same Hebrew word as “sevens” thus the total time indicated is 69 times seven or 483 years. This is seven years short of the seven times seventy years (490) in Daniel 9:24.)

The prophecy of the Messiah, given to Daniel, fits perfectly with the message of the coming of Jesus Christ given in the New Testament. Even non-Christian historians admit that Jesus of Nazareth did live and preach in Judea, Samaria, and Galilee.

Christian historians who accept him as the promised Messiah believe that the evidence from the Old Testament prophecies and the New Testament fulfillment is overwhelming that Jesus of Nazareth is God’s Son, the Messiah. Their view is that if Jesus of Nazareth is not the Messiah, this world will never see the true Savior, the Son of God.

Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Messiah, who was sent forth from the Father, made of a woman, conceived of the Holy Spirit in the womb of the virgin, Mary. “And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS” (Luke 1:30-31).

When we study the prophecies of the Old Testament regarding the birth of our Savior, we see that the time of his coming is foretold (Daniel 9:25). The prophets also made known that Bethlehem in Judea would be the place of his birth (Micah 5:2). The prophet foretold that Christ would be “wounded for our transgressions” (Isaiah 53:5), that the LORD would lay “on him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6), and that “thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin” (Isaiah 53:10). The victory of Jesus Christ over death is indicated in the words of Isaiah: “He will swallow up death in victory” (Isaiah 25:8). This scripture is quoted in I Corinthians 15:54.

Fulfilled prophecy is one of the strongest proofs that our Bible did not come from the mind and experiences of sinful man, but is, in fact, the inspired word of God. “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” (II Peter 1:21).

A careful study of Bible prophecy will strengthen our faith in Jesus Christ and our faith in the precious scriptures.

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Wherefore We Labor

II Corinthians 5:9
Nov 21, 2010

“Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him” (II Corinthians 5:9, KJV). “Therefore, whether we are at home [on earth away from Him] or away from home [and with Him], we are constantly ambitious and strive earnestly to be pleasing to Him” (II Corinthians 5:9, AMP).

Consider these five reasons given in this chapter for being a laborer in the work of the Lord.

  1. At the very moment of our salvation, we were changed so that we became a new creation in Christ (verse 17). The love of God was placed in our heart. “And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us” (Romans 5:5). This love draws us to serve our Lord. “For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead” (II Corinthians 5:14).
  2. The desire to please Christ (verse 9) compels us to obey Him.
  3. The motivation for Christian service is also found in verse 15, which indicates gratitude and thankfulness for the sacrifice of Christ. “And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.”
  4. Each child of God will stand before Christ for judgment. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad” (verse 10).
  5. We have the “ministry of reconciliation” (verse 18) and the “word of reconciliation” (verse 19). We know from God’s word that lost sinners are alienated and separated from the life of God (Ephesians 4:18). As lost sinners, we were enemies to God. Through the death of Christ on the cross, we were reconciled to God (Romans 5:10). This understanding of the word of reconciliation gave Paul a heavy burden and desire for the salvation of his own nation (Romans 10:1). Paul’s desire to win others to Christ through the gospel is shown in this statement. “I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise. So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (II Corinthians 1:14, 16). A powerful motivation for Christian service is the desire to be a witness to the saving grace of God to our own family, to friends and neighbors, and even to the lost nations throughout this world. “Knowing therefore the terror [fear] of the Lord, we persuade men...” (II Corinthians 5:11).

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Stewards and Stewardship

I Corinthians 4:2, 9:17
Nov 14, 2010

“Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful” (I Corinthians 4:2). “For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me” (I Corinthians 9:17).

Our Lord’s kingdom parables often use the lessons of the property owner who places the management of his assets under the supervision of a steward. “And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season?” (Luke 12:42). “So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first” (Matthew 20:8).

There is a close connection between the word “household” and the word “steward,” which refers to the manager of a house. Sometimes the word “guardian” is connected to the word “steward.” In I Corinthians 9:17 where Paul is discussing, by inspiration, his calling from God to preach the gospel, we find the word “dispensation,” which is the same in meaning as the word “stewardship.” Paul could fulfill his responsibility willingly. If he were not willing to do the work that God called him to do, he still had the responsibility and stewardship to his Master. His unwillingness did not relieve him of his duty.

The Lord God owns us and all that we claim as our own. “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's” (I Corinthians 6:19-20).

There is a beautiful example in the law of Moses (Exodus 21:1-6) of a servant who had been bought and had served out his time. When his freedom was available, the servant said, “I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free” (Exodus 21:5). The ear of the servant was bored through with an aul to indicate that he would serve the master willingly as long as he lived.

As a child of God, bought with the precious blood of the Lamb, my commitment based on love for my Master, is to be a faithful willing steward for all my life.

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My Father’s Business

Luke 2:49
Nov 07, 2010

“And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?” (Luke 2:49).

This verse is the answer of Jesus to Joseph and his mother, Mary, when they became separated from him in Jerusalem when he was twelve years old. God’s business is a partnership involving the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

God’s business is agriculture, that is, planting the seed which is the word of God, cultivating the crop to help the plants grow, and then gathering in the harvest (Matthew 13 and John 4). The parable of the husbandman (Matthew 21:33-43) shows that the owner has the right to expect that his workmen will take good care of his business so that he may profit from the harvest. Paul wrote to the church in Corinth, “For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry [or farm], ye are God's building” (I Corinthians 3:9). This verse shows that the members in the Corinthian congregation were partners in God’s farming business.

God’s business is herding and protecting the sheep. Jesus called his first church the “little flock” (Luke 12:32). Paul said to the elders of the Ephesus church, “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock” (Acts 20:28-29). True pastors are partners in God’s business, called to feed and protect the flock.

God’s business is building. The true foundation, which is Jesus Christ, has been laid (I Corinthians 3:11). God’s house, built upon that true foundation, is constructed of living stones (disciples of Jesus), and thus becomes a holy temple for the Lord (I Peter 2:5). We can be partners in God’s construction business as we live, witness, and work to bring others into his service.

God’s business is a profitable business. The word “profitable” is being used here in the same sense as the word in II Timothy 3:16 where the inspired scriptures are described as profitable. God’s business is good, a blessed help, to all who will heed God’s gospel message and His instructions for the Christian life.

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Local Church Responsibility in the Commission of Christ

Matthew 28:18-20, Ephesians 3:10
Oct 31, 2010

“To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God” (Ephesians 3:10).

This verse teaches that the Lord’s churches, by obeying the commission of Christ, will make known the manifold wisdom of God. The word “by” has the meaning of “by means of” or “through.” The Greek word is “dia” and is used in our word “diameter.” When a church is faithful in preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, to win lost souls, then baptizing the disciples, and then teaching the same things that Jesus taught his early disciples (Matthew 28:18-20), that work will make known the manifold wisdom of God, and will bring glory to God. “Unto him [God] be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen” (Ephesians 3:21). Christ is shown to be the head of his church, and the church is described as his “fulness,” which means that the church fulfills his will (Ephesians 1:22-23).

The book of Acts is an inspired commentary on the Lord’s way for his churches to fulfill his mission to the uttermost part of the earth. “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

God’s plan for mission work has been successfully followed for almost 2000 years of the church age. It is thrilling to read of trials and victories as dedicated men and women carried the gospel message to millions in darkness.

Since the plan of operation shown in the book of Acts was under the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit, we can conclude that the plan is very good. It would be very foolish and arrogantly sinful for men to say, “We know a plan of doing mission work and supporting the missionaries that is better than what we learn from the book of Acts.”

Can the plan used in Acts 13:1-52 still be used in this present day? Men of God like Paul and Barnabas were called to go forth with the gospel message. The church of their membership, Antioch, in harmony with the Holy Spirit, sent them forth. Because Antioch could not take care of the financial needs of Paul and Barnabas, other churches associated with Antioch in sending offerings for the missionaries (II Corinthians 11:8-9).

Those New Testament churches honored the wisdom of God by following His plan.

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Perilous Times

II Timothy 3:1-3
Oct 24, 2010

“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good” (II Timothy 3:1-3).

On Thursday morning, 10/21/10, I attended a special program presented by law enforcement officials in Jefferson County to address the growing epidemic problem of domestic violence in the Metro Denver area. Most of the violence is against young women, many still in High School. The District Attorney introduced the program by telling us that either one or several other issues are common to nearly all cases of domestic violence. (1) A live-in boyfriend situation, (2) an obsessive control over the young woman by the boyfriend, (3) use of alcohol and/or drugs by one or both parties, (4) or the violent person presents a different personality to outsiders, a wolf in sheep’s clothing, a hypocrite.

I listened to the heartbreaking testimony of a mom and dad, whose twenty-two year old daughter was murdered in 2008. All four of these conditions were present in her brutal murder.

If I had been assigned a part in the program, my first statement would have been, “The basic problem is sin against the commandments of God, and there is a solution shown in the inspired Holy Bible. Those involved in such a lifestyle can be delivered from bondage by God’s grace and forgiving mercy if they are willing to come to God by faith through the blood of Jesus Christ. The Bible says, 'If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness' (I John 1:9).”

The issue of couples living together without marriage can be solved by a total commitment, without exception, to the teaching of Hebrews 13:4. “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.”

