georgebakerlettersfromhome - Reaching the Lost for Christ!
 


The Great Provider


Introduction: An story was told years ago of an old Indian who made his way into a western settlement in search of food in order that he wouldn't starve to death. A bright colored ribbon was hanging around his neck and a small dirty pouch hanging from it. He was asked what was in the pouch. He said it was a charm given him in his younger days. He opened the pouch and gave the paper to the man who was asking about it. It was an old crumbled looking paper which was his discharge from the Federal Army, signed by George Washington himself. It entitled him to a pension for life.

          Here was a man according to this story who was promised a pension only if he would present it to the proper authorities and by doing so he would be given ample provision for his needs. This reminds me of another man who went on a voyage with his family as the story was told who paid the fair for his entire family. On the ship the family did not eat from the dining area, but from what they had brought from home. Had not the one who were in charge overseeing the passengers told them that their meals were included in their fare they would have missed out on the free meals in the cafeteria. So my intention here this day is to inform you that God has made proper provisions for you through the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
         

          Text: "My God shall supply all your need according to his  riches in glorby Christ Jesus" Phil. 4:19

 

 

 I.  The Sourceof the Supply. " God."

 

          A Personal Resource - "My God"

         

                   How Personal?

 

                    1. The Lord is "My Shepherd" -  Ps. 23

                   2. "Our Father" which art in heaven...

 

II. The Suretyof the Supply. " Pledge"

 

          A Provisional Promise - "Shall supply all your need."

 

                   Ps 37:25 I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not  seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging  bread.

 

III. The Sufficiencyof the Supply." Superabundant"

         

          A Plenteous Supply - "According to his riches in Glory."

 

IV. The Solution for the Supply. The Blessed Son.

 

          A Precious Savior - "By Christ Jesus."

 

 

V.The Saintsfor the benefit.Paul is speaking to a specific group of people here.

 

          Compensation - Payment, benefit, profit, reward, that we are entitled to  when we are the children of God, and follow the Lord in giving.

 

  • Firstly,the people in the benefit. This refers primarily to the people in the church in Philippi who had contributed to Paul's support, however this applies to all of those who follow the Lord in giving. If this happens without any conditions  applied or to be meet, (that is God supplying all your need) why give?

 

          Luke 6:38 "Give, and it shall be given unto you; good  measure, pressed  down, and shaken together, and running  over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same  measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you   again."      

 

  • Secondly,the prerequisite (requirement) for the benefit.  The requirement for this benefit is faithfulness insupporting the Gospel. If you want this text to apply to you as it applied to the Philippian believers, you must give as they gave.

         

          Phil 4:10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at   the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity.

         

          Phil 4:14-16 Notwithstanding ye have well done, that   ye did communicate with my affliction. Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the    gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church  communicated with me as concerning giving and  receiving, but ye only. For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity.

 

          A. Conditions to meet for God to bless.

 

         Prov. 3:9-10 Honor the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.
 

         Mal 3:8-12 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed   me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes  and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have   robbed me, even this whole nation Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there  may be meat in mine house, and prove me now  herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I   will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a  blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive  it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes,  and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in  the field, saith the LORD of hosts. And all nations shall   call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land,  saith the LORD of hosts.

 

          B. The New Testament instructions for giving. We are not  under the curse, because we are not under the law. Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for  us.

         

          2 Cor 9:1-8 For as touching the ministering to the saints, it is          superfluous ( unnecessary) for me to write to you: For I know the  forwardness of your mind, for which I boast of you to them of  Macedonia, that Achaia was ready a year ago; and your zeal hath  provoked very many. Yet have I sent the brethren, lest our boasting  of you should be in vain in this behalf; that, as I said, ye may be  ready: Lest haply if they of Macedonia come with me, and find  you unprepared, we (that we say not, ye) should be ashamed in this same confident boasting. Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort  the brethren, that they would go before unto you, and make up  beforehand your bounty (offering), whereof ye had notice before,   that the same might be ready, as a matter of bounty, and not as of  covetousness. But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall also reap  sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also  bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so  let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a   cheerful giver. ( This is not saying that God will not do what he  said he would do in Malachi 3:8-12 and Proverbs 3:9, but this is  the New Testament way of giving.) And God is able to make all   grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in   all things, may abound to every good work: ( This is saying that   God will supply your needs when you obey in this principle of  giving ( giving little or much, but you must give without grudging   or of necessity (requirement) and will also make you abound in blessings so you will be able to help others in all good works.


 

VI.The sourceof the benefit."According to his riches in glory." The source is the wealthiest source known to man. It is the bank of heaven ("in glory"). Thus the source will never be depleted; it will never dry up. Deflation will never affect it.

 

VII. The Saviorin the benefit. "By Christ Jesus." Our blessings as believers are all connected to Jesus Christ. Any blessing a believer receives can be said to be "by Christ Jesus." He is the means of all our blessings.

 

Conclusion: There are a of people who suffer lack today who need to hear about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He is not only the Savior but a great provider.




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 was 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 beginning of the progressive ministry of Jesus is at Jerusalem, in the streets. From there to Judea, and to Samaria. Last but not least, because the nature of this movement is constantly on the move, to all 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 my earlier years of following Jesus I will dare to say He was my Savior. As I began to grow and learn how to follow Him in His Word I notice He began to be the Lord of my life. Jesus is not just wanting to be your Savior but also your Lord. Only by being obedient to His spirit and Word will Jesus be truly your Lord and Savior. 


            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 turn  to 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 setbefore 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 out into 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

            Strategy is having a plan of action. To have a manual if you will, of the procedures to follow is the necessary step in order to have success in this progressive outreach. Jesus is giving the marching orders. They must be followed.




            D. The Licking of Satan

            "And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto 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 the  power 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 Genesis 3:15 the Word of God predicts the defeat of Satan. In that portion of Scripture we find that the seed of the woman (Jesus) would bruise the head of Satan. This happened at Calvary. Thank God that Jesus won the victory for us. This does not mean that we will win without a struggle. The bruising of the heel speaks of Jesus being crucified. Those who follow Jesus will be bruised as well, however this is not a fatal blow. Our success will be determined by our obedience to our Lord as He was obedient to His Father.


Conclusion: God has a proven record of winning. Praise God for  the victory that is in Jesus Christ our Lord.   

 




“The Importance of the Doctrines of Revelation, Inspiration, Inerrancy, Authority, and Canon for the Twenty-first Century Church." 
 
 
George Baker
Introduction to the Doctrine of the Bible
September 11, 2014
 
 
 
        “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”  (John 1:1). Only by revelation could we know this truth. God in His purpose has chosen to let man know about certain things which otherwise would be hidden. ”The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.”(Deut 29:29) 
 
 Revelation is the communication of this truth man could not otherwise know apart from God. Because God is infinite, man could never understand Him. The nature and plan of God are contrary to sinful man, so finite humans could not understand God if they would try (1 Cor. 2:9-11). But man will not understand because sin is rebellion against God. And man could not understand God if they wanted to, for only God can understand God. Therefore, God chose to reveal everything we know about himself to us.[1]
 
            In God’s attempt to save man and bring him back to his position before the fall, would take a long process, nearly 4,000 years. Without some guidelines and information of the coming events would make it nearly impossible to do so. The Bible is the source of this information. God at sundry times and different ways would reveal this redemption story and 2,000 years ago he brought Jesus into the world to die and redeem us back to himself. What was lost in the first Adam was gained back through the last Adam which was Christ. This marvelous plan would be revealed through the Word of God from Genesis throughout all the writings of the Bible. God has chosen general and special revelation to witness to man.
 
Revelation is usually discussed in two ways, general and special revelation. General comes to us from nature to reveal the existence and power of God (Romans 1:18-20). General revelation also comes from the conscience (Romans 2:14, 15) and finally, from the existence of law in or through history (Romans 2:1). Special revelation comes to us from scripture in particular and through the revelation of God in Jesus Christ specifically (John 1:10).[2]
 
The Christian doctrine is that the living personal God directly and objectively manifests himself by intelligible words, commands and acts. God's redemptive revelation is given once for all at definite times and places, but he also is continually disclosed in nature and history and in and to the mind and conscience of man universally. The inspired Biblical writings present us with logically consistent and supernaturally authoritative teaching, authenticated by miracle and by fulfilled prophecy. The prophetic and apostolic divine revelation, now complete, and the pre-eschatological revelation given in Jesus Christ, and the content of this revelation, gathered up for us in the Bible, as Β. B. Warfield said, now serve as God's full and final revelation. The historic Christian view is that revelation is given in the form of verbal truths inerrantly conveyed in the inspired prophetic-apostolic writings.[3]
 
          How accurate is the scriptures found in the Word of God? It is as though God himself breathed them upon the pages of the Bible. The Bible said all of the scripture, not most of them were inspired by God.  Inspiration means “God breathed.” As though God himself wrote the Bible. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” (2 Tim 3:16-17).
 
