Skip to main content

Posts

The Importance Of Encouragement

(2 Tim. 4:11)“Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry.”  These words were penned by the Apostle Paul shortly before his death in AD 68,  35 yrs. after the death of Christ, and 20 yrs. after John Mark quit the ministry and went home during Paul’s first missionary journey. Why are these dates important, because the John Mark of 35 years earlier was not the same man of faith in (2 Tim. 4:11). What was different about him?  Maturity! John Mark was used by God after Paul’s death to write the Gospel of Mark, but as a young man he was certainly not qualified. The early John Mark was there at the betrayal of Christ in the garden in (Mark 14:51-52), and like the other disciples of Jesus he too ran in fear, but he also failed the Apostle Paul and quit. So bitter was Paul over his quitting that he refused to take him on his second missionary journey in (Acts 15), however Mark’s uncle Barnabas believed in him and took him with him on h…
Recent posts

The Truth Of The Trinity

(Mark 12:29-30) “And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:... In the above verses Jesus wanted his disciples to understand that even though he was a man in flesh, he was still God, the Lord from heaven. This truth is commonly referred to as the “Trinity of God.” The cults deny the Trinity, and therefore dethrone Christ and make him less than God, but the Bible teaches us that God is indeed three distinct and separate persons yet “One Lord.”. 1) All 3 are co-equal in essence. Jesus is the “image of the invisible God” “for it pleased the Father that in him should all the fulness dwell.” (Col. 1:15,19), and The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God and Christ. “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. (Rom. 8:11). 2) All 3 are God. God created the world in (Gen. 1:1). It states that G…

Pay Your Taxes and Tithe

(Mark 12:17) “And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's.” Like the air we breath and the water we drink, the taxing and the giving of money is a part of life. As Christians it’s important that we not hold onto our money too tightly because God requires that we pay both our taxes and our tithes. 1) Taxes.  God ordained and instituted government for our good (Rom. 13:4). Many things are payed for by taxes; our police force and judges, garbage disposal, schools, military, road and bridge repairs, and yes even our politicians. (Rom. 13:6) “For this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.” 2) Tithes and Offerings.  Just as in the O.T. where God required Israel to tithe 10%  of their income to support the Levites who worked and cared for the spiritual welfare of God’s house and ministers, so it is in the N. T. church, that the needs of the Pa…

Life After Death Is Clearly Explained In God's Word

(Mark 12:18,24) “Then come unto him the Sadducees, which say there is no resurrection; ...” “And Jesus answering said unto them, Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God? It has been said that the Sadducees were sad-u-see because they believed not in an afterlife. How sad it is to think that this life is all there is, and then you die. Thank God that the Bible teaches that not only is there an existence after death but a Heaven forever for those that trust in Jesus Christ. In the above verses the Sadducees were upset because Jesus spoke of eternal life through him. So, he clearly said to them that they were in error because of two things; 1) Not knowing the Scriptures. All that man can offer when it comes to knowing what happens to us after death, is just an opinion, or a religion based upon fables rather than truth. The truth of the resurrection is a fact that has been given to man by God in the Word of God. All that God wants man to know …

Salvation Is A Choice Made By Man, Not God

(Rom. 9:11,13) “For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth; As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.” Because of the above verses many a Bible scholar have concluded falsely that God choses some men to be saved and others to be damned. Alluding to the fact that He chose Jacob in the above verse over Esau in the book of Genesis, and Israel over Egypt. What a sad commentary to believe that we are nothing more than pawns in the chess game of God, where we have no choice of salvation nor any choice in changing or determining our future and eternity.  Oh listen, the above verses teach us that God is sovereign and that He can do what He wants, but that He also is bound by His Word. God would not teach here that the fate of some is set by God’s will and then tease man later in scripture and say that we do have a choice or freewill in the matter…

Two Important Ingredients To Answered Prayer

(Mk 11:24-26) “Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.  And when ye stand praying, forgive if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses. How important is Faith and Forgiveness to answered prayer in the above verses? 1) Prayer without faith is useless. Preceding the above verses Jesus used a cursed and dried up fig tree to teach on what a prayer life is like without faith, adding also that prayer with faith however brings “whatsoever you desire.” Faith therefore is necessary to “receive” from God.2) Prayer without forgiveness is dead.The prayers of an unforgiving Christian cannot be honored by God. Why? Because God commands that those who seek forgiveness must not harbor unforgiveness in their hearts. Being offended is just a part of life, therefore how…

Are You Willing To Be Used By God?