The issue of drug and alcohol can be solved by people living their lives as witnesses for Christ with this scripture as a guide. “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God” (I Corinthians 10:31).

Obsessive control is not true love. The qualities of true love are described in I Corinthians 13:4-7. There is genuine kindness in true love (verse 4). True love is not selfish but does seek what is best for the other person (verse 5). A genuine loving Christian is not a hypocrite.

I realize that the majority of society will not believe and conduct their lives by these principles but we need to teach them in our services and by personal example.

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Marvelous Grace of Our Loving Lord

Romans 5:17
Oct 17, 2010

“For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:17, see # 248 in our Hymnal).

Because of Adam’s sin, death came to the entire human race. “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Romans 5:12).  The book of Romans builds such a strong connection between the offence of Adam and the redeeming blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ that any evolutionary modernist who attacks the literal truthfulness of the creation and fall of Adam in the book of Genesis is also fighting against the marvelous message of God’s grace, the very foundation of our eternal salvation.

O, how marvelous is God’s grace...because His grace is greater than any sin!  “...But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound” (Romans 5:20).  How vile and deep was Paul’s sin before his conversion to Christ.  He had a part in putting Christians to death.  The undeserved, unmerited love, favor, and goodness of God is extended far deeper than man can sink into the pit of condemnation.

O, how marvelous is God’s grace...because His grace is extended to every race, nationality, condition and class of mankind!  “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men” (Titus 2:11).  Because God’s grace is for all, the gospel is to be preached by the Lord’s churches to all nations [ethnic groups] (Matthew 28:19 and Luke 24:47).

O, how marvelous is God’s grace...because His grace can produce such wonderful changes in the heart and lives of those who receive His grace!  “For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.  But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:3-7).

G-R-A-C-E is God’s Redemption At Christ’s Expense!

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Biblical Examples of Problem Solving

Joshua 7:8 and I Corinthians 10:6
Oct 10, 2010

“O Lord, what shall I say, when Israel turneth their backs before their enemies!” (Joshua 7:8). Joshua and the Israelites faced a serious problem in their defeat at the city of Ai, which came shortly after their great victory at Jericho.

We can use examples from the Old Testament and the New Testament to learn how God would have us to face and solve problems. “Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted” (I Corinthians 10:6). Some commands given in the Old Testament are specific to the nation of Israel, but, for example, the commands concerning the Passover can be studied by anyone, lost or saved, to learn a lesson on blood redemption. Members of a New Testament church, learning about communion, can examine the Passover to see that God did set restrictions on who could observe the Passover ordinance (Exodus 12:43-51). Please notice these basic principles in the situation that Joshua faced.

  1. We can learn from the example of Achan at Ai that disobedience to God’s command always causes problems. “But all the silver, and gold, and vessels of brass and iron, are consecrated unto the LORD: they shall come into the treasury of the LORD” (Joshua 6:19). Achan knowingly disobeyed God’s command. Should he not have expected the trouble that he faced? Joshua’s first step was to identify the sin and the guilty person. “And Joshua said unto Achan, My son, give, I pray thee, glory to the LORD God of Israel, and make confession unto him; and tell me now what thou hast done; hide it not from me” (Joshua 7:19).
  2. Achan’s sin caused a serious problem to the whole body of Israelites by bringing defeat to the army. (Joshua 7:4-5) This same principal is taught in the New Testament. Paul, in giving God’s instructions to the church at Corinth, taught them that the sinful actions of one man would hurt the entire church body. Leaven that causes the bread dough to rise is used as a picture of sin spreading into the whole amount of dough. “Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?” (I Corinthians 5:6).
  3. The people of Israel followed their God-appointed leader and took steps to remove the problem. We may think that the remedy was too harsh, but they were following God’s orders in the stoning of Achan and his family. Stoning the guilty person is not in the rules and commandments given to New Testament Christians. Discipline, done God’s way, is a blessing and a protective measure for the Lord’s churches.
  4. If Joshua had ignored the problem and failed to follow God’s command, then the consequences for the nation of Israel would have been more harsh than the punishment to Achan and his family. God’s way is always best for individuals and churches.

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Promises with Conditions Attached

II Chronicles 7:14
Oct 03, 2010

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (II Chronicles 7:14).

This promise made to the nation of Israel at the time of the dedication of the first temple is a good example of a conditional promise. God’s promise of blessings is linked to their obedience as shown in the words “humble themselves,” “pray,” “seek my face,” and “turn from their wicked ways.”

There are many promises in God’s word that are unconditional. The actions of one person or a whole nation will not have any influence on those unconditional promises. In Genesis 3:15, God made the promise that the “seed of the woman” would bruise the serpent’s head. God also promised that Emmanuel would be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:22-23). God made a promise that the Savior would suffer for our sins (Isaiah 53). Man could not change that plan and unconditional promise.

The wonderful promise of one’s personal salvation from condemnation into eternal life has an “if” in the promise of Romans 10:9. “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

There is a conditional promise made in Matthew 6:33 which is indicated by the word “and” which links the command, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness,” with the promise of blessings, “and all these things shall be added unto you.” From Matthew 6:25-32, we learn that the material necessities of life are in this conditional promise.

In II Timothy 2:21, there are conditional promises that are connected to our being a “vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use.” Notice the conditional words “If a man therefore purge himself from these” in the first part of the verse. The context of this entire chapter shows that a dedicated Christian life is needed for you to be a useful vessel for the Lord. The very opposite of the useful vessel is found in I Corinthians 9:27, “But I keep under my body [subdue my fleshly passions], and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” The word “castaway” shows that you would be a broken pot, not fit for service, instead of a “vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use.”

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Righteousness Dwells in the New Earth and New Heavens

II Peter 3:12-13
Sep 26, 2010

“Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness” (II Peter 3:12-13).

In our study of Geneses 3, we learned that mankind, under the curse of sin, had no right to the tree of life (Genesis 3:22-24). In the book of Revelation, we find the tree of life again in the new heavens and new earth, and there is access to the tree of life (Revelation 22:2, 14).

The difference is this: in the new heavens and the new earth, the problem of sin has been fully and finally abolished. The righteousness of II Peter 3:12-13 is not partial but one hundred percent in the redeemed and in God’s new creation. The very idea of any sin remaining to contaminate the new creation would be an ugly blot on God’s saving power.

What happened to the sin? The simple answer is this: Jesus took care of the problem of sin on the cross of Calvary. Isaiah 53:5-6 describes the sacrificial atonement of the Lamb of God. “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

His precious blood provides: (1) remission and purging (Hebrews 9:14-22) and (2) redemption and forgiveness. “In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:14).

God’s grace and mercy are described in Psalm 103:12, “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.” Jeremiah delivered this promise to God’s people: “For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more” (Jeremiah 31:34).

God’s new creation will be better than the Garden of Eden because there is no possibility for the corruption of sin to touch that glorious blessed place in the new heavens and the new earth. “And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him” (Revelation 22:3).

Jesus gave a warning to those who refused to trust Him. They would die in their sins and could not go into heaven where He is now (John 8:21-24, Hebrews 9:24).

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Fear Not Little Flock

Luke 12:32
Sep 19, 2010

“Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32).

I believe that this small band of disciples, this little flock, working under the leadership of Jesus Christ, constituted His first “ekklesia,” “His called-out body,” “His church.” It was to this same little flock that Jesus said, “I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 16:18-19). When Jesus said, “ Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom,” He is using “the kingdom” to refer to that special relationship of Biblical responsibility and service in His world-wide commission of Matthew 28:18-20. As God’s plan for the ages develops, the blessings of the kingdom will expand beyond this “little flock.” (That would take a big book to explain.)

Would the name “Little Flock Baptist Church” be a good name for one of the Lord’s churches? Evidently, some of the pioneer Baptists in Kentucky and Illinois thought so. Baptist churches were established in Kentucky as early as 1775. Within a few years, two congregations in Kentucky were named “Little Flock.” By 1830, there many Baptist associations of Separate Baptists throughout Illinois. In 1830, the Kaskaskia Association in Shelby County shows fourteen Separate Baptist churches. Little Flock Baptist Church, with twelve members, was part of that associated work. These churches were very evangelistic in their witness and zealous in their missionary work. The New Hampshire Confession of Faith was adopted as expressing their doctrinal views of the Holy Scriptures. (The same confession was adopted by Landmark MBC at its founding in 1955.)

Little Flock Baptist Church in Shelby County, Illinois, is a link in the history of Landmark MBC in Lakewood, Colorado. We have traced our history back to the First Missionary Baptist Church in St. John, Kansas. With the historical records recently given to me by Sister Millie Herbst of Greely, Colorado, a descendant of some of the original members in St. John, we are now able to trace our history back through the Little Flock Baptist Church in Illinois.

The study of church history strengthens my faith in the promise of Jesus in Matthew 16:18 when he promised His first church, “The gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

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In the Image of God

Genesis 1:26-27, II Corinthians 5:17
Sep 12, 2010

I. In what way was mankind created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27)?

  1. Man was created to have eternal existence. Sin did bring death, but when we look into the ages of the ages, we see the lost in everlasting destruction (II Thessalonians 1:9). Those in Christ will enjoy eternal fellowship with God (Revelation 22:1-5).
  2. Man was created as a three-fold being: Spirit, Mind, and Body. God is manifest to us in three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Notice the “us” and “our” in Genesis 1:26).
  3. Man was created with the capability to make choices and exercise his will and intelligence. God gave Adam and Eve a command that they could understand and obey or disobey (Geneses 2:15-17).
  4. Adam could enjoy companionship with Eve. God saw that it was not good for the man to be alone (Genesis 2:18). The whole plan of redemption shows that God is pleased to have His own saved family to walk in fellowship with Him (Ephesians 2:4-8).