Is "God-breathed" in 2 Timothy 3:16 to be considered as incidental and thus attributive? This writer thinks not! Θεόπνευστος is as much a main point as ωφέλιμος. Paul had used πάσα γραφή in verse 16 in contrast to ϊερα γράμματα in verse 15 to show the additional value of apostolic Scripture. A "reminder of its divine origin is perfectly appropriate in a passage intended to impress on his disciple its value both as authenticating the Christian message and as a pastoral instrumental."The term θεόπνευστος is not just an incidental description of γραφή; it is also a focal point of the passage. Paul first shows Scripture's origin and then he shows its practicality. Scripture's main attestation is that it is God-breathed, that is, it originates in God. So "the emphasis is that Scripture partakes of the quality of the creative breath of God,"and Scripture is profitable. This results in the (Christian) man being "perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." If Scripture is not God-breathed, the believer has no equipment for the spiritual battles of life; and if all Scripture is not God-breathed, the Christian cannot be sure as to which portion of Scripture he may hold as infallible truth.[4]
 
          When we speak of Inspiration we have established that it is the Word that is breathed of God. Let us look at what being inspired is all about, it means to affect, and arouse by divine influence. Also to encourage and to stimulate energy. No wonder the Bible says that Jesus has come to give life and to give it abundantly. “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10). The spirit will affect and arouse you physically as well as spiritually. “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:8). The spirit on the day of Pentecost was stimulating and arousing by Divine influence. “But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.”( Acts 2:14-15). We see that the spirit does have an effect on the physical body in a positive way. The body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and when the spirit moves us it will always be in a positive way. When the minister preaches by the inspiration of God the results will be that men will have faith that God has spoken instead of mere words of men. “And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” (1 Cor. 2:4-5). The inspiration of God is the Word manifested in the Bible. The Word is Jesus manifested in the flesh. The spirit which abides within the believer is the spirit of Christ.  The spirit of Christ is what inspired the prophets to speak and write. “Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.” (1 Peter 1:10-11). The mystery that was hidden in ages past is now revealed to us by the gospel that Christ is the creator. “And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:”(Eph. 3:9).
 
 The whole matter of Scripture's inerrancy impinges upon the Scripture's unique character and quality as the inspired Word of God (2 Tim. 3: 16; 2 Pet. 1: 19-21), and upon the fact that Scripture attests, and, so, also proves that it never errs, is deceitful, or wrong (2 Tim. 3: 16; John 10: 35). At times it is claimed that this is a deduction drawn from the fact of Scripture's inspiration. If so, then it is a necessary one, implicit in the very nature of God's Word. But the position expressed by Jesus in John 10: 35, concerning the fact that Scripture cannot be broken, even to the extent of one point or one word, is a sustained theme that runs through all of the Scriptural Word, and hence not mere implication, but clear avowal! Thus inerrancy, like inspiration, is Scripture's teaching concerning itself and no deduction.[5]
 
         I would like for those who are eager to change the Word of God to remember that those who translated the scriptures from the original Greek and Hebrew were highly learned men with scholarly achievements. Many of them had PhD’s and many had master degrees. There were those who knew the languages of the Hebrew and Greek. The number was around fifth-four and they split up in groups and compared their work and agreed on what should be the 1611 King James text. There are those who say that Easter is a bad translation in Acts 12:4. “When he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people.” (Acts 12:4). Some say the best translation would have been Passover. You must remember that there were 54 men who determined to put it Easter. I have thought that they wanted everyone to know that this was the day that Jesus rose from the day and they did not want to associate it to the Jewess Passover. My belief  is this that God superintended these great men to bring us the purest translation in our day. Jesus said, “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.”( Matt. 5:18).
        The authority of the Bible is based upon 500 eye-witnesses in the early church who said that Christ Jesus was raised from the dead. The authority of the Bible is based upon a number of facts which are undeniable. One is the witness of the spirit that comes into the life of the believer at conversion. The witness of a changed life speaks of the authority of the Bible. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2 Cor. 5:17). That we have a new heart that loves is proof of authority. “We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.” (1 John 3:14). We can have faith that the Bible is of the most authoritative source of truth when our prayers are answered. “And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.” (1 John 3:19-22). 
 
So we may say that the Bible exercises compelling authority in the articulation and proclamation of our faith about God and his ways with his creatures. The Bible possesses compelling authority in the way in which the community of faith sees itself and organizes its life in such a way as to be an effective instrument of God's reconciling activity in the world. And the Bible wields authentic authority when through the working of the Spirit within the fellowship of the Body, the reader, in faith and trust, hears the living Word of God break through the written words of the text and address him or her with the ineluctable power of Truth itself. Ultimately the authority of the Bible is the God who is revealed in Jesus Christ.[6]
 
          The truth is a person, and not an idea or some abstract impersonal expression. His name is Jesus Christ. “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6). They who questioned Jesus’ authority was answered this way. “And spake unto him, saying, Tell us, by what authority doest thou these things? or who is he that gave thee this authority? And he answered and said unto them, I will also ask you one thing; and answer me: The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men? And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say, Why then believed ye him not?  But and if we say, Of men; all the people will stone us: for they be persuaded that John was a prophet. And they answered, that they could not tell whence it was.  And Jesus said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things.” (Luke 20:2-8).
 
In the last decade, interest in the canon has increased significantly. Such interest, of course, comes to expression in numerous articles and books on the subject. Even publishing houses get in on the act. I am thinking of the so-called ecumenical Bible published in 1973 by Collins in New York City. This Bible is the Revised Standard Version, which has in addition to the OT and NT the apocryphal and deuterocanonical books. On the cover the term "Common Bible" appears, obviously to promote sales among Protestants, Catholics and members of the Greek Orthodox communion. Strictly speaking, however, this ecumenical Bible is not so "common," because Protestants do not accept the apocryphal and deuterocanonical books as canonical.[7]
 
        Before the dead sea scroll were found there were times when men would deny or would question the canon of scripture , because of the limited resources of text. Since there were found a great number of manuscripts that had agreement in their text there has been fewer comments on canonicity of the scriptures. Since Satan can’t win the battle, he wants to join in with the truth in order to dilute the message of Christ. Pseudepigraphal (false) writings of the Catholic church is a major concern for those who love the truth. Those who determine what goes into the canon of scriptures test the writings by the authentic text which match or coincide with the original manuscripts. Sound doctrine is the word we must use in this discussion. When the false writings do not match other manuscripts they are dismissed from the original canon of scripture. Men at work in God’s Word are not absent from the author. God is guarding and watching over His Word. The best policy is not to add or subtract from what He has given His children. “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” (Rev 22:18-19.)
 
            Bibliography
 
 
Bratcher, Galveston Robert. "Toward a definition of the authority of the Bible." Perspectives In    
     Religious Studies 6, no. 2 (1979): 109-120
 
 
Henry, F. H Carl. "The priority of divine revelation : a review article." Journal Of The     
     Evangelical Theological Society 27, no. 1 (1984): 77-92.
 
 
House, H. Wayne. "Biblical inspiration in 2 Timothy 3:16." Bibliotheca Sacra 137, no. 545   
      (1980): 54-63
 
 
Kistemaker, Simon. "Canon of the New Testament." Journal Of The Evangelical Theological  
    Society 20, no. 1 (1977): 3-14.
 
 
Klug, F. Eugene. "Saving faith and the inerrancy of scripture." Springfielder 39, no. 4 (1976):   
     203-211
 
 
Towns, L. Elmer. Concise Bible Doctrines (Chattanooga, Tennessee: AMG Publishers, 2006),  25.
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
WHY IS JESUS THE ONLY SAVIOR?
 
