Thursday, January 22, 2015
Saturday, December 10, 2011
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
6Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving
7And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding,
8Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest,
whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure,
whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report;
if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
For the past few Sundays I have been preaching through Philippians at our church. One of the main themes that has kept coming up is that we as Christians should rejoice in al things.We have had some great discussion on these verses. This past Sunday the church had a great opportunity to put in to practice the above verses. Linnea and I packed the car with what we normally use at church and drove down to our meeting place. (This was around 9:30 am.) We walked up to go into the room and find a note on the door. The offices connected with our meeting room will no longer be open for normal office hours. They listed some contacts, none of which I knew.
We go on into the meeting room to find it looking like a small bomb had gone off. It appeared as though the business was packing to move. Due to what we found we ended up having church at our apartment. It was a crazy day, but the Lord blessed in spite of the "problems". We even had a first time visitor in church. It is great to see our church folk putting into practice what we have been teaching. We are sure what is going to happen concerning our meeting place, but we know the Lord will work it out. He has in thepast and will do it again in some way.
Sunday, November 20, 2011
A few notes on Baptism:
Baptism is the outward sign to the world. It is the physical sign that a person is identifying with Christ. It is the immediate sign that a person is to show before the world that he is really repenting and is now going to obey and live for God. Baptism and repentance are both...
• outward signs.
• signs that have to do with behavior.
• signs that show the world that a person is turning his life over to God.
Repentance is a command to change one's life. Baptism is a command, the very first command to follow Christ. Baptism is the first command given to those who are repenting. The person must give testimony to the world and confess to the world that he is repenting by being baptized in the name of Jesus Christ (cp. Matthew 28:19-20). Baptism is not an option.
NOTE: Just because a person changes his life and is baptized does not mean he is saved. A person can change his life by the power of his own will, by discipline and self-control, by his own effort and works. To have the full effect of Baptism, a person needs to truly be saved. I would like to look at one example of Baptism.
26 And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert. 27 And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship, 28 Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet. 29 Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. 30 And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? 31 And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. 32 The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth: 33 In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth. 34 And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man? 35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. 36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? 37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. 38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. 39 And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing. Acts 8:26-39 (KJV)
The above is a great lesson on many aspects. One aspect is the importance of sharing the truth with just one person, and secondly a great lesson on Baptism. I would like to focus on the Baptism of this man.
- It was a public testimony of the Eunuch having accepted Christ. If you notice that his Baptism came after he accepted Christ. The reason I say it was a public testimony is that the Eunuch was not traveling alone.
- The Eunuch was an official for the Queen Candace, the queen of all Ethiopians. He was in charge of all of her treasures.
- If you will notice that he was reading the Scriptures, making it look as though someone else was driving him.
Never let anyone tell you that “I can be Baptized privately” or “I don’t need to be Baptized”. True being baptized will not save you but it is the first public step in obeying the Lord.
Saturday, November 12, 2011
You may think the title of this blog is weird, please let me explain. Due to a conversation I had with a friend of mine, I planned to do this blog to clarify some things. During this conversation, he answered a question I had asked him. The question was. "Is the Jesus of the LDS Church, Jehovah's Witnesses and Muslims the same as the Traditional Biblical Jesus (i.e. the same as what Baptists, Methodists, so on)?" He stated yes the Jesus of these various religions is the same as what Baptists believe.
I would like to list the view of the Church of LDS concerning their Jesus:
In bearing testimony of Jesus Christ, President Hinckley spoke of those outside the Church who say Latter-day Saints 'do not believe in the traditional Christ.' 'No, I don't. The traditional Christ of whom they speak is not the Christ of whom I speak'" (LDS Church News, week ending June 20, 1998, p.7).
"It is true that many of the Christian churches worship a different Jesus Christ than is worshipped by the Mormons or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" (LDS Seventy Bernard P. Brockbank, Ensign, May 1977, p.26 )."The First Presidency of the Church has written, 'God the Eternal Father, whom we designate by the exalted name-title Elohim,' is the literal Parent of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and of the spirits of the human race" (Messages from the First Presidency 5:26).
Here is a quote that states that jesus had to become a god, meaning he did not start out as God.
"He is the Firstborn of the Father. By obedience and devotion to the truth he attained that pinnacle of intelligence which ranked him as a God, as the Lord Omnipotent, while yet in his pre-existent state" (Mormon Doctrine, 1966, pg. 129). Notice how it says he became "a" god. You may ask then how many gods are there according to the LDS teachings?