II. Sin affected mankind in spirit, mind, and body, but by God's grace and redemption, God can make you a new creature in Christ (II Corinthians 5:17).

  1. The new birth is a renewing by the power of the Holy Spirit (John 3:6, Titus 3:5). The saved spirit in man (the new man) is created by the Holy Spirit in righteousness and true holiness (Ephesians 4:24). The Holy Spirit dwells in the child of God (I Corinthians 6:19-20).
  2. The mind of the child of God is still affected by sin but is capable of receiving nourishment from the inspired word of God. “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby” (I Peter 2:2). “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (II Peter 3:18).
  3. Man’s physical body is subject to sin, disease, and death but can be used to glorify God (I Corinthians 6:20). Please notice how James describes how the tongue can be used for good or for evil (James 3:8-13). In the resurrection for God’s children, this sinful body shall be changed, and we shall be like Jesus Christ (I John 3:2). In the ages of the ages, we shall serve God in a new spirit, mind, and body conformed to the image of His Son (Romans 8:29).

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Ye Shall Die in Your Sins

John 8:24
Sep 05, 2010

“I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins” (John 8:24). Please note: The King James translators italicized the pronoun “he” in this verse which shows that the “he” is not in the original Greek text. By using the language “I am,” Jesus makes the valid claim that he is the Messiah. The terrible result of their not believing on Jesus, the Messiah, is shown in verse 21. “...and shall die in your sins: whither I go, ye cannot come.” Jesus is now in heaven (Hebrews 9:24), but they could not go there and be with him if they died in their sins.

Some might make a mock (be scornful and joke) of sin (Proverbs 14:9). Some might compare themselves with others and consider themselves as very righteous in comparison (Luke 18:10-14). The Pharisee in these verses should have seen himself as an ungodly sinner. Some might try to do enough good works to overcome sins by their own righteousness. “For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God” (Romans 10:3). None of these efforts will bring forgiveness and cleansing from sin. Human suffering, even in the chastening of God, does not purge sin.

Cleansing and remission of sin is through the blood of Jesus Christ. “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (Hebrews 9:14). “...without shedding of blood is no remission” (Hebrews 9:22). “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin” (I John 1:7).

I have been reading two publications from my early years in the Seminary in Little Rock (1958-1964). Information in both publications shows how false teachers caused division in churches. Many unscriptural positions were taught by these heretics, but one of the most ungodly errors regarded those who were cast into the lake of fire. These heretics taught that an unfaithful child of God would spend time in the lake of fire to have their sins purged. Such a false teaching discredits the blood of Jesus Christ and makes deliverance from sin to be by the suffering of the sinner. Such a false teaching is like the Catholic doctrine of purgatory, which has no place in God’s Holy Scriptures.

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The Books were Opened

Revelation 20:12
Aug 29, 2010

“And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works” (Revelation 20:12).

The book of life was opened. Some things said about the book of life are hard to understand, but there is a plain statement made in Revelation 20:15. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” Since no saved person will be cast into the lake of fire, we can conclude that every saved person of all ages has their name written in the book of life; whether they have faithful works which bring rewards as described in I Corinthians 3:14 or whether the saved person sees all their unfaithful works burned up as described in I Corinthians 3:15.

The only sin that condemns one to the lake of fire is made plain in John 3:18. “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

“And there shall in no wise enter into it [the New Jerusalem] any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life” (Revelation 21:27).

When we consider Revelation 20:12 along with John 3:18 and Revelation 21:22-27, we can conclude that all God’s children have the privilege by God’s grace to enter into that holy city where the Lamb is the light and where the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.

Please notice the words “according to their works” in Rev. 20:12. Their works do not bring condemnation, but this judgment does show that the righteous judgment of God and the severity of their doom is fair and equitable.

In addition to the book of life, other books, the books of the Bible, were opened. Based on the statement of Jesus, it is reasonable that the Holy Scriptures will be the standard of judgment at the white throne for lost people and at the judgment seat of Christ (II Corinthians 5:10) for saved people. “And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (John 12:47-48).

What a blessed eternity with Christ who loved us and gave himself for us.

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Pray for Dennis and Charlotte Carrell

Philippians 4:6 and Hebrews 4:16
Aug 22, 2010

“Be careful for nothing [in nothing be anxious]; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God” (Philippians 4:6). “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).

This information from Brother and Sister Carrell, who are in Houston, Texas, for her cancer treatment, was sent to us by Brother Bill Cooper.

“Surgery is scheduled for September 7. Will only have a lumpectomy and 5 days of radiation on the area of the tumor. We are praising God for His mercy. Thanks to all for your prayers. There could be more extensive procedures if pathology comes back with something we and the doctor are not expecting. Will try to connect with you later. Thanks Dennis.”

As we pray for this missionary, his wife, and the work that God has called them to do in Mongolia, we can pray in faith because of the sure promises that God has given in his Word.

“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you” (Matthew 7:7).

“...for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him” (Matthew 6:8).

“Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 18:19).

When prayer is humbly offered and God graciously answers, God’s attributes are seen.

God is omniscient [all-knowing]. The One who numbers the hairs of your head and the One who knows when each small bird falls to the ground, also knows every need that you have (Matthew 10:29-30). Even though He knows, you still need to ask (James 4:2).

God is omnipotent [all-powerful] (Revelation 19:6). The One with power to move the galaxies can also move the cells in the body to provide health and healing. Doctors can be instruments in His hands for that healing.

What ever we ask of God, we also make this request. “Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).

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The World is Crucified Unto Me

Galatians 6:14
Aug 15, 2010

"But God forbid that I should glory, save [except] in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by [Greek word "di" meaning "through"] whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world" (Galatians 6:14).

In New Testament times, the cross was an instrument of a cruel and painful death. When you read of the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, think of his suffering and of his bearing our sins in his own body on the tree (I Peter 2:24). The cross is also an instrument of separation. Through the wonderful change made possible through the cross of Christ, Paul was crucified, that is, made dead unto the world. The same position for the servants of Christ is described in the words of Jesus. "I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world" (John 17:14).

In 1930, R. G. Lee wrote this description of worldly pleasures:

"A vast Vanity-Fair is in our country, of artificial beauty parlors, jazz orchestras, comic strips, shrieking posters, night clubs, cocktail-crusaders, bathing reviews, bootleggers, flippant marathons, tom-tom dances, idle parties playing bridge, itching ears, folks giving heed to 'raucous cheapjacks, shouting palpable lies' -- jaded folks seeking thrills, dancing to the music of self-indulgence, chasing short-lived butterflies of pleasure, pottering with shabby nothings in cheap shams of deception."

"But how revoltingly cheap and worthless and unheroic this way of life looks as people remember Jesus on the cross. By his cross, he shows us how poor are many things we count great; how shoddy our splendor, how tawdry our luxury, how worthless many things about which we boast."

"The cross stands between us and God's wrath; so that now the community between Jesus and the sinner is real, the community of their debt on one side and his merit on the other. But let us not forget that the cross should also stand between us and the great world system of sin and ungodly pleasure."

"Shall we extol the bleeding sacrifice of Calvary; praise the martyrs whose blood stained the mouths of lions; eulogize the saints who went to the stakes or dungeon; and then when our turn comes to sacrifice, ask for ether, and act as though the symbols of our faith are silken slippers or downy chairs."

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What Have You Got to Lose?

I Corinthians 3:15
Aug 08, 2010

"If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire" (I Corinthians 3:15).

The loss that one might suffer cannot be the loss of eternal life by faith in Jesus Christ because we have the promise from Christ himself. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life" (John 5:24).

Each child of God will face the judgment seat of Christ where our works will be examined and tested. "So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God" (Romans 14:12). "Every man's work shall be made manifest..." (I Corinthians 3:13).

There are two main divisions of our works in this chapter. First: gold, silver, and precious stones. These have great value and will stand the test of God's judgment by fire. Those who have these works will receive a reward. Second: wood, hay, and stubble. These have little value and will be destroyed in God's judgment. The loss is the result of the works being burned up.

The rewards are sometimes pictured as incorruptible crowns as Paul described them. "And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible" (I Corinthians 9:25). Paul looked forward to a crown of righteousness. "Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing" (II Timothy 4:8).

You cannot break the rules of Christian service found in the Word of God and expect to receive a crown. "And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully" (II Timothy 2:5).

John wrote this warning, "Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward" (II John 8). The primary motivation for our faithful Christ service is that we bring honor and glory to God, who is worthy (Revelation 5:9-13).

Any loss of rewards will mean that we have not given the honor and glory to our Lord that he rightly deserves.

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I Have Prayed for Thee

Luke 22:31-32
Aug 01, 2010

"And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren" (Luke 22:31-32).

Jesus Christ is described as our Intercessor (Hebrews 7:25), our High Priest (Hebrews 3:1), our Mediator (I Timothy 2:5), and our Advocate (I John 2:1). Each of these titles gives a different aspect to our Lord's loving care for us.

