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Showing posts from 2019

Giving God The Right Present At Christmas

(Matt. 2:11) “And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts;...” Christmas is all about the giving of gifts ; God gave the world Jesus (Jn.3:16), and here we see the wise men giving gifts as well. I think that in  many ways, gifts are the real reason that the world enjoys Christmas time, but to those of us that understand God’s purpose in sending His Son Jesus, we love this season for a different reason. The Biblical account doesn’t say how many wise men came from the east seeking Jesus, but it does tell us that they gave three different types of gifts; 1) Gold . In Jesus’ day gold was given to honor new kings, and to increase their wealth. Gold also represents the very best that God had to give to us but also the very best man should give to God. 2) Frankincense was the incense burned in the temple of Solomon. It represented praise, pra

The Dayspring From On High Hath Visited US

(Luke 1:78) “Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us,” John the Baptist was an important messenger of the Christmas Story because he was the first man to proclaim the great threefold message of Jesus’ coming; 1) To shed light on the knowledge of Salvation . What a great merciful thing it was for God to give man Jesus Christ, but also to state clearly in His Word the way of Salvation and the eternal mercy we have in him, through being “born again,” . 2) To give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death .  What a great peace is given to the lonely, the destitute, and those who are facing the fearful time of death. Jesus places within every believer His Holy Spirit, who not only comforts us with His presence during times of despair and darkness, but who also gives to us an eternal peace and hope that not even death can take away. 3) To guide our feet in the way of peace . God’s Word not only guides us into the way of Hi

Why John The Baptist Was Sent To Israel

(John 1:6) “There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.”  Why did God send John the Baptist to Israel before Jesus was introduced to them?  1) To answer the prayer of two faithful people . John’s parents Zacharias and Elizabeth prayed for a child for years, and in their later years God gave them John.   2) He came on a special mission from God. John was full of the Holy Ghost even from his mother’s womb (Luke 1:15), and his mission was not to turn Israel back to religion, but rather to turn their hearts back to God, and “to make ready a people prepared for the Lord” (18). 3) To preach the coming of Israel’s Messiah . Jesus Christ was the “ Word that became flesh,” and “John bare witness of him...” Jesus was God’s eternal Son, The Word, The Light, and our deliverer, and so John preached as Elijah did of old, foretelling his coming as also Isaiah said to Israel in (Chp.40:3) when he proclaimed “The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, prepare ye the way of the LORD, m

Being A Fellowhelper Of The Truth

(3John 1:7) “Because that for his name's sake they went forth, taking nothing of the Gentiles. We therefore ought to receive such, that we might be fellowhelpers to the truth .” Above, we are commanded to be “fellowhelpers” to the missions program of God here at WSBC. Another Faith Promise year is upon us, and again we will be taking  pledges for another year. Now before we do, it’s vital that each of us pray and seek God’s leading  before we pledge. The worst thing that we can do is to pledge and not give. Why? Because our missionaries are counting on our money to “fellow help” them in their effort to go to their specific field! When we fail to keep our word, it’s not us that suffers, but them. So, first we need to seek the will of God and then by faith pledge not just our money but our word. Our slogan this year is “Making the gospel fully known in 2020,” (2 Tim. 4:17) . In this verse, the Apostle Paul made it perfectly clear that he saw world missions as his personal respo

Do You Believe God Concerning Your Giving

(2 Cor. 9:7-8) "Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver (7). (8) 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:" On the Faith Promise Slips that have been handed out to you is the promise of (verse 8), that cannot happen unless you first obey (verse 7). When it comes to giving to Faith Promise Missions, God never tells us what to give, but He lets us purpose the amount in our heart so that we by faith pledge it for missionary support. His only command is that we give it cheerfully and not because we have to , for then and only then is God free to supply all our needs (8), making sure that we not only have enough money to give what we pledge but also that we have enough for our bills and for any other “good work” that we decide to give to. Our faith therefore releases God’s promise above (afte

Doing Your Part In Making The Gospel Fully Known

(2 Tim.4:17) “Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known , and that all the Gentiles might hear...”    Every believer in Jesus Christ has been called to witness the gospel of Jesus Christ to the world. Therefore, #1) See your calling Personally . In the above verse the Apostle Paul said, “ that by me. ” What Paul didn’t do here was push his responsibility to reach the world for Christ on someone else, but rather implied, I’m going to do my part. #2) See your calling Potentially . God has given us the ability to reach the whole world, so that “all the Gentiles might hear:” (1 Tim. 2:4) Tells us that He desires “all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” God’s vision therefore is to make the gospel “ fully known.” #3) See your calling Powerfully . (Acts 1:8) Tells us that “ we will receive power after the Holy Ghost comes upon us.” This power to witness is not of the flesh, but rather Christ’s Sp