Brigham Young, "Sin is upon every earth that ever was created ... Consequently every earth has its redeemer, and every earth has its tempter; and the people thereof, in their turn and time, receive all that we receive, and pass through all the ordeals that we are passing through" (Journal of Discourses 14:71-72).
Consider also the fact that Young taught, "How many Gods there are, I do not know, But there never was a time when there were not Gods and worlds, and when men were not passing through the same ordeals that we are passing through. That course has been from all eternity, and it is and will be so to all eternity" (Journal of Discourses 7:333).
So according to their leaders there are untold numbers of gods and redeemers (Jesus). Does this sound like the Biblical Jesus and God? Let's look at the Biblical Jesus.
I. DIVINE NAMES ARE GIVEN TO HIM.
- He is Called God. John 1:1—"The Word was God." Heb. 1:8—"But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever." John 1:18—"The only begotten Son (or better "only begotten God")." Absolute deity is here ascribed to Christ. John 20:28-"My Lord and my God." Not an expression of amazement, but a confession of faith. This confession accepted by Christ, hence equivalent to the acceptance of deity, and an assertion of it on Christ's part. Rom. 9:5—"God blessed forever." Tit. 2:13—"The great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ." 1 John 5:20—"His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God." In all these passages Christ is called God.
- He is Called the Son of God. The references containing this title are numerous. Among others see Matt. 16:16, 17; 8:29; 14:33; Mark 1:1; 14:61; Luke 1:35; 4:41. While it may be true that in the synoptic Gospels Jesus may not be said to have claimed this title for Himself, yet He unhesitatingly accepted it when used of Him and addressed to Him by others. Further, it seems clear from the charges made against Him that He did claim such an honor for Himself. Matt. 27:40, 43—"For he said, I am the Son of God." Mark 14:61, 62 —"Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed" (Luke 22:70—"Art thou then the Son of God? And Jesus said, I am." In John's Gospel, however, Jesus plainly calls Himself "the Son of God" (5:25; 10:36 11:4). Indeed, John's Gospel begins with Christ as God: "The Word was God," and ends with the same thought: "My Lord and my God" (20:28). (Chapter 21 is an epilogue.)
According to the verses above we see that Jesus IS THE GOD (just one), He never had a beginning or ending. We also see that the Bible states that Jesus is THE SON OF GOD, meaning the only one, not untold numbers.
So the question is when we hear the Bible says "9That if thoushalt confess with thy mouth theLord Jesus, and shalt believe in thineheart that God hath raised him fromthe dead, thou shalt be saved.. " Romans 10.8" we have to ask which Jesus? This verse is not talking about the Jesus of the LDS Church but the one taught about in the Word of God. These two "Jesus' are NOT THE SAME."
Thursday, November 10, 2011
HOW TO HAVE A WORRY FREE LIFE
4Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. 5Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. 6Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 8Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
INTRODUCTION: As you may or may not know, man is made up of three parts. That is, every man is made up of body, soul (mind) and spirit. The body allows us to interact with the physical world. The soul allows us to respond to the intellectual and emotional world. The spirit allows us to relate to the spiritual world. Each part of us is extremely important! Without the body, we would have no contact with the world. Without the soul, we would have no ability to think or feel. Without the spirit, we would not be able to fellowship with God.
Of course, when we leave this world, the body ceases to be a part of who we are. Even when the body is raised, it will be a different manner of body than the one we wear today, 1 Cor. 15:42-44. If you are saved, your spirit has already been made alive in Jesus and is sealed by Him until the "day of redemption", Eph. 4:30. In other words, the body will drop away and be changed. The Spirit has already been changed. What we are left with is the soul.
The soul can also be called the mind. It is the seat of the intellect, the will and the emotions. It is where we think, feel and decide. It is also the place where all of the conflicts we face in this life begin! You see, the mind is the ultimate battlefield of life. The Lord, the flesh and the devil are all battling for control of our minds. Why does the battle rage there? Because the Bible says, "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he...", Pro. 23:7.