We have several examples in the New Testament that show how Jesus Christ, our Lord, intercedes in prayer on behalf of others. When Jesus was on the cross, suffering for our sins, he prayed, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34). The entire seventeenth chapter of the Gospel of John shows a remarkable prayer as Jesus intercedes for his disciples in the upper room. One verse lets us know that he prayed for the disciples in the room with him, but Jesus also prayed for us who would later believe on him. "Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word" (John 17:20).

The Lord knew that Simon Peter would deny that he even knew Jesus (Luke 22:55-62). Jesus was also confident that his prayer for Peter would be answered and that Peter would be converted from depending on his own strength and would become strong in God's strength, a useful servant for the Lord. He did truly repent (Luke 22:62) and used that experience to strengthen his fellow disciples.

The very man who cursed and denied the Lord would be the very man who later preached one of the greatest messages in the Bible (Acts 2:14:41). Simon Peter was also chosen by the Lord to take the gospel message of salvation to the home of Cornelius, the Roman soldier. Peter presented the same message of faith that had been given by the Old Testament prophets. "To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins" (Acts 10:43).

We can follow the example of Jesus and pray on behalf of others just as Paul prayed for his own kinsmen to come to faith in Christ (Romans 10:1).

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Worship, Commerce, and Civil Government

Revelation 17:15
Jul 25, 2010

"And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues" (Revelation 17:15).

This verse shows the world wide influence of the vile wicked woman, the great harlot, pictured in Revelation 17 and 18. Under Satan's power, she corrupts and changes what God had established in the areas of worship, commerce, and civil government.

True worship of the one true LORD was to be in spirit and in truth, as Jesus told the woman at the well (John 4:24). God's holy scriptures were given so that we could be "wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus" (II Timothy 3:15). Jesus established his church to carry his message to all people (Acts 1:8). When worship is changed from God's righteous way, it then becomes as corrupt as the woman sitting on the scarlet colored beast.

Commerce, which involves productive labor, business, trade, investments, earning an honest living, and ownership of private property, is taught throughout the Bible, beginning with God giving Adam and Eve responsibility in the Garden of Eden. Private ownership of property is seen in the lessons of Job and Abraham. See how God commends good business practices in Proverbs 31 where He praises the industrious woman. Commerce, operated on honest and godly principles is a blessing to mankind and supports individual freedom. History shows financial systems, which were founded on false foundations, to be a curse to mankind. For example, communism is built on the foundation of atheism and has brought misery and slavery wherever people come under that false system. Socialism, which puts the government in control of all aspects of life, has failed to produce the fruits that have been promised by its lying promoters.

Civil government was established by the power of God (Romans 13:1-7). We are to pray for those in authority (I Timothy 2:1-4). Civil government, working properly, protects the individual rights of each citizen. Civil government, working properly, is a servant and not a master to the citizen. Paul said in I Timothy 2:2 that a good reason for a righteous civil government is so "that may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty."

When worship, commerce and civil government come under the power of Satan, the beast, and the false prophet, there will be terrible confusion and disorder in this world.

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Then Shall the End Come

Matthew 24:14
Jul 18, 2010

"And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come" (Matthew 24:14).

We are told by Matthew, "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only" (Matthew 24:36). We are informed by Matthew and Luke of conditions that help us to understand that the glorious day of our Lord's return is drawing near (Luke 21:28). Our text verse describes one condition.

Consider how the gospel of the kingdom has gone around this world. During the earthly ministry of Jesus and shortly after the Jerusalem church received the dynamic power of the Holy Spirit, the gospel of the kingdom was preached in Judea, Samaria, and Galilee. Persecuted Christians carried the message northward into Syria.

From Antioch, missionaries moved farther north and then west so that the gospel of the kingdom reached into Asia Minor, Greece, Italy, and Spain. Historical records show that in the time of Paul, gospel ministers took the message of Jesus Christ to the British Isles.

Long before the Protestant Reformation, Baptist churches had been established in all of Europe. The Lord's churches had amazing growth in the early days of our country. My research into the history of Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Kentucky, and Mississippi, while tracing the history of the early Baptist churches in Mississippi, showed that practically every community soon had a functioning, witnessing church. Some met in private homes and some in plain log cabins.

The gospel of the kingdom is still moving westward, reaching the islands of the South Pacific and Australia. The work is small, but there is a true gospel witness in Korea, Japan, and even in China. I was recently given an interesting book that describes how true Bible teaching house churches are meeting throughout China.

Brother Bill Cooper in Mongolia describes that land as the last frontier for the gospel of the kingdom. He may be right.

A close look at the way the gospel has traveled all around the world gives us hope that our "redemption draweth nigh" (Luke 21:28).

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According to the Scriptures

I Corinthians 15:3-4
Jul 11, 2010

"For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures" (I Corinthians 15:3-4).

The New Testament scriptures give us an accurate inspired account of the gospel message that Christ died for our sins, was buried, and rose again. The gospel message is "the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth" (Romans 1:16) and is according to the New Testament scriptures. The gospel is also according to the Old Testament scriptures in that every fact of death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ is foretold in the accurate inspired Old Testament.

Consider the following adaptation from a sermon on our text from the writings of R.G. Lee, long-time pastor in Memphis, Tennessee.


Christ died for our sins according to the Word of God, which is forever settled in heaven (Psalm 119:89). According to the Bible, so simple that a child may wade in its waters unafraid, so profound the mightiest intellects cannot go beyond its depths.

According to the Word of God, recording with equal dignity and wisdom the birth of babes, the flight of angels, the death of kings, the overthrow of empires, the fall of a sparrow.

According to the Word of God, which is truth, and which doth sanctify by its truth (John 17:17).

According to the Scriptures, supremely sanctioned by Christ himself, who accepted their unalterable doctrines concerning the creation of man, concerning righteousness, concerning God's purpose of grace through Israel.

According to the Scriptures, which Christ used to justify his mission and to illumine the mystery of his cross, the history of which he accepted as preparation for himself, disowning not one of its prophets, disclaiming not one of its statements, feeding his own soul with its contents, sustaining himself upon it as the living and sovereign and eternal Word of God.

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The Battle for Freedom to Preach the Gospel

Acts 4:19
Jul 4, 2010

"But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye" (Acts 4:19).

This answer was given when Peter and John were commanded "not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus" (Acts 4:18). Baptist ministers in the colonial days were placed under the same ungodly commandment. This was especially true in Massachusetts and Virginia, two colonies that only recognized the Church of England as a legal church

On July 16, 1651, two Baptist ministers, John Clarke and Obadiah Holmes, accompanied by deacon, John Crandall, made a trip from Rhode Island into Massachusetts to visit an aged blind member of their congregation. Clarke was the founding pastor of the Baptist church in Newport Rhode Island, the oldest Baptist church in the colonies. They were arrested and ordered to pay fines, which Holmes refused to pay. His refusal cost him a severe beating.

In June 1768, John Waller, Lewis Craig, and James Childs (three Baptist ministers) were arrested in Spotsylvania county, Virginia on the charge of "preaching the gospel contrary to law." "May it please your worship," said the prosecuting attorney, "they cannot meet a man on the road without ramming a text of Scripture down his throat."

The Baptist churches and the local associations were fully committed to throwing off the British r

Dr. Rippon, a noted pastor of London, in a letter to President Manning of Rhode Island College, written in 1784, says, "I believe all of our Baptist ministers in town, except two, and most of our brethren in the country were on the side of the Americans in the late dispute."

John Hart, a member of the Baptist church in Hopewell, New Jersey, knew that placing his name on the Declaration of Independence in July of 1776 would cost him his property and place his life and the lives of his large family in danger. He died a natural death in 1780 still firmly believing, "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

May God bless America.

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Great Wonders by the Power of Satan

Revelation 13:13
Jun 27, 2010

"And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men" (Revelation 13:13).

These wonders are described as miracles in the next verse. The beast and the false prophet of Revelation do these wonders by the authority and power of the dragon, the devil (Revelation 12:9 and Revelation 13:4).

The subject of miracles can be confusing if we do not accept the plain teachings of the Holy Scriptures.

  1. God the Father showed his approval of the Son by miracles, wonders, and signs. "Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know" (Acts 2:22).
  2. During the time that the New Testament books were being written, there were servants of God who could work miracles. Peter and John healed a crippled man at the gate of the temple (Acts 3:1-11). Paul healed the father of the chief man of the island of Melita (Acts 28:7-10).
  3. Since the New Testament books have been finished, the confirmation of the true message preached by God's servants is by the written word and not by miraculous powers. We can understand this by a careful examination of I Corinthians 13 which shows us that we now have the three gifts of faith, hope, and love ( I Corinthians 13:13). The other gifts have failed, ceased, and have been done away (I Corinthians 13:8-10).
  4. Satan and his false prophets know that people can be deceived by signs and wonders. This is shown in Deuteronomy 13:1-5 where God warns that false prophets would try to lead Israel away from the true LORD to a false god by the signs and wonders which would actually come to pass (Deuteronomy 13:2).

The great wonders and miracles for Revelation 13:13-14 are real enough to deceive those who see them.