(Mark 10 43-44)“... but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister:And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.” Jesus spoke these words to his disciples after they were inquiring about their glory in heaven with Christ. They like most of us did not understand that the purpose of our salvation is not about what we can get out of it but rather what we can do to help others with it. Therefore, to be great in the kingdom of God we must learn to be a “servant of all” first. So, if we truly desire to be used of God, we must; 1) Be willing to “Suffer” all. Jesus asked James and John if they were willing to drink of the cup of his suffering, questioning them concerning their willingness to suffer and even die for all men. Teaching that the blessing of doing so would be great, but also the suffering. 2) Be willing to “Surrender” all.The surrender that Christ alluded to was their willingness to give up their personal will, life, and possessions to serve Ch…

That "One Thing" That Hinders

(Mark 10:1) “Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.”  The “one thing” that Jesus is talking about above is the very same thing that hinders not only a man’s salvation but also God’s ability to  work in his life. That “one thing” is “faith.”  1) Faith is needed for Salvation.  This rich young ruler was trusting more in his wealth than he was in God. His answer to the above command was to walk away rather than repent and trust solely in Christ. The things of this world can never save; not possessions, not religion, not even good works. So, to be saved a man must humbly place his faith and trust in the person of Jesus Christ and his sacrifice. Nothing of this world ought to be more important.  2) Faith is also needed for Sanctification. The command above is to get saved and then follow Christ. It is very t…

The Power of Expectation In Prayer

(Mark 9:23) “Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.” Sometimes we think that we have to be this perfect and great Christian to receive answers to prayer, but that is not always true. It is true that “the prayer of a righteous man availeth much,” but when it comes to God answering, He can answer whosoever He so determines to answer. However, there are three ingredients that cause us to expect answers to prayer; 1) Faith. Jesus said in  (Matt. 17:20) “If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.” 2) Fellowship with God. A Christian who expects answers to prayer will pray often, one who does not pray, does  not have the same fellowship. Prayer demonstrates our faith to God, and so we believe and expect an answer. (Heb. 11:6) says “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must b…

What Is A True Christian

“...And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.” The term “Christian,” is used very loosely  in the day in which we live. It can include anyone from a true Bible believer to someone who identifies themselves with the name of Jesus but not God’s Word. The true meaning behind the word “Christian” identifies a true believer with the following;1) A Denial of Self. (Mark 8:34)Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself...” A true Christian therefore is someone who puts God first, and who is totally submissive to the will and Word of Jesus Christ. 2) A Death to one’s old life.  Someone who has surrendered to the will and way of God, “takes up his cross, or in other words dies to the way he/she used to live to now live a new life patterned after the manner and lifestyle of Jesus Christ. 3) A Decision to follow. Jesus said very clearly in (v.35)“For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same …

All Sinners Need To Be Saved Through Christ

(Rom. 3:23) "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God."  Because of sin, our righteousness can never be good enough to get us into heaven. Why, because we fall short of the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ. In the Old Testament, God gave the world the ten commandments. Not to save, but to explain to us why it is that we fall short. (3:20) "Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin." And that is why God sent Jesus, because man from his birth is under the condemnation of sin. We therefore need help to cover our sin, to stand righteous before God.That is why God sent his Son Jesus to die in our place. To pay the penalty for our sin. God’s price for our forgiveness was the innocent life and blood of His Son Jesus. God therefore came himself to be our justifier, to offer himself as the innocent one for the guilty. (3:26) "To declare, I say, at this time his righteousne…