      In the seventies and eighties there was a man that was considered the greater influence in the financial markets. He was a genius in making decisions for the company he established regarding investments. There was a slogan back then and still today is reminiscent for those who are following certain means in achieving their financial dreams. “When E.F. Hutton speaks everyone listens.”E. F. Hutton & Co. was an American stock brokerage firm founded in 1904 by Edward Francis Hutton, his brother Franklyn Laws Hutton, and Gerald M. Loeb. Under their leadership, it became one of the most respected financial firms in the United States.[1] There is a central truth in that slogan, and we can learn a lot about that in religion. That success is measured a lot in the number of the following. That means that people are listening because of the success of Mr. Hutton and of those that follow his adice. 
     The Bible believers are following the advice that God has given in His Word regarding Jesus Christ. In the Word of God, Jesus is not only a way, but He is the only way to God. Jesus makes this statement, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6). In other passages this is repeated by other men. The Apostle Peter says, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”(Acts 4:12). The great Apostle Paul spoke by the inspiration of God that there was only one person who could mediate on the behalf of mankind. “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.”(1 Tim 2:5-6). Look at the numbers that have trusted Christ and the success they are having through their faith.
 Mr. Edwards says it this way:
 
My first Objective is thus to speak about the shoreline. My second objective is then to speak about the current. We do not observe the shoreline - the story about Jesus - from a fixed and immutable vantage point. No age does, and ours is no exception. We view the shoreline while being carried in a riptide itself of culture values and assumptions. It is easy to think yourself stationary in a riptide when in fact you are not. My second objective is to examine the riptide itself, that is, the contemporary movement that account for the interest in Jesus today and the widely differing opinions of Him. These currents include Enlightenment rationalism and the scientific method, pluralism, moral relativism, postmodernism, the quest for peace, and the challenge of other religions. It is from the vantage point of these currents that that we see the shoreline. We need to consider how they influence our understanding of the gospel, and particularly its central claim that Jesus Christ is the sole and sufficient savior of the world.[2]
 
      In man’s attempt to discredit the accuracy of the Bible he has devised different means which are mention in the previous quote of Mr. Edwards. One of the best ways to prove the accuracy of the scriptures is found in the conformity of all the different manuscripts found concerning the Bible. Nearly all of them without exception agree on the subject matter in each text. Mr. Edwards comments:
 
Prior to the discovery of the Dead Sea scrolls there were times that the biblical texts were tainted and even had some alteration, were the claims of some skeptics. The discovery of the scrolls in 1947 put this kind of argument to rest. No reputable scholar today doubts that the text of any New Testament book is in material agreement with its authorial wording. The wealth of manuscripts of the New Testament, their unparalleled proximity to the life of Jesus, and the faithfulness of scribes in copying biblical texts combine to ensure that the text of the New Testament is, with the exception of minor disagreements, virtually with its original source documents.[3]
 
      How can the Bible compete with so many religions today? Because it is the only book which is called, “The Living Word.” “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever.” (1 Peter 1:23) The Word of God became the incarnate man. That man was Jesus Christ. “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14). Since Jesus is the Word of God and the Word is Jesus, we know that the Bible is alive. No other book written stands with the Bible.
     The historical facts about Jesus, in the Bible, do not stand alone because there are other sources outside of the Biblical text. The Jewess historian Josephus recites the "Testimonium Flavianum," the relevant portion declares:
 
About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one ought to call him a man. For he . . . wrought surprising feats. . . . He was the Christ. When Pilate . . .condemned him to be crucified, those who had . . . come to love him did not give up their affection for him. On the third day he appeared . . . restored to life. . . . And the tribe of Christians . . . has . . . not disappeared.[4]
 
Did Josephus really write this? Most scholars think the core of the passage originated with Josephus, but that it was later altered by a Christian editor, possibly between the third and fourth century A.D., but why do they think it was altered? Josephus was not a Christian.[5] He was just like any other historian of his day, he wrote what was happening in Jerusalem concerning all of the events. He was not bias, nor was he writing to please men. His writings were objective without being influenced by emotions or personal prejudices. Josephus was a credible witness, not only in his day, but also in our day. What a God we serve, in that He is able to counter all of the enemy’s attempts to make light of the Word of God. The winds are blowing but thank God for the shoreline. The Bible will never move from its location, it is forever settle in heaven. 
      Lucian of Samosata was a second century Greek satirist. In one of his works, he wrote of the early Christians as follows:
 
The Christians . . . worship a man to this day--the distinguished personage who introduced their novel rites, and was crucified on that account. . . . [It] was impressed on them by their original lawgiver that they are all brothers, from the moment that they are converted, and deny the gods of Greece, and worship the crucified sage, and live after his laws.[6]
 
      In our world today we have those who believe that truth is not absolute but only relative to the persons or groups holding them. Therefore history can change from one generation to another, because each generation is writing their own interpretation of what they think is right.
 
If one travels this road of relativism, he cannot see the Jesus as He is presented in the Scriptures and as He was preached in the early church. But if one travels the road of both faith and objective acceptance of the record of the Scriptures and gains an understanding of its truths, then this Jesus, the same yesterday, today, yea and forever, can be known in the heart of experience today as well. Some cameras have a view-finder which shows two images until it is brought in proper focus, then the images coincide. Even so the historical Jesus will coincide with the kerygmatic Christ when they are in proper focus, and Jesus will advance to meet us upon our response to Him. To see Jesus as He actually was necessitates a committal of life to Him as Lord and Savior as He actually is.[7]
 
     There is a passage in the Bible which tells us, “For what if some did not believe? Shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, that thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.” (Rom 3:3-4).
     Rationalism is the philosophy ortheory that the exercise of reason, rather than the acceptance of empiricism, authority, or spiritual revelation, provides the only valid basis for action or belief and that reason is the prime source of knowledge and of spiritual truth.
     Rationalism, pluralism, (The doctrine that reality is composed of many ultimate substances, andthe belief that no single explanatory system or view of reality can account for all the phenomena of life) and scientific empiricism whichare thephilosophical views that there are no ultimate differences among the various sciences. The Bible speaks of such men: “Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (2 Tim 3:7). These are the so-called intellectuals which are teaching in most of the schools of higher learning. What can you expect from those who know not God? The Bible says, “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Cor. 2:14).
     The New Age movement, being mixed with these beliefs, is insisting that we all will eventually reach heaven. It is reasonable and takes away from being prejudice against other religions. This sound reasonable enough if only the Bible had not got in the way of this philosophy. Reason and logic is not always the criteria to follow when searching for truth. To say that everyone will eventually go to heaven is an outright untruth. The only way to get to heaven is to receive Jesus Christ as the only Lord and savior. If you attempt to go to heaven without Christ you are the same as a thief and robber. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.” (John 10:1).
 
Getting back to rationalism (that reason is the prime source of knowledge and of spiritual truth). How rational should a person be? There is nothing so reasonable to Mayhew as that one should be sober-minded and truly reasonable. If there is a God who is perfect Creator and Lord, then it is most reasonable that one should love, trust, and obey him. Moreover, since there is abundant rational evidence to prove that Jesus Christ came into the world to enlighten it and redeem it, it is reasonable to submit to his teaching and authority. There are very few things that the gospel requires as duties that the light of nature does not also show to be such. Likewise, the gospel forbids few things as sinful that reason and conscience do not also show to be wrong. The reasonableness of all the gospel’s requirements is obvious to all who will duty attends to them. Therefore, the sobriety of mind that consists in a due regard to God, Jesus Christ, and the divine commandments is, according to Mayhew, “highly reasonable; the most rational thing in the world.”[8]
 
     The many winds of doctrine are blowing many off course. The Bible is the compass. If we follow its precepts we can land safely on heavens shore. The truth about Jesus in the historical pages of God’s Word teaches us that Jesus is the only way to God. The skeptics cannot reason away that truth with their many philosophies. The Word of God abides forever, and has stood the test of time.
 
 
Bibliography
 
Edwards, R. James “Is Jesus the Only Savior?” Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdsman B. Publishing Company, 2005,7.
 
 
Foster, A. Lewis, “Basis for the historical Jesus.” Bulletin of The Evangelical Theological Society 6, no. 4    (1963):105-113.
       
Gragg, Alan. “The Supernatural Rationalism of Jonathan Mayhew. “Perspectives In Religious Studies 13, No 2 (1968): 113-124.
 
 
Josephus, Antiquities 18.63-64, cited in Yamauchi, "Jesus Outside the New Testament", 212.
 
 
Lucian, The Death of Peregrine, 11-13, in The Works of Lucian of Samosata, transl. by H.W. Fowler and F.G.  Fowler, 4 vols. Oxford: Clarendon, 1949, vol. 4., cited in Habermas, The Historical Jesus, 206.
 
 
 Popit, Barry”When E.F. Hutton Talks People Listen” Washington Post, pg. D10, (March 19, 2006) Accessed August 15, 2014, http://barrypokit.com/index.php/new_york_city.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  What is ailing you?
 
Introduction: Jesus Christ is soon to appear and claim His Church which he has purchased with His own blood. For the last two thousand years He has been doing cures in the life of every believer. Some instantaneously and some progressively. I’m sure that I’m not what I should be, but thanks to God I’m not what I used to be.
 
Text: “And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.” Luke 13:32
 
I. In this text the Lord Jesus is speaking of His resurrection which would take place after His death. However I believe that there is a prophetic message which speaks of the Church in her perfect state at His coming.
 
“That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”Eph 5:27
 
II. In order to bring the church to perfection He has given special gifts to men in order to bring this about.
 
“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:” Eph 4:11-13
 
III. In the text before the perfect state takes place two days must pass. In the mind of God a day is as a thousand years and a thousand years is as a day.
 
“But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” 2 Peter 3:8 
 
 IV. In the beginning when God created the world and all therein He rested on the seventh day, not that He was tired but that He had finished the creation. In that we see that there is significance in the number seven. Most Bible scholars agree that from the time of Adam to Christ is four thousand years. I guess you see where I’m going with this. Well I think the statement, “today and tomorrow” is the time period for the church age. Two thousand years has come and gone and the next event will be the rapture of the church. The seventh day will be the thousand year reign of Christ. We truly must be close to the end of this dispensation.
 