Regret Is A Choice

(Gal. 6:7-8) “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” Regret is a terrible choice to make, when God’s blessings are also available. In the Bible there are two different types of regret; 1) The Regret of the Unsaved . In the above verse God warns all men that once choices are made, they cannot be reversed. For example,  If someone hears the gospel of Jesus Christ and refuses to repent of his sin and get saved in this life, he chooses to go to Hell himself. Why? Because he refused the salvation of Christ, choosing therefore his own way.   So, as a result forever he will suffer the torment of Hell and  suffer the “regret” of his decision forever.   2) The Regret of the Saved . God gives every saved believer the same opportunities to grow in the Lord, win souls, pray, study their Bibles, and overc

Focusing More On Faith Than Fear

(1 Pet.3:15) “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:”  It’s very easy to focus on fear as a Christian and not stand for the truth when under persecution and trial, and that’s exactly why God needs men and women to focus more on faith than fear. To focus on faith; 1) Sanctify God in your Heart . By “sanctify” in the above verse, God wants all believers to place Him and His Word above any and all fears. Peter does not just use the word “God” above, but “The Lord God,” stressing the importance of placing yourself under a complete obedience to His will. In other words, to solely trust in Him so when trials and persecutions arise, His power  handles them all. 2) Study God’s Word . How can we wisely answer those that ask the reason of our hope and beliefs if we don’t know the Bible? Therefore, we are to “humbly” and “fearfully” (or reverently) use it as we  h

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 o

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 stat

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 t

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 mat

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, the

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, i f 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 t

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

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 mu

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 s omeone 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 gospe

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

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 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 backslide

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, an

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

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 ask
(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

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 Halluci

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 manneri

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

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 "

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 p

Obeying The Will Of God

(Mark 4:35) "And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side." In the above verse the will of Jesus was to "pass over" to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. So, as obedient disciples that night they left not knowing that ahead was a fierce storm that would ultimately threaten their lives, and little did they know that this test was allowed by God to teach them faith. 1) To Trust in God's Plan . Whatever the will of God is, God will help us do it .  The apostles were able because they had Christ with them in their vessel, for Jesus said, "I will never leave thee or forsake thee." Sometimes the storms of life hinder us from following God's will, but one thing is for certain when Jesus is within us, there is no storm that can stop us. 2) Trust in God's Peace . Once Jesus was aware of the storm, all his disciples had to do was trust in him to handle the situation. Trials teach us t

Faith That Removes Mountains

(Mark 11:23) "For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith." Over a hundred years ago, the great evangelist Dr. R. A. Torrey told the story of one little church in Maine that was dead spiritually. In fact, most of the churches in that town were pretty dead, but in this one particular church a few of its godly men decided to petition God for a miracle, and so they said, "here we are, uneducated laymen, but let us form a praying band, and center our prayers on the salvation of one man." So, they decided on one of the hardest men in town, a hopeless drunkard, and centered their prayers on him. To their amazement in just a week this man was converted. Seeing therefore the impossible become possible, they began to pray for another, and then another, u

Things That Hinder Revival

(Jonah 3:5) "So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them... (4:1) But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry." Imagine if you will one of the largest and most wicked kingdoms of all time, repenting of their sin and turning to the God of heaven, and Jonah became angry. In fact he refused to rejoice in the repentance of a sinner. 1) Jonah's heart was not right with God . Jonah had seen the terrible things that the people of Nineveh did to Israel. They stole their possessions, raped their woman, killed and murdered Israel's fathers, and then enslaved their children. They were pagan, immoral, exceedingly wicked, and yet God still wanted Jonah to preach to them. For it wasn't until Jonah was in the belly of the whale that he truly surrendered to do so. You see, Jonah saw the forgiveness of God upon the Ninevites as wrong and so he refused to rejoice i

The Importance of Bible Study

(Psalm 119:11,15) "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee... I will meditate in thy precepts , and have respect unto thy ways." I wonder how many believers today truly study God's Word? Too many people today are satisfied with an electric device that will open up a good Bible program, but never do they hold a real tangible Bible in their hands or mark it up with notes where the Holy Spirit spoke to them during devotions. Too often believers read a verse for the day, or some prewritten devotional, but never do they sit and really study God's Word as God intended. I'm just old fashioned enough to look back at my 40 years of Bible reading to say that I'm on my 4 th Bible. Having old used Bibles on my shelf that look like they went through a war (which they did). Having pages scribbled with notes that go back to a time where God specifically spoke to me about something important. Bibles with tear and coffee stained pages t