Beware The Leaven Of The Pharisees

(Mark 8:5) "And he charged them, saying, Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod." Have you ever wondered why Jesus said both the leaven of Herod and the Pharisees? I believe it was simply because both sought the praise and approval of men over and above an obedience to God and his Word. The "leaven" spoken of in the above verse is a corruption of the mind and heart through pride and selfishness. It doesn't take much carnality to think like a self-centered person. Therefore, two types of leaven must be avoided. 1) Leaven of Hypocrisy and Pride. Because of these two leavens the Pharisees were lazy, puffed up, and doctrinally corrupt, refusing to repent and submit themselves to God's Word. Today, we still have people who reject God's authority and Word for the popularity and comfort of being accepted by men. This leaven causes many to be deceived by putting too much emphasis on the outward rather than on the inwa…

The Way Back From Backslidding

(Hosea 4:16) “For Israel slideth back as a backsliding heifer:” The term “backslider” was not invented by man, but rather God to describe anyone who has slipped back into their old sinful ways of carnality. In other words, they once were people who walked with God, but for one reason or another they are now filled with the flesh and walking again in their old ways. (Prov. 14:14)“A backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways.” The most dangerous place to be as a Christian is in a selfish self-centered place and backslidden away from the Lord. Why? Because when someone is backslidden, they are hard to reach, hard to talk to, and even harder toward God’s Word, for every backslider thinks that he/she has a good reason for why they are in their backslidden place and frame of mind. Usually people are backslidden  because of an offense, or some discouragement, or possibly the result of a trial that caused them to quit, but thank God He has a plan to bring back the backslider. 1) Re…

What's In Your Heart?

(Mark 7:20-23)  “And he said, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:  All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.” We as believers need to protect our hearts above all else, for the heart will either lead you into sin or away from it. There is no such thing as a sin gene! Man is no more predisposed to be a thief  than he is to be an adulterer or homosexual. Sin is always a choice and never does God say in His Word that it’s natures fault. (Pr. 4:23) says: “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” 1) The Heart is part of our Human Nature. So, it needs to be given over to Christ, controlled by the Holy Spirit, and fed God’s Word,  or it will produce the above sins on its own.The heart is not naturally good, but rather evil by nature. (Jer 17:9) “ The heart is deceitful above all things, and desp…

Living In Faith Rather Than Failure

(Judges 16:28) "And Samson called unto the LORD, and said, O Lord GOD, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes." In (Heb. 11:32) Samson is immortalized for his faith, but just what type of faith is he immortalized for? All of Sampson's life he was considered under what is called a Nazarite vow. He was to abstain from intoxicating drinks, he was not to cut his hair nor touch anything dead, and he was to be holy and consecrated to the Lord, but as we read about his life in the Word of God, he wasn’t real faithful to the keeping of his vows. So where was his faith? Well, Samson was honored because God’s Spirit was his power, and although he lived unrighteously, he did repent of his sin at the end of his life and glorified God. Sometimes trials in this life are brought by God to bring us back to faith in Him again. Many times, we as stubborn Christians continue in our co…

The Lessons Of Fear And Doubt

(Mark 6:51-52) “And he went up unto them into the ship; and the wind ceased: and they were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure and wondered.For they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened.” Faith is taught over time by a series of lessons of fear and doubt. In the above verse, Jesus had just walked on water to rescue the disciples from a terrible storm, and upon entering the ship the storm ceased and all became calm. In the above verses the Holy Spirit wants us to see that the apostles’ hearts were “hardened” because they feared and forgot about the miracle “of the loaves.” How often in the storms of life do we as Christians fear and toil in our own strength, forgetting to seek Christ’s help, demonstrating unbelief  or a “hard heart.” The apostles just witnessed the power of Jesus when he fed 5,000 men with just 5 loaves and two fish, and yet they still had trouble trusting in him. At least in (Matt. 14:28) Peter seeing Jesus walk on water asked to…
(Mark 6:7) “And he called unto him the twelve and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits;” The calling of God is more than just a call to be saved, it’s also a calling to mature spiritually. When we first get saved, we are considered “babes in Christ” (1 Peter 2:2). Meaning that newly saved people know very little about God, spiritual life, or the Bible. Therefore, spiritual growth (like the growth of a child) takes place over time. Jesus sent his disciples “forth to preach,” to experience the ministry first hand and to learn to live by his power. Three lessons are seen here.1)Come to Christ. The apostles saw that they needed to come and follow Jesus to grow in faith, but unfortunately today not all believers see the need to spend time listening to him and his Word. There are two ways that we spend time with Jesus; first is in personal devotions, and the second is when we come to church and are fed by God’s Word. If a Christian is not doing b…