Just because you see something with your own eyes does not mean that you must accept it as a revelation of the true God. It might be a deceptive ploy of Satan (I John 4:1).

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Provoke not Your Children to Wrath

Ephesians 6:4
Jun 20, 2010

"And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord" (Ephesians 6:4).

This command to the fathers in Ephesus is up to date for our own generation. There is a negative component in this command, that is, "provoke not." The positive element is found when Paul says, "but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord."

The Amplified Bible gives this reading: "Fathers, do not irritate and provoke your children to anger [do not exasperate them to resentment], but rear them [tenderly] in the training and discipline and the counsel and admonition of the Lord."

George Ricker Berry in his Interlinear Greek-English New Testament gives this word-for-word translation: "And fathers, do not provoke your children, but bring up them in the discipline and admonition of the Lord."

A. T. Robertson in Word Pictures In The New Testament, uses the word "chastening" with the idea of "correction" for the word "nurture."

Discipline and correction for the children is taught in the Old Testament. "Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying" (Proverbs 19:18).

Discipline and correction administered with real love and concern for the well-being of the child will not cause irritation, resentment, and anger.

The child needs to see the unfeigned, sincere (II Timothy 1:5) faith, testimony, and example of the parent along with the discipline and correction.

Raising children is one of the most important responsibilities of your Christian life. God has instructions and His helping grace for the job.

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Calvary

Luke 23:33
Jun 13, 2010

"And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left" (Luke 23:33).

Christ died for our sins! So saith the scriptures. Christ and Calvary! Crucifixion on Calvary. For that reason, greatly above and beyond all mountains stands Calvary.

Great is Sinai, sublime in solitude, robed in clouds, shrouded in smoke, illuminated with fire, where with heaven's earthquake thunders rumbling amid the crags and gorges, where with the lightning blazing in zigzag paths across the dark clouds, the law was given, commandments which are not the ghostly whispers of a dead century, but the commandments as authoritative today as when their proclamation broke the age-long silence of the desert (Exodus 19:16-20).

Grand is old Horeb where the bush, aflame with the glory of descendant Deity, defied the laws of conflagration (Exodus 3:3).

Look to triple-peak Hermon, where Jesus was transfigured, his countenance brighter than the sun, his garments whiter than the snow (Matthew 17:1-8).

And Olivet, of sweet farewell memories, where with the clouds as his chariot and the winds as his steeds, Jesus went back to his Father (Acts 1:9-11).

But Calvary! There, God in bloody garments dressed, courted our love. There at the interlocking of the ages, Christ put away sin by the sacrifice of himself, redeeming man from death unto life, canceling man's debt of judicial obligation by an equivalent which afforded legal satisfaction, Jesus voluntarily passed under death's dreadful shadow, though owing the law no debt.

There on Calvary, with power to smite his enemies with a thunderbolt, he elected to die on the cross.

There on Calvary, God's eternal attributes emptied their vials of burning wrath upon the sinless Sacrifice in agony enough to make the earth shudder, the sun in darkness hide.

In death, Jesus fully paid our debt so that we could live eternally with him.

This article is adapted from a sermon published in 1930 by R. G. Lee of Memphis, Tennessee.

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Preparing the Soil

Matthew 13:8
Jun 06, 2010

"But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold" (Matthew 13:8).

Many good lessons can be learned from the parable of the sower. Worldly kingdoms have been established with military power and conquest, but Jesus established and continues to advance his kingdom by the sowing of the word of God. We also see how Satan is an enemy who catches away that which is sown in the heart (Matthew 13:19).

The same sower is spreading the same seed in the four different areas. Only one area was very productive. The difference was in the soil conditions. Some fell along the edge of the roadway (verse 4), some in stony places (verse 5), some among thorns (verse 7), and some on good ground (verse 8).

It is not possible for us to control the convicting power of the Holy Spirit, but God does use human means to prepare the soil. Consider these two examples.

Manasseh was a wicked king who caused Judah to do worse than the heathen nations, but God used the king's enemies to bring affliction to Manasseh. That affliction prepared his heart. "And when he was in affliction, he besought the LORD his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers, And prayed unto him: and he was intreated of him, and heard his supplication, and brought him again to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the LORD he was God" (II Chronicles 33:12-13).

Timothy had a mother and grandmother of sincere faith in the Lord (II Timothy 1:5). As a very young child, he was taught the holy scriptures. We are not given information on when Timothy trusted Christ but we do know that his heart was prepared and made "wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus" (II Timothy 3:15).

Someone is watching you. A sincere loving Christian testimony can help to prepare the soil so that the word of God and the conviction of the Holy Spirit will have good ground to receive the seed.

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Cost Benefit Ratio

Luke 14:28
May 30, 2010

"For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?" (Luke 14:28).

Many years ago, during the summer break between my third and fourth year at the Missionary Baptist Seminary, I worked in the accounting office of the Army Corps of Engineers. A cost and benefit analysis was being prepared for the building of a large dam and lake on the Arkansas River at Dardanelle, Arkansas. Construction bids were being accepted and figures compiled on the purchase of property that would soon be under water. The benefits of flood control, navigation for barges, and recreation on the lake were estimated. All this information on the cost/benefit ratio was prepared for a congressional committee, which did approve the dam and lake. The work has been finished for many years now.

The consideration of costs and benefits can enter into many decisions. Consider these examples from the Bible.

Moses considered what it would cost him to refuse to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter. By faith, Moses saw that the benefits in suffering affliction with the people of God, esteeming the reproach of Christ, was a far greater treasure than the riches of Egypt (Hebrews 11:24-26).

Esau made a very bad decision on costs and benefits when he counted the value of a meal of bread, pottage, and lentils to be more valuable than his birthright. That birthright involved special blessings God had promised in the covenant with Abraham. "Esau despised his birthright" (Genesis 25:34).

Achan, a soldier in Israel's army made a bad bargain when he stole the treasures from Jericho and hid them in his tent. That disobedience to God's law was too costly for the benefits. It cost him his life and the life of his family (Joshua 7:1-26).

King David sought sinful pleasure with Bathsheba. What he gained cost him far more than his fleshly satisfaction was worth. An innocent child died, a brave soldier lost his life, and David's own children were damaged by his adultery (II Samuel 11-12).

Our Lord calls us to "seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness..." (Matthew 6:33). To follow that command is costly, but the blessings and benefits are eternal. You will need to deny yourself, take up your cross daily and follow Jesus Christ (Luke 9:23).

When you have to make a decision about your Christian life and testimony, please prayerfully consider the cost and the consequences.

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Where Sin Abounded, Grace did Much More Abound

Romans 5:20
May 23, 2010

The following description of sin is adapted from a sermon published in 1930 by R.G. Lee of Memphis, Tennessee.


Sin, manifest inwardly, in unworthy love, in sordid satisfactions, in brutalized spirits, is the curse of all curses-blighting earth's flowery vales with crimes, darkening earth's seas with wrath, grouping earth's isles as lairs of lust, making many places in our cities deserts of hell. It is in all climes, in all times, ruin, wretched ruin.

All the world's tragedies are really written in one word, one word with three letters: SIN.

For sin's flowers grow among skulls and have no perfume.

Sin's crowns of roses are sharper than crowns of thorns, heavier than iron jackets.

All who dance to sin's music weep.

All who dwell in sin's garden dwell in desolation.

Because of sin, every stream with human crime is stained, every breeze with moral poison is corrupted, every day's light blackened, every life's cup tainted with the bitter, every life's roadway made dangerous with pitfalls, every life's voyage made perilous with treacherous shoals.

From hell's seething ocean, sin broke out upon this world in Eden's garden -- at the foot of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. No bubbling spring, but a raging torrent, it swept through the world until there is no neighborhood from Adam until now that has not felt, and does not feel its pollution.

Into sin's river, many downward have plunged to perdition's dungeons where hell's "infernal drums roll the eternal bass in hell's uproar, beating time to the ceaseless groans of the lost," amid incessant, unmitigated, unquenchable torment.

There, environed by ghastly horrors, maddened forever by a Babel of howling voices, the lost, lashed by the hot breath of hell's inferno in a storm that knows no abatement, are burning continually, yet not consumed -- forever wasting, yet enduring still -- dying perpetually, yet never dead -- "the smoke of their torment ascending up forever" (Revelation 14:11).

The gospel of Christ "is the power of God unto salvation [deliverance from condemnation and hell] to every one that believeth" (Romans 1:16).

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Little Foxes and a Little Ball Bearing

Song of Solomon 2:15
May 16, 2010

"Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes" (Song of Solomon 2:15).

As I was working in my office, listening to the news at the same time, I heard the report about the Atlantis space shuttle preparing for lift-off, but the announcer then reported that a loose little ball bearing was found. The crew had to find out where that bearing came from and make a decision about continuing the count-down.

In the Bible, there are many little things that have big consequences. Just picture a fruitful vineyard loaded down with tender grapes, but the little foxes can sneak in and destroy the crop. The keeper of the vineyard loses his hard labor.

I can still remember a powerful sermon from this text in 1958 in the Little Rock seminary delivered by Pastor W.W. Miles of Fatherland Baptist Church Nashville, Tennessee. He spoke of being faithful in the little things. "And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities" (Luke 19:17). Remember how the church in Philadelphia was commended by the Lord. " thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name" (Revelation 3:8). One song teaches the lesson: Little Is Much When God Is In It.