V. Let’s talk about the cures that Christ has been doing for the last 2,000 years.
 
 A. Here are the means by which the cures come. 
 
a. Confession
 
I stayed in the pool halls before finding Christ, (I was like the Athenians and strangers which were at Mars Hill who spent their time in nothing else,) Acts 17
I had a misspent youth and worship the god of gambling. Playing nine ball and double check and was possessed to be there. Lots of times I didn’t have money but I wanted to be around it.My mother pointed me to Christ and said, “You need to pray.” That’s what I did at the age of 22.·   
 
 
 Cure – Happens when sin is confessed. The cure is the effect of true confession.
 
Cure for sin
 
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just (to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness). 1 John 1:9 (This is the cure for sin.)
 
Cure for being Lost
 
“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. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Rom 10:9-10 (That is the cure for being lost.)
 
The Cure is the effect of confession- Being in Christ will effect or result in a cure.
 
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.” 2 Cor 5:17
 
I’m no longer bowing down to the god of gambling. Betting on sports, (horses, and ball games.)Buying lottery tickets, playing poker, slot machines. Old desires have been placed with new ones just because of confession.
 
b. Conversion
 
 
·         Cure- Happens when converted. The cure is the effect of true conversion.
 
 
The Cure is the effect of true Conversion.
 
 
“And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.  And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham.” Luke 19:8-9
 
c. Conviction
 
·         Cure – Happens when Convicted. The cure is the effect of true conviction.
 
I was preaching one night and reading the text found in I Peter.
“But let none of you (Christians) suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters. Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.” 1 Peter 4:15-16
 
The Holy Ghost spoke out of me and said,
“Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.”Mal 3:8-9
 
The Cure is the effect of true conviction
 
From that night to this day I can say I’ve been cured. I am not preaching to condemn anyone but to testify that Jesus is doing cures, and some of us is taking longer to be cured than others. It took me about 25 years to learn but was only cured after being convicted.
 
Conclusion: If you are having problems in your life, let Jesus be your cure today.



 
 
"Staying with God's Stuff"
 
 
Introduction: To stay means to continue to be in a place. It also means to hold out or persevere to the end.
A. From Abraham to David.
 
“Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house,unto a land that I will shew thee: “Gen 12:1
So Abram departed,
And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land:
thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years;  And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance.  
Abraham sojourns in the land with Isaacs and Jacob being heirs of the same promise.
 
Abraham and Isaacs dies and Jacob enters the land of Egypt with seventy souls, and Joseph already being in Egypt.
 
At the end of 430 years the self same day God brought them out of Egypt. The children of Israel stayed in the wilderness for 40 years, and came into the land of Canaan. The Lord destroyed 7 nations and divided the by lot unto the children of Israel. For the next 450 years God gave them Judges until the time of Samuel. The people desired a king and God gave them Saul the son of Kish of the tribe of Benjamin. When God was in the process of removing him, Samuel anoints David to be the next King. Saul becomes very envious of David and seeks to kill David. When Samuel dies David goes into the land of the Philistines saying Saul will surely kill me if I stay in land.
 
 
David stays there for 16 months. Achish the King of Gath welcomes David and gives the city of Ziklag to David and his men and their families. The Lord of the Philistines tells Achish that they would allow David to fight on a given day and sent David back to Ziklag. David finds all the people gone and the city burnt with fire.
 
1. They weep over their families.
2. They thought of stoning David.
3. David encourages himself in the Lord.
4. Calls for Abiathar to bring the Ephod to enquire of the Lord.
5. The Lord tells David to pursue and that they would overtake them and would recover all without fail.
6. David pursues and goes after the Amalekites and when they get to to the brook Bezor 200 of David’s men are unable to go because they became so faint.
 
 
 “As his part is that goeth down to the battle, so shall his part be that tarrieth by the stuff: they shall part alike. David rewarded according to the 200 men’s faithfulness to their assignment and not to their achievements on the front lines.
 
 
II. Stay with God’s stuff. There are four admonitions that I want to talk about tonight.
 
The Four Admonitions are:
 
1. Stay with Godly Advice
                    2. Stay with Godly Associations
3. Stay with a Godly Attitude
4. Stay with Godly Assignments.
 
 
Text: “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, (thats about Godly advice.)
 
 
 Nor standeth in the way of sinners, (Thats about who and what you associateyourselves with.)
 
 
Nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. (Thats about your attitude.)
 
 
But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. (Thats about your assignment each day.)
 
 
And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. (Thats Godly advancement )
 
 
The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.” Ps :1-6
 
 
III. There are four Godly Advancements in this promise:
 
1. A tree planted by the rivers of waters.
2. That brings forth fruit in his season.
3. His leaf shall not wither.
4. Whatsoever he doth shall prosper.
 
 
IV. The peril of not staying with God’s stuff.
 
 
The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.
 
 
·        Abraham
 
 
 God told Abram to leave kindred and father’s house "TO THE LAND WHICH i WILL SHOW THEE", and he departed with his father and Lot. From Haran to Canaan he takes Lot which is his kindred. He goes south into Egypt from the assignment of going to the land which God gave him. (The land of Canaan) The results were telling a lie and having his wife taken from him. However God did intervene and saved them both.
 
 
·        Naomi  
 
 
“I went out full, and the LORD hath brought me home again empty: why then call ye me Naomi, seeing the LORD hath testified against me, and the Almighty hath afflicted me?” Ruth 1:21
 
 
·        The Prodigal Son  
 
 
“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.” Luke 15:12-14
 
 
·        Esau
 
 
 “Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.” Heb 12:16-17
 
V. The First Admonition
 
 
A. Stay with Godly Advice. (WALKETH NOT IN THE COUNCIL OF THE UNGODLY)
 
 
“This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” Josh 1:8
 
 
“My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.” Prov 4:20-22
 
 
God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged. Rom 3:4  
 
 
a. How to find God? The big question today.
 
 
·        Gagarin the Soviet Cosmonaut in 1961who was the first man in space said, “I see no God.”Later on it was revealed that Nikita Khrushchev said it and attributed to Gagarin saying it because the people would accept it better from the space man.
 
 
“The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.” Ps 53:1
 
 
God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” “John 4:24
 
 
“For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:” Rom 1:20
 
 
 
·        Oprah Winnfrey said that all paths lead to this God. All religions will help us find that God.
 
 
"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." John 14:6
 
 
"Neither is there salvationin any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." Acts 4:12
 
 
·        The Roman Catholic says that Mary is the mother of God and can pray for sinners at the hour of their death.
 
 
1 Tim 2:5-6 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
 
 
VI. The Second Admonition
 
 
A. Stay with Godly Associates- (Standeth not in the way of sinners) 
 
Standeth means to firmly fix in ones actions. The way of sinners is a path or a course of action or conduct.
 
 
The way of sinners:
 
 
·         The way of Cain- Who slew his brother because his brother was righteous and he was evil.
 
·        The way of Balaam – Who loved the way or wages of unrighteous. God told him not to go and not to curse Israel. He taught Balak how to get God to curse Israel by telling him to bring women and meat offered to idols and have the men of Israel to commit fornication.
 
 
·        The way of Korah- Rebelled against Godly authority.
 
 
·         The way of Esau – A fornicator who sold his birthright and blessing for a mess of pottage.
 
 
 
 
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,” 2 Cor 6:14-17
 
a. K….
b. D….
c. My testimony- I quit running the pool halls.
d. 2 Cor 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
 
 
VII. The Third Admonition
 
A. Stay with a Godly Attitude- (Sitteth not in the seat of the scornful.)
 
 
Sitting means that you are at ease in your ridiculing of others.
 
 
a. Remember the seat between the cherubs ON THE ARK is the mercy seat and not the judgment seat. Judge not and ye will not be judge.
 
 
The woman caught in the very act of adultery was to be stoned but Jesus had mercy.
 
 
“So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.  And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.” John 8:7-9
To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men. Titus 3:2
 
 
“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” Eph 4:29
 
 
“Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.” Matt 7:12
 
 
“A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter.” Prov 11:13
 
 
 
 
VIII. The fourth Admonition
 
 
A. Stay with Godly Assignments- Reading and meditating day and night the Word.
 
 
1 Sam 25:10 And Nabal answered David's servants, and said, Who is David? and who is the son of Jesse? There be many servants now a days that break away every man from his master.
 
The Church where the pastor was missing.
 
 
·        I had thought it might be time to move on to something else
·        I got this passage on my way to visit another church.
·        The Pastor was missing that night and I preached this passage.
·        Later on I heard that he had left the church and had some problems.
·        I don’t know what happened to this brother I am not judging him but I do know that I learned not to leave my assignment.
·        I have been at my Home church for nearly 20 years and believe that I WILL STAY WITH God’s STUFF.
 
 
Conclusion: There are some who have broken away from God’s stuff but I believe that God is not a respecter of persons who will devise means that His banished will not be expelled from Him. Like Naomi who went out full and came back home again empty, and the Prodigal Son who left the father’s house with plenty who returned hungry and broken after living with the hogs. The father received him again with open arms. There is hope for all of us. Get back to God’s stuff.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Thirsty for God?
 