The Importance Of Studying A Real Bible

(Psalm 119:11,15) "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee... I will meditate in thy precepts , and have respect unto thy ways." I wonder how many believers today truly study God's Word? Too many people today are satisfied with only having some electric device that will open up a good Bible program, but never do they hold a real tangible Bible in their hands or mark it up with notes when the Holy Spirit speaks to them during devotions. Too often believers read a verse for the day, or some prewritten devotional, but never do they sit and really study God's Word for themselves as God intended. I'm just old fashioned enough to look back at my 40 years of Bible reading to say that I'm on my 4 th Bible, for I have three older Bibles on my book shelf that look like they went through a war (which they did). Each having pages scribbled with notes that go back to a time when God specifically spoke to me about something important during my

True Love

(Song of Solomon 8:7) "Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned."   In the above verse, Solomon is expressing the strength of a real love between two people who are committed to each other, especially in the Lord. True love is indestructible.  1)  True love came from God .  God so loved man that he gave man the ability to not just love Him but also his mate in life.  (Gen. 2:22) "And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man."  That day, God gave a precious gift to Adam. It was someone to complete him, someone like him, from inside him, someone who could share life with, and a love like no other in this world. When Eve was given to Adam it was for life and not just until he found another. That's why Adam said,  "therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his w

Is there An Unpardonable Sin

(Mark 3:29) "But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation:"  So, is there a sin that can be committed that is unforgivable? According to the above verse there is, but how is this sin committed, and can a saved person commit it? 1)  What is the unforgivable sin?   Well, it's not a one-time blasphemy but rather a " settled position " where someone refuses to believe God's Word while at the same time rejecting the convicting power of God's Holy Spirit, adding blasphemy to unbelief. The religious Pharisees of Jesus' day were so in denial that they even attributed Christ's miracles to the devil making themselves  as stated above ,  "in danger of eternal damnation ." In other words, they had not totally committed this sin yet, but were in danger of doing so and its unforgiveness, if they continued in their unbelief and blasphemy. 2)  Can a saved person commit it ?    No!!

The Peril Of Religion

(Mark 2:27-28) "And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath." It has been a problem ever since the fall of man that man has desired to add religion to God's Words. In the above verse Jesus rebuked the religious leaders of his day for placing the Sabbath above the everyday needs of man. The Sabbath was important to keep, but not at the expense of neglecting charity toward each other.  RELIGION MUST NEVER BE : 1) A substitute for God's Truth .  God warned man not to add to or take from his Word, and God's Word tells us that God is a God of compassion and mercy, but the Jew created a religion that would rather see a man starve than eat on the Sabbath or remain crippled than see him healed. Be careful not to leave God's truth for the way of religion . 2) A substitute for Christ . Jesus is "Lord of the Sabbath," meaning that as God himself his Sabbath represent

Becoming A Fisher Of Men

(Mark 1:17-18) “And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men. And straightway they forsook their nets and followed him.” Only Jesus can turn average men into soulwinners, but without one’s surrender to God’s calling there will be  no men caught for Christ. Jesus asked them to 1) Forsake their past . All these disciples new was fishing. These men were asked to leave their old way of  life for a new way of life, and immediately they did so! You and I cannot win men to Christ without this first step. God does not call everybody to be full time pastors and missionaries, but he does call every believer to forsake their old way of life for a new life patterned after Christ. 2) Follow Him Jesus said, “c ome after me,” which means change your direction and plans for mine. Following is a commitment to surrender one’s will to the will of Christ. God does not force anyone to follow, but He does expect it if we desire to “catch men” for the kingdo

The Purpose Of Christ's Temptation

(Mark 1:12-13) “And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him. And immediately the Spirit driveth him into the wilderness.” In the above verse the Word of God mentions twice that Jesus after his baptism was directed or driven immediately by the Holy Ghost into the wilderness to be tempted of the Devil. The wilderness is a picture of the place of testing just as it was for Israel in the wilderness after coming out of Egypt. For as the Jew immediately was driven into the wilderness for a purpose, so are we after salvation driven by the Spirit to the place of testing to teach us about faith and God’s Word. God directed Jesus to fast for 40 days not to prove that he could but rather to bring him to his weakest point as an example to us that even when weak and discouraged we can have faith in times of testing. For the power of Jesus over Satan was not found in his human flesh but rather in His Father’s Wor

John's Baptism Is Not The Same AS Our Baptism

(Mark 1:4) “John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.” The Bible teaches us that all the land of Israel came out to be baptized of John in the Jordon. Why ? 1) John baptized the Jew in preparation for the coming Jesus . According to scripture John was sent by God to make Israel ready to hear and receive the words of Christ. Although John used the same method of baptism ( by immersion ) his baptism was not the same as our baptism is today. 2) Our baptism today is both one of consecration and identification with Christ . When Jesus was baptized it wasn’t a baptism of repentance for sin but rather it was a baptism of consecration, just as the OT priest was cleansed in water prior to serving at age 30, so was Christ.  Jesus’ baptism was a prerequisite of the type of baptism that we practice. Not only are we consecrated as “priests and kings”(Rev. 1: 6) into a new life once we’re saved, we also identify with him and his ministry