The widow in Zarephath only had a little meal and a little oil, but she obeyed the message from God's prophet, and God provided what she needed for the long drought.

The lad in John 6 only had two small fish and five barley loaves, but, in the hand of the Lord, it became enough to feed a great multitude.

Brother Miles also warned us of the dangers, sometimes so little, that could destroy our Christian influence. "Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?" (I Corinthians 5:6). This verse shows that it does not take much to hurt a church or one Christian.

Jesus said, "He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much" (Luke 16:10).

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The Family

Proverbs 31:28
May 09, 2010

"Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her" (Proverbs 31:28).

The following poem by Donna R. Lydston reminded me of my mother's farm kitchen with the extra long table (called a board in this poem). I am from a family of seven children. A long bench for four of the younger children was placed against the wall on one side of the table. Dad sat at the head of the table and mom on the other end. Three older children sat in regular chairs on one side. I was fifteen years old before we had electricity or running water, so wonderful meals were cooked on the old wood stove. All meals were always eaten at that table. Mother's day brings back fond memories of a sweet loving Godly mother who was so happy when all her children were gathered around her table.

So blessed are they who around a family board
May gather, May they humbly thank the Lord,
Not only for the food they common share,
But for the dear, loved faces circled there.
So oft, unless we face that board alone,
We treasure not its true, sweet sense of home.

So blessed are they, when low the pale stars ride,
If cheer, and warmth, and welcome safe abide
Within their shelter, Patient they would grow,
Kinder, more understanding, could they know
How empty is the house where no glad light
Shines from its windows out upon the night.

So blessed are they who have within their home
That touch of kinship, folks they call their own,
Flesh of their flesh. Ah, how they'd earnestly strive
To ease small tensions, keeping love alive,
If once they knew the desolate despair
That haunts the house with no one waiting there.

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Come Boldly Unto the Throne of Grace

Hebrews 4:16
May 02, 2010

"Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need" (Hebrews 4:16).

Update from Dennis and Charlotte Carrel: Brother and Sister Carrell made the trip back from Mongolia where they have served as missionaries since 1998. The main purpose of the trip was to attend the high school graduation of their oldest grandson in Colorado Springs. On Wednesday morning April 28, we received this message from Brother Bill Cooper: "I just wanted to drop you a quick note to let you know that Charlotte's doctor found a lump in her breast. They just received the news. It is cancer."

On Thursday morning, April 29, we received this update from Brother Cooper: "I was able to get Dennis and Charlotte on the phone. The doctor told them that she needs the surgery, but it is not urgent, like in the next week or so. They asked him if it could wait for three months, and he said it should not be a problem since they found it early. They will leave Louisiana next Monday to go to Colorado Springs to see their oldest grandson graduate from high school. They had given him a trip to Mongolia and a one-month stay for his graduation present. They plan on sticking to their original plan to bring him back to Mongolia with them. The Mac-Med Team is going to be in Mongolia for two weeks in July, and they both do not want to miss that or miss their grandson visiting here. They are making arrangements with MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston Texas to return and have the surgery done there in August. As we get more information, I will let you all know. We do appreciate your prayers."

I ask our whole church to join in prayer to God for this precious lady who has been such a blessing to her missionary husband and to the people in Mongolia.

"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" (Ephesians 3:20).

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The Terror of the Lord

II Corinthians 5:11
Apr 25, 2010

"Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences" (II Corinthians 5:11).

The word "terror" used in this verse is the Greek word "phobon" which is used in our language as "phobia." Can terror or phobia ever be a good thing? In this verse, it is described as "the terror of the Lord," therefore, it must be good in this case.

The same word is used in Romans 13:3 to refer to the fear that civil authorities can produce in the heart of those who break the law. "But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil" (Romans 13:4). This fear is helpful in turning people away from a life of crime.

Romans 3:10-19 describes the condition of those who are lost and condemned before God. They are described with these words, "There is no fear [or phobia] of God before their eyes." Fear of God would be beneficial to these guilty sinners to bring them to repentance.

In contrast to the fear of God, which is beneficial, we have this command in I Peter 3:14. "But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror [or phobia], neither be troubled." We are not to fear the persecutors when we suffer for doing God's will.

In II Corinthians 5:11, Paul may mean, "I have in my heart the fear of not pleasing and obeying God, so I persuade men. I present the truth to convince them to come to Christ." It is my opinion that he means, "I know what terror and awful judgment awaits those who are not saved, therefore, I persuade them to trust Christ." I use the word of God to convince and win them over to Christ.

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Jesus Pays a Special Tax

Matthew 17:24-27
Apr 18, 2010

Tax Day, April 15, 2010 was not a pleasant day for me. My tax bill was higher than in the previous few years. One reason was that I had reached the age in 2009 when I could no longer set aside tax-deferred funds for my Individual Retirement Account (IRA). In my irritation, I decided to examine the verses in Matthew 17 that tell of the way that Jesus paid the temple tax. A. T. Robertson in Word Pictures in the New Testament, page 142, points out that this was not the civil tax collected by the Roman officials.

God's law for this tax was given to Israel in Exodus 30:12-16. Please note that in verse 16, the purpose of this tax is given. And thou shalt take the atonement money of the children of Israel, and shalt appoint it for the service of the tabernacle of the congregation; that it may be a memorial unto the children of Israel before the LORD, to make an atonement for your souls."

The conversation between Jesus and Peter has a good lesson. Jesus asked, "What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers?" (Matthew 17:25). Simon Peter answered, "Of strangers" (Matthew 17:26). Then Jesus said, "Then are the children free. Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee" (Matthew 17:26-27).

The words of Jesus have this meaning. The children of the king do not pay tribute to their own father. Those outside the family, i.e., strangers, are required to pay. I am the Son of the heavenly Father, and the temple is His house, so I am free from that obligation, but since these tax collectors do not understand and would be offended, we will pay the tax. Jesus used an amazing way to get the money to pay the tax.

After a short time, my irritation faded away, and I paid my taxes being thankful to my LORD that He has provided for all my need (Philippians 4:19).

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Flee, Follow, and Fight

I Timothy 6:11-12, 14
Apr 11, 2010

"But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses" (I Timothy 6:11-12). "That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ" (I Timothy 6:14).

As we read the books of I Timothy, II Timothy, and Titus, we learn of the great love that Paul had for these two young ministers. He had a sincere heart-felt burden to help each one of them be a "good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained" (I Timothy 4:6). He speaks to Timothy with the words "my dearly beloved son" (II Timothy 1:2). His words to Titus were, "mine own son after the common faith" (Titus 1:4).

In I Timothy 3:1-7 and in Titus 1:5-9, God's word shows the high standards that these men needed to meet in order to serve in such an important position as bishop (overseer) and elder. These early Christians understood that those in positions of teaching and leading the flock were held to a higher standard. "Moreover he must have a good report [reputation] of them which are without [outside the church]; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil" (I Timothy 3:7).

Flee. Timothy needed to run as hard and as fast as possible to remove himself from those destructive forces that are listed in I Timothy 6:4-10: (1) pride, (2) envy, (3) strife, (4) railings, (5) evil surmisings, (6) perverse disputings of men, and (7) the love of money.

Follow. The positive qualities are also taught in 6:11: (1) righteousness, that is, the righteousness of conduct that would make Timothy "an example of the believers" (I Timothy 4:12), (2) godliness, (3) faith, (4) love, (5) patience, and (6) meekness.

Fight. This fight is shown in II Timothy 4:7 where Paul spoke of his warfare against evil. "I have fought a good fight." Paul also taught Timothy to be a good soldier. "Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ" (II Timothy 2:3).

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Tell His Disciples that He is Risen from the Dead

Matthew 28:1-10
Apr 04, 2010

1 In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first [day] of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.

2 And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.

3 His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:

4 And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead [men].

5 And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.

6 He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.

7 And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.

8 And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.

9 And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.

10 Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.

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Finances and Biblical Principles

Acts 18:3
Mar 28, 2010

"And because he [Paul] was of the same craft, he abode with them [Aquila and Priscilla], and wrought: for by their occupation they were tentmakers" (Acts 18:3).

As we search through the Scriptures, we find many different occupations by which people earned their income. Raising crops, orchards, sheep, and cattle were the primary means of making money. Other jobs were making clay pottery, making metal products, making tents, carpentry, fishing, brick and stone masonry, wholesale and retail merchants, banking, physicians, and of course government soldiers and officials.

Consider some of these basic principles.

  1. Faithful hard work is always commended in God's Word. "Not slothful in business..." (Romans 12:11). "Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise" (Proverbs 6:6).
  2. Making a profit from your labor or investments is not wicked. "To day or to morrow we will...buy and sell, and get gain" (James 4:13). One servant that had received funds from his master was able to double the amount and did receive praise from the master who had supplied the funds (Matthew 25:16-21).
  3. Private ownership of property and the means of production is the pattern shown in God's Word. Abraham owned his herds (Genesis 13:1-8). Naboth owned his vineyard (I Kings 21:1), and the government (King Ahab) had no right to demand that Naboth sell his vineyard. God's judgment fell on Jezebel and Ahab because of their wicked confiscation of this property (I Kings 21:2-19).
  4. Wealth is not sinful. Job, a righteous man, was wealthy (Job 1:1-3). The sin is described in these words: "For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows" (I Timothy 6:10). "Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate" (I Timothy 6:17-18).
  5. Christians have a God-given responsibility to use their finances in a way that honors the Lord."Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God" (I Corinthians 10:31). Use your finances to support your family (I Timothy 5:8). Give bountifully to support the Lord's church (II Corinthians 9:6-8). Be compassionate to those in need. "For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem" (Romans 15:26).
  6. Jesus said, "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also" (Luke 12:34). His words show us that the way you use your finances is an indication of the spiritual condition of your heart.