Introduction: David longs for his soul to be satisfied as one in need for water to quench his thirst.
 
 Text:  “O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;” Ps 63:1
 
A. He acknowledges a personal God.
B. He aims to be a man committed to prayer.
C. He asks for the things of God.
D. He aspires for fulfillment like one who drinks in a dry and thirsty land.
 
 
 “And David longed, and said, Oh that one would give me drink of the water of the well of Bethlehem, which is by the gate! And the three mighty men brake through the host of the Philistines, and drew water out of the well of Bethlehem, that was by the gate, and took it, and brought it to David: nevertheless he would not drink thereof, but poured it out unto the LORD.” 2 Sam 23:15-16
 
 
I.What is the thirsting in his dry and thirsty land?
 
 
A. To see thy power and thy glory, soas I have seenthee in the sanctuary. Ps 63:2
 
 
 One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in his temple. Ps 27:4
 
 
For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock. And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the LORD. Ps 27:5-6
 
a. Where is the place the power is to be seen? In the House of the Lord.
 
 
Matt 16:18-19 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. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
“For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power. 1 Cor 4:20
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Eph 6:10-12
 
 
“And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. 1 Cor 2:4-5
 
 
 
b. What is the Gory that is to be seen?The beauty of the Lord.
 
“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;.They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. Mark 16:15-18
 
 
The beauty of the Lord
 
 
1. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! Rom 10:14-15
 
 
2. Casting out devils and seeing the face of those who were delivered is a beauty thing.
 
 
3. Seeing men and women speaking and testifying in the church
with a new life is a beautiful thing.
 
 
4. Laying hands on the sick and seeing them recover is a beautiful thing. Bro Harley Hensley praying for a man who had cancer on his face. Came back to church healed in a few days was a beauty thing.
 
 
c. How is this brought about? By inquiring in His temple.
 
 
1. 44 years ago I knelt at a altar of prayer and my life was changed. A new creature indeed that no longer had to unlearn to use foul language, but was given a new heart and a new tongue. Old things passed away and behold all things became new. My pool room and desire to be with the old boys left.
 
 
d. The Benefits, I will sing praises unto the LORD.
 
1. Time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: , I will sing praises unto the LORD.
2. Shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me.
 
 
E. The Worship
 
1. I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy;
2.  I will sing praises unto the LORD.
 
 
II.Why is that importantto David? Also in my life his lovingkindness is better than anything I had in sin. Therefore I will praise him.
 
 
Because thy lovingkindness is better than life,” my lips shall praise thee. Ps 63:3
 
 
III.Who are the thirsty? The poor and needy.
 
 
“When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the LORD will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them. Isa 41:17
 
 
a. Woman at the well who was in need. She had a thirst which had not been quenched. She had five husbands and the one she was living with was not her own.
 
 
John 4:10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.
 
 
IV.What is likened to cold water?
 
 
“As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.” Prov 25:25
 
 
A. The good news is the gospel and the far country is heaven.
 
 
1. Jesus was made poor that we might be rich.
 
 
For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.” 2 Cor 8:9
 
 
2. Jesus was made sin that we might be righteous.
 
 
“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” 2 Cor 5:21
 
 
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. Isa 53:5
a. He was wounded that we might be free from our transgression.
b. He was bruised that we might not have iniquities.
c. He was chastised that we might have his peace.
d. He bore stripes that we might be healed.
e. He died that we might live.
 
 
B. Jesus speaks from heaven which is a far country.
 
 
“I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” Rev 22:16-17
 
 
C. Jesus promises us a prepared place in heaven.
 
 
“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” John 14:1-3
 
 
D. He promises to come in the clouds to get his church.
 
 
“But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” 1 Thess 4:13-18
 
 
E. He promises to come back to earth and all his saints will be with him.
 
 
“And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.” Zech 14:4
 
 
V. How is that thirst for God quenched? God pours water upon him that is thirsty.
 
 
 “For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring: Isa 44:3
 
 
VI. Who will give us that water today? Jesus
 
 
“In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.(But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)” John 7:37-39
 
 
a. In Acts the 8 chapter Samaria received Christ and were filled with Joy, however they were not filled the Holy Ghost because He had not fallen on them yet. When Peter and John came down they laid hands on them and they were filled.
b. In Acts 19 the Ephesians had not heard that there was such a thing as the Holy Ghost. Paul preaches to them about the Holy Ghost and they were filled.
 
 
VII. Can we be filled today?
 
 
“Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” Matt 5:6
 
 
“And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;” Eph 5:18
 
 
Conclusion: Jesus is the only way to peace and satisfaction. You’ll never find contentment apart from Christ. Ask Him to come into your heart today.
 
 
 
 
 
Saved because of Association?
 
Introduction: We receive the witness of men and believe them. We also should believe the witness of God.  The Bible says, “If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater:”1 John 5:9
 
 
Text: “One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established. Deut 19:15
“But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.” Matt 18:16
“This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.” 2 Cor 13:1
 
I. Tonight I want you to see that God has given us three major references of scripture concerning our family’s salvation.These passages of which I will speak are three which are more than enough to establish a truth. I mean that God will honor us in saving our household just because of our relationship and faithfulness to Him. Let me explain.
 
 
By faithNoah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.” Hebs. 11:7
 
 
By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:” Heb 11:8-9
 
 
“But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here. Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” Acts 16:28-31
 
 
II. Noah
 
Salvation
 
 
“But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.” Gen 6:8-9 
 
 
Steps
 
 
…and Noah walked with God.” Gen 6: 9 
 
 
S.O.P - God’s standard operating procedure
 
a. Stirs up - Warns of impending danger. Flood is coming.
b. Spurs us on – Moved with fear
c. Submission – prepared an ark
d. Salvation - to the saving of his house
 
 
Series  
 
Special method
 
 
“Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch.” Gen 6:14 
 
 
Style
 
 
And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits. A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it. Gen 6:15-16
 
 
Significance
 
 
“And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die.” Gen 6:17
 
 
Security
 
 
“Butwith thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons' wives with thee.”Gen 6:18
 
 
Sake
 
 
Noah’s family received mercy because of Noah’s righteousness.
 
 
“And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark;for theehaveI seen righteous before me in this generation. Gen 7:1
 
 
“Now when Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, was come unto David, he fell on his face, and did reverence. And David said, Mephibosheth. And he answered, Behold thy servant! And David said unto him, Fear not: for I will surely shew thee kindness for Jonathan thy father's sake, and will restore thee all the land of Saul thy father; and thou shalt eat bread at my table continually. 2 Sam 9:6-7
 
 
“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.” Eph 4:32-5:1
 
 
“I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds: Which in time past was to thee unprofitable, but now profitable to thee and to me: Whom I have sent again: thou therefore receive him, that is, mine own bowels: Whom I would have retained with me, that in thy stead he might have ministered unto me in the bonds of the gospel: But without thy mind would I do nothing; that thy benefit should not be as it were of necessity, but willingly. For perhaps he therefore departed for a season, that thou shouldest receive him for ever; Not now as a servant, but above a servant, a brother beloved, specially to me, but how much more unto thee, both in the flesh, and in the Lord? If thou count me therefore a partner, receive him as myself. If he hath wronged thee, or oweth thee ought, put that on mine account; I Paul have written it with mine own hand, I will repay it: albeit I do not say to thee how thou owest unto me even thine own self besides.” Philem 10-19
 
 
Conclusion: The Bible gives us hope and confidence that God will be merciful to our family members. God will be faithful in His attempt to rescue those whom we love, however they will have to make the final decision to follow him.
 
 
 
 
Too busy doing good things?
 
Introduction: The Apostles were distracted from their purpose that God had for them, and that was preaching and teaching the Word of God. Serving tables was not their calling. To divert their attention to anything else would be leaving the Word of God.
 
 
“Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.” Acts 6:2
 
I. Doing service is part of God’s business, however when it becomes a distraction or a priority in our lives that is being too busy doing good things.
 
“Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42
 
II. You have heard the old proverb, “Jack of all trades and master of nothing.” Well that has more meaning than most people think. All that is saying is when you spread yourself out too much you will not be effective in anything. Focus is the energy that gets things done. Light that is diffused covers more area but has less an impact. Concentrated light produces more energy to bring about a particular purpose. Let me explain. The sun covers the entire surface of the earth and warms it up for our needs. When that light is concentrated through a prism or piece of magnifying glass it will burn a piece of paper.
 
 
“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Heb 12:1-2  
 
 
III. We think of Ahab as an evil man and he was. We forget that at one time God used Ahab and brought about victory in Israel.
 
