georgebakerlettersfromhome - Reaching the Lost for Christ!

      We have a new SERMON today.  "The Prodigal Son." Go to the More Sermons page.

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"The Importance of the Doctrines of Revelation, Inspiration, Inerrancy,  Authority, and Canon for the Twenty-first Century Church."
"Why Is Jesus the Only Savior?
"Staying with God's Stuff"
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The August speaker.Bro. George Baker
Video of my book "Letters From Home"
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The Progressive Church

Introduction: John the Baptist spoke of Jesus as a man with a movement. A progressive movement. Unlike the progressive movement that we see in the political arena which accepts the wrong concepts such as homosexuality, same sex marriages, pro-choice, and other liberal policies. The progressive movement of Jesus was spoken by John like this.

            Text: "He must increase, but I must decrease." John 3:30

I. Jesus taught that his kingdom would be progressive in terms such as this. "Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, "The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof."Matt 13:31-32

II. The small group of twelve men were like a mustard seed contrasted to the number that would follow Jesus. We read where the ministry grew to seventy men who had the commission to go, and the concepts to win. We want to expound on the four concepts in this progressive ministry.

            1. The Location of the Service.

            2. The Lord of the Servants.

            3. The Layout of the Strategy.

            4. The Licking of Satan.


III.The Four Concepts

            A. The Location of Service
 "After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come." Luke 10:1

            2. A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come. So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. Luke 14:16-23

            3. "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen." Matt 28:19-20

            4. "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

            The progressive church of Jesus begins in the streets of Jerusalem.
 Then into Judea, Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the world.

            B. The Lord of the Servants

            "Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest." Luke 10:2

            2. "And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.' Matt 16:17-18

            3. "And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. 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 2:48-49

            4. "Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." Matt 7:21-23

             In the early part of my Christian experience I only knew Jesus as my Savior, but as my walk with Him progressed He has become the Lord Jesus Christ.

            C. The Layout of the Strategy

            3. Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves.

            4. Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes: and salute no man by the way.

            5. And into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace be to this house.

            6. And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it: if not, it shall turnto you again.

            7. And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the labourer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house.

            8.And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you:

            9. And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.

            10. But into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you not, go your ways outinto the streets of the same, and say,

            11. Even the very dust of your city, which cleaveth on us, we do wipe off against you:notwithstanding be ye sure of this, that the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.

            12. But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable in that day for Sodom, than for that city. Luke 10:3-12

            All that strategy means is having a plan of action. Our progress will depend on whose plans we follow. I have chosen to follow Jesus. We have the progress report before us. To follow Jesus is to follow His Word.

            D. The Licking of Satan

            "And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subjectunto us through thy name. And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. Luke 10:17-18

            "Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all thepower of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven. Luke 10:19-20

             In this conflict between good and evil the seed of the woman, which are the followers of Jesus Christ are wounded in the heel, but I like what the scriptures says about the seed of Satan in the same conflict would have his head bruised. The bruising of the head  of Satan is total defeat, which began at Calvary. 
             "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and      between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." Gen 3:15
Conclusion: God has a proven record of winning. Praise God for  the victory that is in Jesus Christ our Lord.   