We need to understand that this battle that is happening in the mind is a spiritual battle. Ultimately, it is a battle between good and evil for the control of our lives. Since this is a spiritual battle, we must fight it with spiritual resources, 2 Cor. 10:3-5; Eph. 6:10-18. I want to let you know that you do not have to lose the battle for your mind! You do not have to be defeated in your walk with the Lord. You do not have to be a slave to worry and fear. You do not have to live a life controlled by the lusts and desires of the flesh! You can live your life under the control of the Spirit of God. You can win the battle.
How, you might ask? First, it doesn't just happen! You have to do certain things that will allow it to come to pass, Rom. 12:2; Eph. 4:23; 1 Pet. 1:13. (Note: As we take the step in 1 Peter to "get a grip on the mind", we put ourselves in a position to receive the ministry of the Lord as He renews the mind. The word "transform" in Rom. 12:2 and the word "renewed" in Eph. 4:23 are both passive voice. They are something to and in the child of God.) Second, we need to know that we do not have to do this alone. We have the Lord's promise in the matter, 2Tim. 1:7. I want to use these verses we have read and show you Paul's plan for victory in the struggle of the mind. I want to share with you four simple truths that teach us all How To Strengthen The Mind. If followed, these steps will help us to build a wall of protection around our minds. They will help us to achieve victory in the daily struggle we all face.
I. HAVE A LIFE OF PRAISE (v. 4)
A. Paul commands the believer to "rejoice". This word means "to be glad" (Note: It is in the present tense, active voice and imperative mood. This means that the believer is commanded to "go on being glad in the Lord.")
B. Now, let's face it, much of life does not lend itself to our happiness! In fact, when Paul wrote these words, he was chained in-between two soldiers in a Roman prison. Still, Paul knew that no matter what was happening, God never changes. That is why we are told to "rejoice in the Lord." You see, people will change, circumstances will change and life will change, but the Lord never changes!
C. Since this is true, we can learn to rejoice in Who He is, what He has done for us, and what He is doing in our lives. Even if the road is hard, remember that He has planned your path, Psa. 37:23. He has promised to make all things work for good, Rom. 8:28. He has promised to go with you through everything in life, Heb. 13:5. He has promised you abiding victory, 1 Cor. 15:57; Rom. 8:37. He has promised us that the destination will be worth every mile of the trip, Rom. 8:18; 2 Cor. 4:17. Therefore, even when you can't be happy about your life, learn to be happy in the Lord! Built the wall of praise!
II. HAVE PATIENCE (v. 5a)
A. The word "moderation" literally means "gentle or gracious spirit". It has the idea of being patient with others. Of giving way to the rights and wishes of others in this life. It does not mean a compromise in doctrine. It does mean that you have a willingness to take the back seat in favor of other people. This is the idea of Phil. 2:4.
B. Paul is saying that the reality of our faith should be demonstrated in how we deal with other people. If the focus of our lives is on ourselves, then when people hurt us, there will be a desire to get even or pay back. Paul wants us to get the focus off of ourselves, and get it on others. When we are focused on those around us, we will be less likely to hurt by what other people do. What they say won't sting us so bad. How they act can be passed over more easily.
C. When we accept the way of self-love that is all around us, we will always look at the things people do and say as a personal attack, trying to hurt us. It will cause to be more easily hurt by the words and actions of others. This will cause us problems in the mind as we think on what was done or what was said. If we can learn to accept others just as they are and overlook how they act and what they do, it will protect the mind from dwelling in negative areas. It will build a wall of protection around the mind that others cannot penetrate!
D. The bottom line is this, if we can learn to live in genuine contentment, Phil. 4:11, then it will not matter what anyone says or does. The mind will be protected from the evil it likes to find in others. (Note: The devil loves nothing better than to get your eyes off Jesus and on the faults of others! The flesh loves nothing better than to go along with the devil in this matter. When this happens, the mind is in danger!)
III. PRAY (v. 5b-7)
A. Verse 6 warns us against the dangers of worry. The word "careful" has the idea of"anxiety". It refers to a state of mind that is agitated over the events and circumstances of life. Now, there is nothing wrong with having concern. We all have our concerns about certain things. It is when your concerns have you that the problems begin to arise!
B. Worry is so dangerous because it allows the mind to conceive false notions about God. Worry says "God is dead!". Or, "If there is a God, He obviously doesn't care about me and my situation." Both of those statements are false! God is alive, Heb. 7:25, and God does care, Heb. 4:15; 1 Pet. 5:7.