 
“And in the thirty and eighth year of Asa king of Judah began Ahab the son of Omri to reign over Israel: and Ahab the son of Omri reigned over Israel in Samaria twenty and two years. And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the LORD above all that were before him.  And it came to pass, as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he took to wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Zidonians, and went and served Baal, and worshipped him.  And he reared up an altar for Baal in the house of Baal, which he had built in Samaria. And Ahab made a grove; and Ahab did more to provoke the LORD God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before him. 1 Kings 16:29-33
 
 
IV. Ahab had war with Ben-Hadad King of Syria. In this story we read where God gave victory to Ahab in two of the three campaigns in which the last battle was won by the Syrians.
 
 
A.  The First Battle
 
 
“And, behold, there came a prophet unto Ahab king of Israel, saying, Thus saith the LORD, Hast thou seen all this great multitude? behold, I will deliver it in to thine hand this day; and thou shalt know that I am the LORD.  And Ahab said, By whom? And he said, Thus saith the LORD, Even by the young men of the princes of the provinces. Then he said, Who shall order the battle? And he answered, Thou.” 1 Kings 20:13-14
 
 
B. The Second Battle
 
 
“And the prophet came to the king of Israel, and said unto him, Go, strengthen thy self, and mark, and see what thou doest: for at the return of the year the king of Syria will come up against thee.” 1 Kings 20:22
 
 
“And it came to pass at the return of the year, that Ben-hadad numbered the Syrians, and went up to Aphek, to fight against Israel.” 1 Kings 20:26
 
 
“And there came a man of God, and spake unto the king of Israel, and said, Thus saith the LORD, Because the Syrians have said, The LORD is God of the hills, but he is not God of the valleys, therefore will I deliver all this great multitude into thine hand, and ye shall know that I am the LORD.” 1 Kings 20:28
 
 
C. The Third Battle
 
 
And they continued three years without war between Syria and Israel. And it came to pass in the third year, that Jehoshaphat the king of Judah came down to the king of Israel. And the king of Israel said unto his servants, Know ye that Ramoth in Gilead is ours, and we be still, and take it not out of the hand of the king of Syria? And he said unto Jehoshaphat, Wilt thou go with me to battle to Ramoth-gilead? And Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, I am as thou art, my people as thy people, my horses as thy horses.” 1 Kings 22:1-4
 
 
“And a certain man drew a bow at a venture, and smote the king of Israel between the joints of the harness: wherefore he said unto the driver of his chariot, Turn thine hand, and carry me out of the host; for I am wounded. And the battle increased that day: and the king was stayed up in his chariot against the Syrians, and died at even: and the blood ran out of the wound into the midst of the chariot.” 1 Kings 22:34-35
 
 
V. Ahab was instructed to strengthen himself at the beginning of his wars with Syria. The second battle was won, however Ahab had missed his opportunity to get rid of his problem by not being spiritually on top of the situation. He makes concessions with a defeated man, the King of Syria, and lets him go home free whom God had determined to be utterly destroyed.
 
 
“And Ben-hadad said unto him, The cities, which my father took from thy father, I will restore; and thou shalt make streets for thee in Damascus, as my father made in Samaria. Then said Ahab, I will send thee away with this covenant. So he made a covenant with him, and sent him away.” 1 Kings 20:34
 
 
VI. God gives us a visual of His intent for the King of Syria and for the King of Israel by the prophets.  
 
“And a certain man of the sons of the prophets said unto his neighbour in the word of the LORD, Smite me, I pray thee. And the man refused to smite him. Then said he unto him, Because thou hast not obeyed the voice of the LORD, behold, as soon as thou art departed from me, a lion shall slay thee.And as soon as he was departed from him, a lion found him, and slew him. Then he found another man, and said, Smite me, I pray thee. And the man smote him, so that in smiting he wounded him.” 1 Kings 20:35-37
 
 
VII. The problem that Ahab encountered was being unable to discern what he should do with the defeated Syrians. Ahab was too busy with other things and because of that he was insensitive to the will of God. The Lord had told him to prepare for this war and this not only involved the readiness of his army, but also his spiritual perception of how to follow the Lord in complete obedience. 
 
 “So the prophet departed, and waited for the king by the way, and disguised himself with ashes upon his face. And as the king passed by, he cried unto the king: and he said, Thy servant went out into the midst of the battle; and, behold, a man turned aside, and brought a man unto me, and said, Keep this man: if by any means he be missing, then shall thy life be for his life, or else thou shalt pay a talent of silver. And as thy servant was busy here and there, he was gone. And the king of Israel said unto him, So shall thy judgment be; thyself hast decided it.” 1 Kings 20:38-40
 
 
VIII. God is the judge, jury, and the executioner. He gives the reason why Ahab is to die.
 
“And he hasted, and took the ashes away from his face; and the king of Israel discerned him that he was of the prophets. And he said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Because thou hast let go out of thy hand a man whom I appointed to utter destruction, therefore thy life shall go for his life, and thy people for his people. And the king of Israel went to his house heavy and displeased, and came to Samaria.” 1 Kings 20:41-43
 
 
IX. What are you doing this morning? Are you making ready beforehand for a specific purpose in God’s economy. Ahab’s problem came about because he allowed other things to crowd out the most important thing, that is preparing to be a vessel for obedience to the perfect will of God.
 
“And as thy servant was busy here and there, he was gone. And the king of Israel said unto him, So shall thy judgment be; thyself hast decided it.” 1 Kings 20:40
 
 
X. The New Testament says it this way.
 
“And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.” Mark 4:18-19
 
 
XI. Keeping this man (Christ Jesus) is virtually impossible when you get too busy with the things of this world. Even doing good when it takes you away from doing the will of God can have a negative effect. What I mean is keep the main things the main thing. You can’t be everything, but you can be a vessel for obedience to God.
 
 
Conclusion: Have you been too busy doing things that take you away from church? That takes you away from prayer? Even doing good things? Well, you’re too busy.
 
 
 
 
 
 
The Church that Jesus Builds
 
Introduction: The Church will meet with many adversaries and much opposition; however, we know that Christ Jesus has already promised us that we will win if we hold true to the Word of God.
 
 
Provision
 
“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.  And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Matt 16:17-19
 
 
I. Jesus tells Peter the only way to victory is through the revelation of God’s Word. That is the key or authority by which every true church of Jesus Christ is to be built. If we the people of God will follow instructions through revelation of the scriptures the gates of hell shall not prevail against the church.
 
 
Proclaim
 
 
Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;  And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” 2 Tim 4:2-4
 
 
II. The Church must never allow programs to take the place of teaching the Word of God. That does not mean that programs are wrong but we must remember that the focus is to be on Jesus which is the Word of God. When the ministry turns to other things even when they are good it is considered leaving the Word of God.
 
 
Problem
 
“And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto
 
Programs
 
...them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God,and serve tables.” Acts 6:1-2
 
 
III. We are not sure what happened to cause the problem in the daily ministration. Church growth should never be a problem, but in the pioneering stage of the church they had to tread untraveled territory. They never had the Word like we have it today. I can believe that the Apostles were beginning to focus on the distribution more than the ministry of the Word. We are not condemning them because they quickly solved the problem. However there is a lesson to be learned. There is a saying that it is better to give ten men things to do than do the things of ten men. We all would agree that leaving the Word of God and prayer would cause spiritual dullness. To make the right decisions will result from staying focused on the Word of God and prayer. Being busy about the wrong things will result in making the wrong choices.
 
 
Probe
 
“But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.  And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful andtroubled about many things: Butone thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:40-42
 
 
Problem
 
“So the prophet departed, and waited for the king by the way, and disguised himself with ashes upon his face.  And as the king passed by, he cried unto the king: and he said, Thy servant went out into the midst of the battle; and, behold, a man turned aside, and brought a man unto me, and said, Keep this man: if by any means he be missing, then shall thy life be for his life, or else thou shalt pay a talent of silver.  And as thy servant was busy here and there, he was gone. And the king of Israel said unto him, So shall thy judgment be; thyself hast decided it.  And he hasted, and took the ashes away from his face; and the king of Israel discerned him that he was of the prophets.” 1 Kings 20:38-41
 
Preparation
 
“And they slew every one his man: and the Syrians fled; and Israel pursued them: and Ben-hadad the king of Syria escaped on an horse with the horsemen. And the king of Israel went out, and smote the horses and chariots, and slew the Syrians with a great slaughter. And the prophet came to the king of Israel, and said unto him, Go, strengthen thy self, and mark, and see what thou doest: for at the return of the year the king of Syria will come up against thee.” 1 Kings 20:20-22  
 
Predicament 
 
“And it came to pass at the return of the year, that Ben-hadad numbered the Syrians, and went up to Aphek, to fight against Israel.” 1 Kings 20:26
 
 
Promise
 
“And there came a man of God, and spake unto the king of Israel, and said, Thus saith the LORD, Because the Syrians have said, The LORD is God of the hills, but he is not God of the valleys, therefore will I deliver all this great multitude into thine hand, and ye shall know that I am the LORD.” 1 Kings 20:28
 
Plan
 
“And his servants said unto him, Behold now, we have heard that the kings of the house of Israel are merciful kings: let us, I pray thee, put sackcloth on our loins, and ropes upon our heads, and go out to the king of Israel: peradventure he will save thy life. 1 Kings 20:31
 
 
Prowling 
 
“And Ben-hadad said unto him, The cities, which my father took from thy father,I will restore; and thou shalt make streets for thee in Damascus, as my father made in Samaria. Then said Ahab, I will send thee away with this covenant. So he made a covenant with him, and sent him away.” 1 Kings 20:34
 
 
Parallelism
 
 
“And a certain man of the sons of the prophets said unto his neighbour in the word of the LORD, Smite me, I pray thee. And the man refused to smite him. Then said he unto him, Because thou hast not obeyed the voice of the LORD, behold, as soon as thou art departed from me, a lion shall slay thee. And as soon as he was departed from him, a lion found him, and slew him. Then he found another man, and said, Smite me, I pray thee. And the man smote him, so that in smiting he wounded him.” 1 Kings 20:35-37
 
 
IV. Problems within the church must be resolved by Godly instruction and with Godly men.
 
 
“Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.” Acts 6:3
 
 
V. Promotion comes through the need for restoration, restructuring, and replacement.
 
 
“And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch:” Acts 6:5  
 
 
A. Restoration - Bringing back unity to the body of Christ. The church was on a collision course because of discrimination.
 