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Reconciliation: The Biblical Meaning

Romans 5:9-11
Mar 21, 2010

"Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement" (Romans 5:9-11).

These verses in Romans are a treasure of Biblical truth describing what God does to bring his enemies to reconciliation. "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:1).

By grace through faith, there was a wonderful change in our condition before God. Instead of wrath and enmity, there is now peace and reconciliation. God did not change, but when we "passed from death unto life" (John 5:24), there was a change in our heart. Romans 5:5 shows that the love of God is shed abroad (spread out) in our heart by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

When we were lost, we had the wrath of God abiding on us. "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him" (John 3:36). We were separated from God. "Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart" (Ephesians 4:18).

Thank God that the Holy Spirit brought conviction to our heart and made us understand the danger and wrath of God that we faced. In loving mercy, God drew us to himself, and when we surrendered and trusted, we then received his peace and reconciliation. Please note that the Greek word translated "atonement" in Romans 5:11 is the same Greek word translated as "reconciled" in Romans 5:10. "We have now received the reconciliation."

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Bible Translation in Mongolia

John 6:28-29
Mar 14, 2010

"Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent" (John 6:28-29).

Those who are familiar with the English language or the Greek language can consider the context of these verses and understand the plain meaning intended by Jesus: The will of God is that you trust His Son, Jesus Christ. A. T. Robertson, in his commentary on the Greek language of the Gospel of John, says, "So here Jesus terms belief in him as the work of God." This verse does not teach that our works produce or help to produce our salvation. Ephesians 2:8-9 tells us, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast."

I have a greater appreciation for the work of the translation team at Rich Heart Baptist Church in Mongolia since I listened to their discussions and difficulties with this one passage. They are using the same Greek text that was used for the King James translation, and they are using the King James Bible as a reference guide. Their aim is to do a word for word literal translation into the Mongolian language. This is often very difficult. For example, different Mongolian dictionaries will often give different shades of meaning to the same word. The word "work" in John 6:29 can be translated by five different Mongolian words. The spoken language can convey shades of meaning with the inflection of the voice. A literal word for word translation does not give the correct sense that "the work of God" means "the will of God." These Mongolian translators (or any translators) do not have the inspiration that John or Paul had that directed their minds and writings to the exact words chosen by the Holy Spirit. All the writings, each individual word, of the original inspired manuscripts were given as these "holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost" (II Peter 1:21).

Pray for this translation team that their work will be used of God to help get the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ (II Corinthians 4:4) and the precious truth of God's word, "the faith which was once delivered unto the saints" (Jude 3), to the people of Mongolia.

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Visit to Chingeltai

Luke 14:13-14
Feb 28, 2010

"But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just" (Luke 14:13-14).

Chingeltai is one of the poorest areas of Mongolia, but we did have a blessed feast of God's word in the services there. Brother Dennis Carrell and his wife, Charolett, are working there to build a strong New Testament church. The children's Sunday School began at 11:00 A.M. on 2/21/10 with 30 children from age 4 to teenage. The teacher, Sister Ink Ghee, led several songs with her teenage son playing the keyboard. Her lesson was from Acts 27 and 28, and it was one of the best lesson presentations I have seen. The material was taught using a four foot square flannel board with many colorful pictures. The lesson was followed with crafts, memory verses, and more singing. Their class was over at 1:00 P.M. The children walked home, and the two hour adult service began. I wish I had used flannel graph for my sermon.

Their building is still under construction with just the auditorium usable now. They are working on the basement class rooms as funds become available. Brother Dennis believes, and I agree, that the members of this church will appreciate their building more and will be blessed by working as a body to give their own funds and donate their own labor to get the work done. They have visitors every Sunday and Wednesday. People are being saved and added to the membership.

We continued our visits in different homes for the New Year's celebration, making ten days of visitation for the holidays. On Monday night, we went to the ger home of a young couple and their two small children. His name is Baat-Bolt. He and his wife are new members at Rich Heart New Testament Baptist Church growing in grace and knowledge of the Lord. He is a technician at a local TV station and has helped to get Pastor Egi on programs when Biblical issues are discussed. Last week, his station aired a special program in which a fellow church member, Brother Ink Jargle, gave his testimony of salvation and telling how the church had helped him come to faith in Jesus Christ, which brought him out of a terrible life of alcohol addiction to a joyful Christian life. Brother Ink Jargle now works in the NCO Alcohol Abuse Counseling Program with Brother Dennis and Brother Augie, the pastor at Chore.

Brother Egi asked me to bring the lesson on this past Wednesday night. The lesson was on I Timothy 5:8. "But if any provide not for his own, and specially those of his own house, he hath denied the faith and is worse than an infidel [that is, an unbeliever]." I will teach a men's class in the Bible School on Saturday morning, and Bill, Carolyn, Zoola, the translator, and I will go to Chore on Saturday afternoon for the services on 2/28/10. Pray for these services and for my trip back home.

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Through the Snow to Ugiinoor

Romans 15:26
Feb 21, 2010

"For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem" (Romans 15:26). When we pulled out from the Rich Heart Baptist Church building early on Thursday morning, we had nine people in the two four-wheel drive vehicles. We also had supplies that were being sent from the Rich Heart church to the congregation in Ugiinoor. We also had a special offering for the Missionary, Brother Erdernebayer, and his family. The folks at Rich Heart are not wealthy, but they were concerned about their fellow workers in that small town. They were following the Christian example of the disciples of Macedonia and Achaia.

The extreme cold and heavy snow has been very hard on this herding area. We saw much livestock that had perished in the extreme conditions. Fuel for the stoves is dried dung, wood scraps, or coal. I asked about the supplies and was told that many families are running very short.

Can you believe that a person can go three days without a shower, go three days wearing the same clothes, shave in ice cold water, stay in a small hotel with no indoor plumbing and a heating system that works part time, and sleep on uncomfortable beds, and still love and enjoy ever moment of the stay?

Let me just list a few of the things that made the trip to Ugiinoor so enjoyable:

Enjoying the close Christian fellowship with those making the trip.

Seeing how God is blessing the work with professions of faith and new members being baptized in this area that did not have a true Gospel witness.

Seeing Brother Erdenebayer and his wife, Davaama. I love this work in Mongolia and all of the workers and their families, but when I met Erdernebayer and his family last year, there was a special bond of love and concern for this family. Their ger home is modest but tastefully decorated. It is a true Christian home. They love each other, their children, and the work that God has called them to do. Both are dedicated to the Lord and to His Bible doctrines. I have seen that same dedication in the other pastors and workers in Mongolia.

Their ger for the services is close by the Missionary home and cannot be considered fancy at all. Meeting with these precious people was a wonderful time of fellowship, music, worship, and Bible study that was truly "heavenly." See how that word "heavenly" is used in Ephesians 1:3.

We need not wait until eternity to experience heavenly blessings, but we can know them now when we meet with God's people to worship in spirit and in truth. I have experienced those heavenly blessings in all the other congregations in Mongolia, and it is a great blessing for the Landmark Missionary Baptist Church of Lakewood, CO, where I pastor, to have a small part in supporting the work in Mongolia.

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"Yet have I made Myself Servant unto All"

I Corinthians 9:19-23
Feb 14, 2010

"For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law" (I Corinthians 9:19-20).

If you carefully consider the context of I Corinthians 9:19-23, you will see that Paul had a great burden to make the gospel of Jesus Christ known to all people in all cultures. He knew from personal experience that there was life-changing power in the gospel (Romans 1:14-16). He would not compromise one bit on Bible doctrine or moral standards, but he would work within the culture. "I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more." I see this principal demonstrated in Mongolia with the Pastors and Missionaries as this nation celebrates the New Year beginning on February 14. So that the Americans will not make too many awkward mistakes, we had a lesson taught by one lady in the church who is very knowledgeable in the Mongolian New Year traditions.

This holiday is a time for extended families to gather at the home of the oldest family member, male or female. When you enter the home, you will see a table loaded with food, including a stack of special bread loaves, cheese, and roasted leg of lamb. The honored oldest one will be seated at the head of the table. You greet no one else but go around the room in a clockwise motion. As you approach the honored one, you extend both arms with palms up. The honored one then extends and as his or her arms. You then reach under their arms and place your hands under their elbows and lean forward to touch your cheeks together, first one side and then the other. The greeting is spoken in Mongolian, "A Mar Ban Oh," which means "May you do well."

New clothes or your very best clothes are worn. Bright vibrant colors are used, but black is not worn at all for the visits and a hat is always necessary. Small gifts are exchanged with each one in the home. (I came prepared).