The Resurrection, Fact or Faked

(Matt. 28:6) "He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay."  All throughout history there have been men who have tried to disprove the fact of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Why they do is totally subjective to each, but what they all have in common is the rejection of Jesus coming back from the dead of his own power. For if he did, they would have to believe him. Some of the many foolish theories are: 1) Unknown Tomb Theory.  That the followers of Christ never really knew where Jesus was entombed because the Roman soldiers use to bury criminals in unmarked graves. 2) Wrong Tomb Theory. That the woman and disciples went to the wrong tomb, but if that were so, the Roman soldiers stood guard over the wrong tomb also, and Joseph of Arimathea forgot where his own tomb was. 3) Legend Theory. That the resurrection story like  most folk stories was embellished over hundreds of years by religious zealots. 4)Mass Hallucination T…

To Whom Is The Arm Of The Lord Revealed

(Isaiah 53:1) "Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?" In the above verse the "arm of the Lord" is the "strength of God." In other words, to whom is the strength of God revealed. In (Isaiah 53) the strength of God is none other than Jesus Christ, but he is only revealed to those who hear and believe. The above prophesy was given to this world 700 years before the birth of Jesus Christ ever happened, and yet it reveals to us an accurate account of Jesus Christ, what he would be like, and what he would endure to pay for the sins of mankind. 1) He came as a "tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground."Israel was dead spiritually when Christ came, yet from the dried roots of Israel, and from the stem of the tribe of Jesse came a "tender" man called Jesus. 2) What was he like? (v.2)"no form or comeliness." Average looking, and yet very humble in his mannerism. 3) How was …

The Importance Of Faith

(Mark 6:5-6) "And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. And he marvelled because of their unbelief..." Interesting enough in (Mark chp.5) Jesus performed many miracles, but when he went home to Nazareth their unbelief prevented God from being able to do much there. (Heb.11:6) says "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." The main reason that we as believers do not see the great miracles of God today is simply because we do not believe God when he promises something. 1) God wants us to "prove Him." Proving God means to trust in Him and His Word. Without faith in God's Words, He  cannot do what He promises, for He is bound by His Word. God's Word has been given so that we would have something to trust in and hope for. When we demonstrate belief, and trust in His …

Living Without Honor

(Mark 6:4-5) "But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house. And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them." In the above story, Jesus went home to his home town where people knew him and saw him grow up. Everywhere else that he went people followed, and as a result, great miracles happened but in his own hometown not much happened because of their unbelief.Jesus wanted his disciples to understand this great truth. You see, people that know us the best have the hardest time with us changing after salvation because they judge us by the past and not the present. When we get saved, we become new creatures in Christ (2 Cor. 5: 17)."Old things are passed away, and behold all things are become new." It takes a while for "kin" and friends to see that we are different, because they knew us before. Therefore "our hon…

Why So Much Demonic Possession and Oppression In Israel

(Mark 5:2) "And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit...,"Have you ever wondered why there was so much demon possession and oppression in Israel during the days of Jesus? There are some that say that all physical diseases are demonic, but the scripture does not teach that. No, the real reason lies in Israel's past. In (Duet. 28) God promised Israel before they entered into the promised land, continued blessings if they would follow Him and his Word; freedom from sickness, victory over their enemies, protection from evil, and a bountiful and happy life, but because Israel didn't listen "all the curses" that he was going to put upon Israel's enemies He said, "shall now pursue thee, and overtake thee, till thou be destroyed"(45). One of the greatest blessings Israel had was God's protection from Satan's influence. That's why God wanted all the occult pictures, al…