B. Restructuring – Providing ministries to accommodate the needs of the people, while the church is growing.
 
C. Replacement – To fill a position otherwise that would be vacant. Like Judas Iscariot.
 
 
VI. Powerful witnessing comes through a pure, unified church by adding disciples that are obedient to the faith.
 
 
“And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.” Acts 6:7
 
 
“I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied. But if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings.” Jer 23:21-22
 
 
“And he said, Certainly I will be with thee; and this shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee:When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain.” Ex 3:12
 
 
 
“Not every one 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. 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.” Matt 7:21-27
 
 
Conclusion: The church which Jesus builds will last. Would you like to join up with a church which is enduring the storms of life? Receive Jesus into your heart today and be saved.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Holding Out?
 
Introduction: We know that Jesus Christ has made it possible for everyone to be saved. He paid the ultimate price for our salvation. All that is required for us is to believe that God raised Him from the dead. Be willing to forsake sin (which is repenting) and ask for forgiveness of sin. That is the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. God’s part was the cross by which our Lord Jesus died, and our part is to believe. Faith in the finished work of Christ will result in Salvation. In the following outline I want you to discover another truth. Your decision to be saved was your choice; therefore after you are saved you will be faced with many things (choices) which will result in certain consequences.
 
 
The Crookedness
 
 “But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles' feet.  But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.
Acts 5:1-4
 
I. The awful cost of not paying the full price. That was the lesson in this text. Ananias and Sapphira were not willing to pay the price. King David fell into the same trap. Men and women do not fail because of the temptation, but because of their lack of preparation and commitment to the things of God.
 
 The Care
 
“And Araunah said, Wherefore is my lord the king come to his servant? And David said, To buy the threshingfloor of thee, to build an altar unto the LORD, that the plague may be stayed from the people.  And Araunah said unto David, Let my lord the king take and offer up what seemeth good unto him: behold, here be oxen for burnt sacrifice, and threshing instruments and other instruments of the oxen for wood. All these things did Araunah, as a king, give unto the king. And Araunah said unto the king, The LORD thy God accept thee. And the king said unto Araunah, Nay; but I will surely buy it of thee at a price: neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the LORD my God of that which doth cost me nothing. So David bought the threshingfloor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. And David built there an altar unto the LORD, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. So the LORD was intreated for the land, and the plague was stayed from Israel.” 2 Sam 24:21-25
 
The Change
 
“And it came to pass, after the year was expired, at the time when kings go forth to battle, that David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children of Ammon, and besieged Rabbah. But David tarried still at Jerusalem.  And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king's house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon.  And David sent and inquired after the woman. And one said, Is not this Bath-sheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite? And David sent messengers, and took her; and she came in unto him, and he lay with her; for she was purified from her uncleanness: and she returned unto her house. 2 Sam 11:1-4
 
The Chastisement
 
“Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon. 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.” 2 Sam 12:9-10
 
II. Jesus gives these examples of how we are to consider the cost.
 
“For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?  Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.” Luke 14:28-30
 
“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.  For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” Matt 16:24-26
 
III. Samson was a Nazarite from his birth and did not maintain his purity because of his lack of commitment. His failure came primarily due to the fact he would not pay the price.
 
The Command
 
“Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When either man or woman shall separate themselves to vow a vow of a Nazarite, to separate themselves unto the LORD: He shall separate himself from wine and strong drink, and shall drink no vinegar of wine, or vinegar of strong drink, neither shall he drink any liquor of grapes, nor eat moist grapes, or dried. All the days of his separation shall he eat nothing that is made of the vine tree, from the kernels even to the husk.  All the days of the vow of his separation there shall no rasor come upon his head: until the days be fulfilled, in the which he separateth himself unto the LORD, he shall be holy, and shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow. All the days that he separateth himself unto the LORD he shall come at no dead body.He shall not make himself unclean for his father, or for his mother, for his brother, or for his sister, when they die: because the consecration of his God is upon his head. All the days of his separation he is holy unto the LORD. Num 6:2-8
 
 The Consecration
 
“And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD delivered them into the hand of the Philistines forty years. And there was a certain man of Zorah, of the family of the Danites, whose name was Manoah; and his wife was barren, and bare not. And the angel of the LORD appeared unto the woman, and said unto her, Behold now, thou art barren, and bearest not: but thou shalt conceive, and bear a son. Now therefore beware, I pray thee, and drink not wine nor strong drink, and eat not any unclean thing:For, lo, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and no rasor shall come on his head: for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines.” Judg 13:1-5
 
The Commencement
 
“And the woman bare a son, and called his name Samson: and the child grew, and the LORD blessed him.  And the Spirit of the LORD began to move him at times in the camp of Dan between Zorah and Eshtaol.” Judg 13:24-25
 
The Courage
 
“Then went Samson down, and his father and his mother, to Timnath, and came to the vineyards of Timnath: and, behold, a young lion roared against him.  And the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him, and he rent him as he would have rent a kid, and he had nothing in his hand: but he told not his father or his mother what he had done.” Judg 14:5-6
 
The Contamination
 
“And after a time he returned to take her, and he turned aside to see the carcase of the lion: and, behold, there was a swarm of bees and honey in the carcase of the lion. And he took thereof in his hands, and went on eating, and came to his father and mother, and he gave them, and they did eat: but he told not them that he had taken the honey out of the carcase of the lion.” Judg 14:8-9
 
The Course
 
"And he came up, and told his father and his mother, and said, I have seen a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines: now therefore get her for me to wife. Then his father and his mother said unto him, Is there never a woman among the daughters of thy brethren, or among all my people, that thou goest to take a wife of the uncircumcised Philistines? And Samson said unto his father, Get her for me; for she pleaseth me well."Judg 14:2-3
 "Then went Samson down, and his father and his mother, to Timnath, and came to the vineyards of Timnath: and, behold, a young lion roared against him."Judg 14:5
 
 "And he went down, and talked with the woman; and she pleased Samson well."Judg14:7 
" Then went Samson to Gaza, and saw there an harlot, and went in unto her."Judg 16:1 
" And it came to pass afterward, that he loved a woman in the valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah."Judg 16:4 
 
The Consequences
 
“And she said, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he wist not that the LORD was departed from him. But the Philistines took him, and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with fetters of brass; and he did grind in the prison house.” Judg 16:20-21
 
 
IV. The awful cost of keeping back was the sin of Ananias and Sapphira. Their sin brought sudden death. God does not always judge that severely but this episode shows God’s displeasure in holding back. Let us look at the first man that held back on God. His name is Adam.  Adam wanted the part that God said that He couldn’t have. I can believe that there were ten trees in the garden (we really don’t know how many) however; because God wants a tenth of what He gives us it sounds reasonable enough to me that there could have been ten trees.
 
The Charge
 
“And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eatBut of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” Gen 2:16-17
 
The Crafty
 
“Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” Gen 3:1-5
 
“But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” 2 Cor 11:3
 
“For Adam was first formed, then Eve.  And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.” 1 Tim 2:13
 
The Cause
 
“And unto Adam he said,Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;" Gen 3:17
 
The curse
 
"Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return." Gen 3:18-19
 
 
V. Achan took of that part that was to be in the treasury, and because of that he was accursed.
 
The Collection
 
“And ye, in any wise keep yourselves from the accursed thing, lest ye make yourselves accursed, when ye take of the accursed thing, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it. 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.” Josh 6:18-19
 
The Corruption
 
“Israel hath sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them: for they have even taken of the accursed thing, and have also stolen, and dissembled also, and they have put it even among their own stuff.  Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies, because they were accursed: neither will I be with you any more, except ye destroy the accursed from among you. “Josh 7:11-12
 
The Confession
 
“And Achan answered Joshua, and said, Indeed I have sinned against the LORD God of Israel, and thus and thus have I done:  When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it.” Josh 7:20-21
 
 
The Closure 
 
“And Joshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, and the silver, and the garment, and the wedge of gold, and his sons, and his daughters, and his oxen, and his asses, and his sheep, and his tent, and all that he had: and they brought them unto the valley of Achor. And Joshua said, Why hast thou troubled us? the LORD shall trouble thee this day. And all Israel stoned him with stones, and burned them with fire, after they had stoned them with stones.” Josh 7:24-25
 
VI. Let me ask you a question, have you considered that tithing was before the law? The Bible states that the tithe is Holy unto the Lord. Abraham, the Father of Faith paid tithes to Melchisedec (which was a type of Christ) 430 years before the law.
 