The Spirit of Python
Introduction: In ancient Greece the spirit of Python was regarded by the Greeks as information from the God Apollo who had possessed a priestess at Delphi Greece. She was called the Delphi Oracle. The temple where she gave her prediction and practiced soothsaying was called Apollo, named after the God Apollo. Legend has it that Apollo the protector of the Oracle killed a giant serpent which was called Pytho. Every four years the people would celebrate the killing of Pytho the serpent by having games and sport activities. They called them the Pythian Games. Also the Greeks had the Olympian Games which are still being played every four years around the world. Nearly 200 nations participate in these games. The city of Olympia was the site of these events. So when the Lord had put pneuma Puthona (which is transliterated as spirit of Python) in the text he knew the Greeks would understand and that God was saying that His power was greater than the power of the Greek God of Apollo which possessed the damsel. The translators put the spirit of divination for non- speaking Greeks like you and me.
Text: “And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying:” Acts 16:16
Acts 16:16 (Wescott-Hort)
 εγενετο δε πορευομενων ημων εις την προσευχην παιδισκην τινα εχουσαν πνευμα πυθωνα υπαντησαι ημιν ητις εργασιαν πολλην παρειχεν τοις κυριοις αυτης μαντευομενη
Acts 16:16 (Scrivener)
 εγενετο δε πορευομενων ημων εις προσευχην παιδισκην τινα εχουσαν πνευμα πυθωνος απαντησαι ημιν ητις εργασιαν πολλην παρειχεν τοις κυριοις αυτης μαντευομενη
I. The Spirit of Python
a. Div·i·na·tion( d¹v”…-n³“sh…n) n. 1. The art or act of foretelling future events or revealing occult knowledge by means an alleged supernatural agency.
b. Nec·ro·man·cy( nµk“r…-m²n”s¶) n. 1. The practice of supposedly communicating with the spirits of the dead in order to predict the future.
c.Sor·cer·y( sôr“s…-r¶) n. 1. Use of supernatural power over others through the assistance
of spirits; witchcraft.
  d. Witch·craft( w¹ch“kr²ft”) n. 1. Magic; sorcery. 2. Wicca. 3. A magical or irresistible influence, attraction, or charm.
Scripture Reading
For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.” 1 Sam 15:23
“O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?” Gal 3:1
II. The Spirit of drugs.
·         Witchcraft in Galatians 5 in the original language (Greek) is pharmakeia (far-mak-i'-ah); from NT:5332; medication ("pharmacy) drugs
·         Sorcery - Rev 9:21 Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.
pharmakeus (far-mak-yoos'); from pharmakon (a drug, i.e. spell-giving potion); a druggist ("pharmacist") or poisoner, i.e. (by extension) a magician: KJV - sorcerer. Rev 9:21
III. The Spirit of Magic.
In both times the word sorcery is referring to magic. In the original language.
Sorcery- mageuo (mag-yoo'-o); from NT:3097; to practice magic:
Sorceries- mageia (mag-i'-ah); from NT:3096; "magic":
“But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one: To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God. And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries.” Acts 8:9-11
IV. Here are some commands from the Word of God.
Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.” Ex 22:18
“A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones: their blood shall be upon them.” Lev 20:27 wiz·ard ( w¹z“…rd) n. 1. One who practices magic; a sorcerer or magician.
There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard,or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee.”Deut 18:10-12
V. The Definition of the spirit of Divination.
The practice of foretelling the future through different mediums is the spirit of Divination. The Gallop polls states that one in four adults reads astrology columns in the newspaper, and believe their lives are governed by the stars. Here in America we have Horoscope readers, palm readers, tarot cards, crystal ball, and Ouija boards.
VI. King Saul sought after a witch in the spirit of Necromancy.
nec·ro·man·cy ( nµk“r…-m²n”s¶) n. 1. The practice of supposedly communicating with the spirits of the dead in order to predict the future.
“Then said Saul unto his servants, Seek me a woman that hath a familiar spirit, that I may go to her, and inquire of her. And his servants said to him, Behold, there is a woman that hath a familiar spirit at Endor.  And Saul disguised himself, and put on other raiment, and he went, and two men with him, and they came to the woman by night: and he said, I pray thee, divine unto me by the familiar spirit, and bring me him up, whom I shall name unto thee.” 1 Sam 28:7-13
“And Samuel said to Saul, Why hast thou disquieted me, to bring me up? And Saul answered, I am sore distressed; for the Philistines make war against me, and God is departed from me, and answereth me no more, neither by prophets, nor by dreams: therefore I have called thee, that thou mayest make known unto me what I shall do.  Then said Samuel,Wherefore then dost thou ask of me, seeing the LORD is departed from thee, and is become thine enemy? And the LORD hath done to him, as he spake by me: for the LORD hath rent the kingdom out of thine hand, and given it to thy neighbour, even to David: Because thou obeyedst not the voice of the LORD, nor executedst his fierce wrath upon Amalek, therefore hath the LORD done this thing unto thee this day. Moreover the LORD will also deliver Israel with thee into the hand of the Philistines: and to morrow shalt thou and thy sons be with me: the LORD also shall deliver the host of Israel into the hand of the Philistines.” 1 Sam 28:15-19
VII. The Spirit that Deceives.
Strong Delusion
 “Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” 2 Thess. 2:9-12
“And the LORD said, Who shall persuade Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead? And one said on this manner, and another said on that manner. And there came forth a spirit, and stood before the LORD, and said, I will persuade him. And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, Thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also: go forth, and do so. Now therefore, behold, the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil concerning thee.”1 Kings 22:20-23
“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.” 2 Cor. 11:14-15
Conclusion: The best way to stand against this spirit is to allow the Word of God to rule our lives. God gives us power over that spirit only when we follow His commands. The spirit of deception was given to those who refused the truth of God’s Word. As Satan (in the form of a serpent) deceived Eve in the Garden of Eden by changing the Word of God, the spirit of Python is still at work today.
A revised message from "Letters From Home."
Hey, Listen up! God is Talking