C. When the problems of life come our way, we are given some precious help in the verses.
1. V. 5b - The Lord is near - Not just His second coming, but He is always near to His children - Heb. 13:5-6.
2. V. 6 - Exercise the tool of prayer - Paul speaks of prayer, supplication and requests. These might be thought of a general praying, specific praying and detailed praying. The main thrust of this verse is that instead of worrying, the believer is to demonstrate his faith in the power and will of God by seeking the Lord in prayer!
3. V. 6 - Develop a thankful heart - Regardless of the situations you face in life, learn to praise the Lord through them all. Nothing brings Him nearer or drives the devil away any faster than a genuinely thankful heart!
D. The Lord's promise to us is that He will replace our worries with His peace when we come before Him in trusting, humble prayer. The word "keep" in verse 7 means "to garrison, or build a fort around, to post a guard". The Lord promises to post a guard around the heart and mind of the person who trusts Him with the needs of life. Instead of worrying yourself sick about things you can't change, learn to lean on the Lord in prayer! Build the wall of prayer!
IV. BE PURE (v. 8)
A. All of these words Paul uses in this verse are a picture of the Word of God. It is true - John 17:17. Since the Bible is true, everything it says fits within the categories mentioned by Paul. It is honest (honorable), it is just (right), it is pure (holy, clean), it is lovely (beautiful), it is of a good report (good reputation), it is full of virtue (excellence) and praise (that which tends toward worship).
B. What we have here is a call to fix our minds upon the things of God. The source for finding our about those things in the Word of God. In other words, if we will fill our minds with the Words of God, there will be no room for evil, no room for worry, no room for fear, no room for vengeance, no room for confusion and trouble. A mind filled with and led by the Word of God is a stable mind!
C. If you want a stable, fixed mind, the only place to get it is in the Word of God. We are to take the initiative and force the mind to dwell on the Bible and what it says, instead of allowing the mind to run to evil, or gossip, or others and what they are doing, or our problems, etc. A mind saturated with and fixed upon the Word of God is a stable mind. (Note: This is something that you must do for yourself! We wonder why we don't get much out of preaching and church sometimes. The answer lies in the fact that everyday, we allow our minds to feed on the filth of the world and to dwell on the problems and problem people of life. If we would give as much energy to dwelling on the Word of God day by day, it would transform our time in the Lord's house!)
CONCLUSION: Your mind is a precious gift from God. It can be used for good or for evil and all the forces of good and evil are battling for your mind all the time. Who wins the battle is always determined by you! No one can control your mind, but you. We are told in the Bible that we need to fortify the mind, it is our job, individually, and it cannot be passed off the another. This is a very critical matter, because how you think determines how you will live your life, Pro. 4:23 (READ!!). We are to see that our minds are in love with Jesus - Matt. 22:37. Until the mind is settled, all of life is out of control - James 1:8. I challenge you to fortify your mind!
Sunday, November 6, 2011
8But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the winewhich he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. 9Now God had broughtDaniel into favour and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs. (Daniel 1.8-9)
Here we see the beginning of Daniel's live in Captivity. It was during the third reign of Jehoiakim, king of Judah that the King of Babylon came and captured Jerusalem. It was during this attack that Daniel and many others were taken prisoners.
Nebuchadnezzar had chosen Daniel and others to study in their schools and to become servants in his courts. As we see in verse 8, Daniel was in the habit of deciding to do right even before the temptation to do wrong happened. In this chapter Daniel was being offered the best meats and drinks for his diet. You may ask what is wrong with eating those things offered to him. Well, these were items that Jewish people would normally not eat because of the Jewish Laws. God had stated that there were certain things He did not want them to eat.
Daniel had one of two choices, give in and eat what the king had offered them or obey God and risk being killed. It was possible that refusing the food would offend the King. What would you do? Well, Daniel very kindly refused but made a deal with his master. He and the master agreed that for a time Daniel and his friends would eat "pulse" and drink water. At the end of that time if they did not look healthier than the others, they would eat the meat and drink the wine. The amazing part was that God had Daniel and his friends be healthier than all the others and God was glorified. Daniel was permitted not to eat the meat or drink the wine. And he was able to keep his testimony in front of his masters.
What about you today? When do you decide to do right? Before the temptations come? Or while they are happening? If you wait until the temptations happen chances are that you will give into them. Today we need to decide to do right no matter what is happening around us. As Dr. Bob Jones, Sr. used to say "Do right until the Stars fall."