The Concern
 
“And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD's: it is holy unto the LORD. And if a man will at all redeem ought of his tithes, he shall add thereto the fifth part thereof.  And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the LORD.” Lev 27:30-32
 
The Challenge
 
Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.  And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts.  And all nations shall callyou blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts.” Mal 3:10-12 
 
The Conducting
 
And verily they that are of the sons of Levi,  who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham: But he whose descent is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises.  And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better. And here men that die receive tithes; but there he receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth.  And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham.  For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedec met him. Heb 7:5-10
 
The Covenant
 
“Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.  For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.” Gal 3:16-18
 
Conclusion:  Ananias and Sapphira were not paying the full price; they were not just lying to men but unto God. The lesson for all of us is to make sure that we are not holding out on God.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Passing the Exam!
 
Introduction: In Acts chapter 4 Peter and the other Apostles who were now filled with the Holy Ghost were empowered to face the Devil and win. Like Jesus who was baptized with the Holy Ghost and immediately led of the spirit to be tempted of the Devil, these also immediately after their Pentecostal experience came under fire from the enemy.
 
 
 Text:“And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him: And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.  And immediately the Spirit driveth him into the wilderness.  And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him.” Mark 1:10-13
 
I. The Word of God teaches that believers will have tests and trials. Like Jesus who was tempted and overcame through the power of the Holy Ghost, we also can overcome and win.
 
“Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.” Ps 34:19
 
“Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” 2 Tim 3:12
 
 
“But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Cor 15:57
 
II. Peter and the other Apostles had failed their first test.
 
“Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad.” Matt 26:31
 
“Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended. Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. Peter said unto him, Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples.” Matt 26:33-35
 
“And after a while came unto him they that stood by, and said to Peter, Surely thou also art one of them; for thy speech bewrayeth thee.  Then began he to curse and to swear,saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew.  And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly.” Matt 26:73-75
 
III. Past failures do not determine the future of the believer, as we will see in Acts chapter 4.
 
Spirit
 
 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
 
Speech
 
Spoken Word
 
And as they spake unto the people, the priests, and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees, came upon them,” Acts 4:1
 
Sorrow
 
 “Being grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead.” Acts 4:2
 
“For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.” 2 Cor 7:10
 
 
Strategy
 
Strategy - “A method worked out for accomplishing something:”
 
“that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead.”
 
1 Cor 1:21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching (method) to save them that believe.
 
Service
 
Service-“Serving in duties or work for another”
 
…that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead.” Acts 4:2
 
“Through Jesus”
 
Mark 16:20 And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.
 
Sketch
 
“A brief short story”
 
…that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead.   Acts 4:2
 
“The Resurrection from the dead”
 
Scheme
 
Scheme -“A tactic used to achieve a purpose"
 
And they laid hands on them, and put them in hold unto the next day: for it was
now eventide. Acts 4:3
 
Special Effects
 
Effects -“The power to produce an outcome or achieve a result;”
 
Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand. Acts 4:4
 
a. John 1:11-12 “He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:”
 
b. Rom 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvationto every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
 
Submission
 
Submission -“The act of submitting to the power of another”.
 
“And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, By what power, or by what name, have ye done this?” Acts 4:7
 
“Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:” Rom 13:1-3
 
Scrutiny
 
Scrutiny - “A close, careful examination or study.”
 
“And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, By what power, or by what name, have ye done this?” Acts 4:7 
 
Summary
 
Summary - "A brief presentation of the substance of a body of material in a condensed form or by reducing it to its main points;"
 
 
“Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole; Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead,even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men,
whereby we must be saved.” Acts 4:8-12
 
Stoutheartedness
 
Stouthearted - "Exhibiting courage and bravery."
 
“Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.” Acts 4:13
 
Exhibiting fear
 
“And after a while came unto him they that stood by, and said to Peter, Surely thou also art one of them; for thy speech bewrayeth thee. Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew.  And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly.” Matt 26:73
 
Session
 
Session - "A meeting of a legislative or judicial body for the purpose of doing business."
 
“And beholding the man which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it. But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves, Saying, What shall we do to these men? for that indeed a notable miracle hath been done by them is manifest to all them that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny it. But that it spread no further among the people, let us straitly threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name. Acts 4:14-17
 
Summons
 
 Summons - "A call by an authority to appear."
 
“And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.” Acts 4:14-17
 
Sentence
 
Sentence - "To place judgement against."
 
“And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.” Acts 4:14-17
 
 “commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.”
 
Soberness
 
Sober- Marked by seriousness
 
“And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. 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. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard. So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people: for all men glorified God for that which was done. For the man was above forty years old, on whom this miracle of healing was shewed.” Acts 4:18-22
 
Support system
 
Support System - A network of personal or professional contacts available to a person or an organization for practical or moral support when needed.
 
And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them. And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is:  Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done. And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus. And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.” Acts 4:23-31 23
 
Solidarity
 
Solidarity - A union of interests, purposes, or sympathies among members of a group; fellowship of responsibilities and interests:
 
“And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.  And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all. Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold,  And laid them down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need. And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles' feet.” Acts 4:23-31 23
 
 
Conclusion: Are you a Christian? Have you tried to be one and fell by the way side? God is a God of second chances. Call upon Him today and be saved.
 
 
 
 
 
In need of an physician?
 
Introduction:The church is a lot like a hospital where children are born (born again), and where the sick are ministered to.
 
 
Text: “When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Mark 2:17
 
I. The newborn christian is a babe in Christ and in some ways reminds us of the infants in the maternity ward at the hospital. There are also other special rooms where the doctors look after those who are sick, and goes through certain procedures to bring wellness to his patients. The minister is a lot like the physician, who attends to men's spiritual ailments. Here are the steps to the sinners cure.
 
A.Pro-cess -Examination.We are not always sure what the problems are when we enter the hospital, but the doctor soon appears and we go for examination. In the church each person must examine themselves.
 
 “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” 2 Cor 13:5
 
“For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.  And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.” 1 John 3:20-22
 
B.Pro-nouncementDiagnosis.The act of identifying.The physician must label the problem before administering treatment to his patient. Naming and labeling the problem through the Holy Spirit the preacher identifies the sin by the Word of God.
 
Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.” 2 Tim 4:2
 
“Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men.  For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.” Acts 20:26-27
 
 
C. Pro-jection - Prognosis. A prediction of the probable course and outcome of a disease. A forecast of the probable outcome in the life of those who live in sin.
 
“Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.  For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.” Rom 8:12-13
 
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Rom 6:23
 
 
D. Pro-gram -Therapy.Treatment for those who are sick. In the life of a sinner the only treatment or cure for sin is the Lord Jesus Christ.
 
The cure - Jesus Christ 
 
“And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.” Luke 13:32
 
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16
 
E. Pro-cedure -Plan of action. When a sick person enters the hospital a series of steps are taken which we call procedures in order for the patient to get well. In the life of a sinner there are steps to take to be cure of the ailment we call sin.
 
a. Aban-don- Forsake sin. Repenting.
 
“He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.” Prov 28:13
 
 
b. Reck-on  - Believe. To have faith.
 
“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.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.  For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.” Rom 10:9-11
 
C. Con-fes-sion -  Acknowledgement.
 
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
 
Conclusion: Are you sick and tired of the way your life is going? Do you search for meaning and there seems to be no purpose for living? Would you consider looking toward God, by believing what He says about your condition? He tells you in His Word what the problem is. It is sin which separates you from God. By receiving Jesus Christ into your heart God removes the sin and fills that empty feeling by giving you love, joy, and peace. Not only that but He will give you eternal life in heaven just because you received Jesus Christ His Son. Sounds too good to be true?
That is the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. God is offering you all of this without you doing anything other than repent of your sin, that is by being willing to forsake your old life, and confess to Him you are sorry for your sins, and say by your mouth to Him that you believe that He raised up Jesus Christ His Son from the dead, and that you want Him to come into your heart and that you will live for Him the best you can. Thats all it takes and you will be cured from your life of sin. Go ahead now and follow this procedure and you'll be glad you did.
 




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.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
   
 
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