I will bring the Sunday morning message at Rich Heart Baptist Church in Ulaanbataar and then will begin the visiting in many different homes with the Coopers and the Carrells. Going to different homes can often continue for a week. Family histories will be retold. We will have a wonderful time of food and fellowship. Bonds of friendship will be made stronger. We will meet many family members who need Christ as personal Savior.

These missionaries love these precious people. They are not here to "Americanize" them or to change there traditions, but to work within this culture and to allow God to use them for the advancement of his kingdom work.

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Blessed are the Merciful

Matthew 5:7
Feb 07, 2010

"Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy" (Matthew 5:7).

"But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us" (Ephesians 2:4). "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost" (Titus 3:5). We have the example and prayer of a publican who humbly prayed to God for mercy. "God be merciful to me a sinner" (Luke 18:13). Jesus said that his prayer was answered. We needed God's love, grace, and mercy in the day of our salvation.

The word "mercy" is close in meaning to the words "compassion," "pity," and "tender affections." "Who [the LORD] redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies" (Psalm 103:4).

We still need his lovingkindness and tender mercies as we serve our Lord. Matthew 5:7 is correctly applied to the Lord's own disciples as they serve him.

Since we have received mercy, we need to show mercy to others. "And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you" (Ephesians 4:32).

In these Beatitudes, our Lord describes the distinguishing characteristics and privileges of those who are identified in John 8:31, "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed." These are the poor in spirit (humble) who are the subjects of his kingdom (Matthew 5:3). These disciples were taught that to be called great in the kingdom of heaven, they should do and teach his commandments (Matthew 5:19). They are described in Matthew 5:13-14 as "the salt of the earth" and as "the light of the world."

With these verses in mind, please think of Matthew 5:7 as Jesus giving instructions to his own disciples during his earthly ministry and also teaching us to be merciful to those in need in the present day.

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Good Seed and Bad Seed in the Same Field

Matthew 13:37-43
Jan 31, 2010

"He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear" (Matthew 13:37-43).

In this world (the field), there are scriptural organizations (the good seed) planted and founded by Jesus Christ, the Son of Man (Matthew 16:18). These true churches teach the true gospel of salvation by grace through faith made possible by the redeeming blood of the Lamb of God (Romans 5:1-9). They practice the ordinance of baptism and the ordinance of the Lord's Supper as the first disciples of the Lord practiced them under the direction of Christ (Acts 2:41-42). They are faithful in doing the work of the commission as commanded by Christ (Matthew 28:19-20). They are faithful in teaching the doctrines of the Bible (Acts 11:21-26). By their godly moral conduct, they shine as lights in this sin-darkened world (Philippians 2:13-17).

Satan is an enemy to the true Christians and to the work of the Lord. Satan has planted and founded religions (tares) in the world that teach a false gospel, false ordinances, and false doctrines (Galatians 1:6-10). The enemy has his own ministers. "For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works" (II Corinthians 11:13-15).

The true servants of Christ are not commanded or authorized to physically destroy and remove the false religions. God will take care of that work at the time when Satan shall be cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10).

What a blessing to be a part of God's work that shall go on into the eternal ages. "Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen" (Ephesians 3:21).

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The Treasures and the Pearl of Great Price

Matthew 13:44-46
Jan 24, 2010

Parables of Kingdom Values.

"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it" (Matthew 13:44-46).

All of the elements of the Lord's kingdom work are precious. To build the kingdom, the gospel must be preached (the gospel is glorious, II Corinthians 4:4). Precious lost souls must be saved (they are redeemed by the precious blood of the Lamb, I Peter 1:18-19). Churches must be established (the precious blood of the Lamb also purchased his church, Acts 20:28). God's inspired word must be taught (His word is more precious than gold, Psalm 119:72). Even the trials of his servants are more precious than gold (I Peter 1:7).

Jesus taught his disciples: "Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you" (Matthew 5:10-12).

Those who walk in fellowship with the Lord and his people in building up his kingdom can tell you of the blessings, the satisfaction, and the peace in that work. Remember the words "righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost" used in describing the qualities of the kingdom of God (Romans 14:17).

The parable of the treasure in the field and the parable of the pearl of great price are lessons that we, who have a part in the kingdom work of the Lord, do have riches beyond the wealth of this world. The church in Smyrna was reminded of this. "I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich)... (Revelation 2:9).

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A Burden That We Cannot Handle

II Kings 19:19
Jan 17, 2010

"Now therefore, O LORD our God, I beseech thee, save thou us out of his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that thou art the LORD God, even thou only" (II Kings 19:19).

Hezekiah was one of the few kings of Judah who was dedicated to the LORD. When he received a threatening letter from the evil king of Assyria, Hezekiah knew that he faced a problem too big for his own abilities. In II Kings 19:6, we read the message that Isaiah, the true prophet of God, had sent to Hezekiah. "Thus saith the LORD, Be not afraid of the words which thou hast heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me."

"Hezekiah went up into the house of the LORD, and spread it before the LORD" (II Kings 19:14). There in the house of the LORD, he prayed the fervent prayer that we read in II Kings 19:15-19. Isaiah the prophet sent the assurance that the prayer had been heard by the Lord and would be answered. The LORD's promised, "For I will defend this city, to save it, for mine own sake, and for my servant David's sake. And it came to pass that night, that the angel of the LORD went out, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses" (II Kings 19:34-35).

Even today, there are enemies that seek to hinder and destroy the witness of the Lord's people. Paul asked for the prayers of the church in Thessalonica. "And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith" (II Thessalonians 3:2).

Just before our service on Wednesday night, Brother Bill Cooper called me from Mongolia with the urgent request that our church pray about the situation in Chore. The church recently began using their new building, and the pastor, Brother Augii, and his family moved into the new parsonage. There have been serious problems with the freezing of the heating systems which are being corrected. In the last few days, a small fire required that the fire department be called. The city officials (Buddhist) are hindering this precious body of wonderful loving true Christians from using their building. This is a problem that is too big for that little flock to handle. Let us go to the throne of grace for help in this matter (Hebrews 4:16). The LORD God of Hezekiah is still on His throne.

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Questions on the Kingdom of God

John 3:3
Jan 10, 2010

"Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God" (John 3:3).

The brethren in Mongolia have asked me to teach a series of lessons on the kingdom of God and have been sending me emails with many questions that have forced me to examine and clarify my views on this doctrine. One of the questions is about John 3:3.

If being in the kingdom is more than salvation and having an eternal home in heaven, then why does Jesus speak of being born again in John 3:3-4 and bring the "kingdom of God" into the discussion?

Answer: First, we must consider scriptures that show that the "kingdom of God" is not just describing the change that takes place when the lost person, by faith in Christ, passes from death unto life (John 5:24), is no longer condemned (John 3:18), and receives eternal life (John 3:15).

  1. Eternal life by faith as a gift of God has been taught in all ages (Acts 10:43), but since the days of John the Baptist, "the kingdom of God is preached" (Luke 16:16).
  2. Salvation is forever and will not be taken away (Romans 8:35-39), but, in the parable of the unfaithful husbandmen, Christ gave this warning concerning the kingdom. "The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof" (Matthew 21:43).

A Short Definition: The Kingdom of God is the realm of a special covenant relationship of Christian work and service (including the commission of Matthew 28:19-20) under the direction and authority of Jesus Christ. In this age, his blood bought churches constitute his kingdom and have been given the keys of the kingdom (Matthew 16:18-19) and therefore have the responsibility to fulfill his commission. The church at Ephesus is described as "his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all" (Ephesians 1:22-23). The word "fulness" indicates one who completes and accomplishes the will of Christ.

The new birth was brought into the discussion between Jesus and Nicodemus because Nicodemus could not understand (see), enter in, or have any part in the kingdom of God while he was very religious (a Pharisee and master in Israel) but still lost. As the discussion continued, Jesus made it very plain to Nicodemus that the way of eternal salvation was to "whosoever believeth in him..." (John 3:14-18).

Salvation (the new birth) is the first step, the absolutely necessary step, to church membership and any Christian service.

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David My Servant Shall be King Over Them

Ezekiel 37:24
Jan 03, 2010

"And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them" (Ezekiel 37:24).

There are many difficult passages in the book of Ezekiel, but one thing that is absolutely clear is that Jesus Christ, called the son of David (Matthew 1:1), will one day rule as the King over the house of Jacob (Judah and Israel joined together) (Ezekiel 37:19). "He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end" (Luke 1:32-33). The promise of Christ ruling on David's throne was first given in II Samuel 7:12-13.

God's prophet, Amos, foretold that the "tabernacle of David" would be built again (Amos 9:11). In connection with that promise, God said, "I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy God" (Amos 9:15). The conditions described in that verse are also described in Ezekiel 37:21-23. When you compare Amos 9 with Ezekiel 37, you can see that the restoration of the "tabernacle of David" includes the kingship of Jesus ruling from the throne of his father David.

The time of that ruling kingship is shown in Acts 15:14-17. God is now working through New Testament churches to call out from the Gentiles "a people for his name." Yes, there are still some from among the Israelites who are called out. Remember "that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in" (Romans 11:25).

"After this I will return" is a statement found in Acts 15:16 which is not in Amos 9:11. This statement speaks of the return of Christ at the end of the church age when the calling out of a people for his name is completed.

It is after his return that Christ takes his position as the King who rules on this earth over the house of Jacob.

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