Introduction: Isn’t it strange how storms always seem to have an positive effect on people of faith. The disciples were afraid and were in need of help. When Jesus shows up in the storm, they willingly received him into the ship… I have notice in my forty years of service for the Lord, that most people are more willing to surrender to the Lord when trouble comes into their lives. They become more spiritual, and more dedicated to the things of God when they are facing some dilemma that is beyond their control. They become more willing to receive the things of the Lord, all because (“By reason”) of the storm.
Text: "And the sea arose by reason” of a great wind that blew.
So when they had rowed about five and twenty or thirty furlongs, they see Jesus walking on the sea, and drawing nigh unto the ship: and they were afraid. But he saith unto them, It is I; be not afraid. “Then” ( By reason ) they willingly received him into the ship: and immediately the ship was at the land whither they went."John 6:18-21
I. We really don’t know why this storm came up, but most likely to test their faith. We know that the disciples were glad when the Lord showed up. Storms are certain, inescapable, inevitable, sure, and  unavoidable. They come to the wise, and to the foolish.
Matt 7:24-27
 "Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it."
II. Sometimes:
  • Storms test our faith.
Matt 8:24-27
 "And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep. And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!"
  •  Storms are for punishment.
2 Sam 12:10-13
 "Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife. Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun. For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun. And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die."
  •  Storms serve as a warning to those who sin.
John 5:5-6
 And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years.
 When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole?
John 5:8-9
Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.
 And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath.
John 5:14
"Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee."
  • Storms of the past are viewed as an example not to sin.
Jude 7
" Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire."
  •  Storms are for discipline. 
Heb 12:5-11
"And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby."
III. By reason of a great wind that blew, these willingly received the Lord: and immediately …
A.Re-spond-ed  to be a witness for God.
Mrs. Eareckson  Tada, a well known author  who was paralyzed many years ago by an accident makes an astonishing statement of her life in Christ. Had not Christ intervened in her life she would have not experienced the freedom of the spirit that came through the prison of her handicap. She gives great witness to the power of God in her testimonies and her writings.
B. Re-quest-ed  mercy of the Lord.
During 9/11 2001 when the twin towers was blown up, A man in New York city holding a sign saying, “Pray for us”.
When real trouble comes men pray.  During the wars, you could hear mothers and fathers pray for their boys.
When Apostle Paul was struck down with blindness three days he ask the Lord, “What will you have me to do.”
C. Re-turn-ed  his focus on God.
 I was talking to one of my close relatives the other day. He has been sick for a long time and getting worse as time goes by. Some time before the sickness I was impressed to go visit and to tell him that there was a storm coming and he needed to prepare for it. I didn’t really know what was coming but I knew for certain there was a storm in the making. I believed at that time it was possible that this storm could have been avoided if only he had surrendered to the Lord. The other day while visiting I asked  him this question. “Do you think that its possible that you would not have prayed if you hadn’t gotten sick? His reply, “I probably wouldn’t have.” He said, “I pray a lot now.”
D. Re-cover-ed  from an issue of blood.
Mark 5:25-29
" And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years,
 And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse,
When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment. For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole. And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague".
This is the reason this woman willingly received Jesus during her storm. She heard of Jesus.   Jesus uses storms to draw attention to Himself. We that are in the ministry must tell others that the storm in their life can be stilled by their willingness to receive Jesus into their lives.
a. Issue of blood for twelve years.
b. Suffered many things of many physicians.
c. She’s broke spent everything on doctor bills.
d. There’s no improvement.
e. Getting worse.
This woman is at her lowest point, her resources are gone. She is getting worse from the issue of blood. By the reason of all her trouble, she hears of Jesus, then she willingly receives the Lord. It is strange, but nevertheless true, God uses storms to get men to hear and willingly receive Him into their lives. I like how immediately or straightway she was made whole when Jesus came into her life.
E. Re-stor-ed to life again.
Luke 15:11-20
"And he said, A certain man had two sons: And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living. And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him. And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry."
F.Re-instat-ed to his former position.
 "Then Jonah prayed unto the LORD his God out of the fish's belly,
 And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice. For thou hadst cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas; and the floods compassed me about: all thy billows and thy waves passed over me. Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look agaitoward thy holy temple. The waters compassed me about, even to the soul: the depth closed me round about, the weeds were wrapped about my head. I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me forever: yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O, Lord my God." Jonah 2:1-8
" But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD. And the LORD spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land. Jonah 2:9-10
G.Re-pent-ed of their sin and the storm was averted.
And the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the second time, saying,
Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee.
 So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days' journey.
 And Jonah began to enter into the city a day's journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown. So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them. Jonah 3:1-5
 "And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not."Jonah 3:10
Conclusion: Will you be wise to prepare for the storm that is approaching? Jesus is willing to come into your life if only you will receive him.
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